Telegraph (song)

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For the song by Drake Bell, see Telegraph (album).
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Dazzle Ships
B-side "66 and Fading"
Released January 4, 1983
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded The Manor, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England
Genre New wave
Length 2:57
Label Telegraph (Virgin)
Writer(s) Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys
Producer(s) OMD, Rhett Davies
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"Genetic Engineering"

"Telegraph" is a song by British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released as the second single from their studio album Dazzle Ships. "Telegraph" had originally been considered as the first release, but not being happy with the mix and, with pressure from Virgin, the band opted for "Genetic Engineering" instead.[1][2]

The song was first recorded in 1981 at The Manor studios and had been under consideration for the Architecture & Morality album. The lyrics on the original 1981 version and the 1983 version are different in places, reflecting the harder edge the original version presented.[1] The 1981 version was released on the 2008 re-released Dazzle Ships album as an extra track. The original inspiration for "Telegraph" came from Andy McCluskey's strong feelings against politics and religion at the time. These motifs were weakened for the version on Dazzle Ships.[1]

Critic Stewart Mason in AllMusic described the song as "The centerpiece of 1983's Dazzle Ships", concluding: "In the context of Dazzle Ships, where the insanely catchy tune, augmented by rhythmic morse code signals, sounds positively symphonic in comparison to the skeletal, largely amelodic experiments surrounding it, 'Telegraph' is brilliant, a tongue-in-cheek ode to an all-but-obsolete technology that had once been state of the art, and as the state-of-1983 electronics of the arrangement sound more and more quaint, the irony grows sharper."[3]

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl single and 7" picture disc[edit]

  • UK: Telegraph VS 580
  • UK: Telegraph VSY 580

Side one

  1. "Telegraph" (Paul Humphreys/Andy McCluskey) – 2:57

Side two

  1. "66 and Fading" (Humphreys/McCluskey) – 6:31

12" vinyl single (extended version)[edit]

  • UK: Telegraph VS 580-12

Side one

  1. "Telegraph" (extended version) (Humphreys/McCluskey) – 5:53

Side two

  1. "66 and Fading" (Humphreys/McCluskey)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
German Singles Chart 39
Irish Singles Chart[4] 28
UK Singles Chart[5] 42
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[6] 32


  1. ^ a b c - Telegraph info
  2. ^ - Dazzle Ships info
  3. ^ "Telegraph" review at AllMusic
  4. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  5. ^ "Chart Stats - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Allmusic - Billboard singles - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 

External links[edit]