Walking on the Milky Way

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For the ABC for Kids album, see Walking on the Milkyway.
"Walking on the Milky Way"
Single by OMD
from the album Universal
B-side "Mathew Street",
"The New Dark Age"
Released 5 August 1996
Recorded The Townhouse, London
Genre New wave
Length 4:38 (album version)
4:04 (single edit)
Label Virgin Records
Writer(s) Andy McCluskey, Nigel Ipinson & Keith Small
Producer(s) Andy MCluskey, Matthew Vaughan, David Nicholas
OMD singles chronology
"Everyday"
(1993)
"Walking on the Milky Way"
(1996)
"Universal"
(1996)

"Walking on the Milky Way" is a song by the British band OMD. It was released as a single in August 1996 and appeared on their Universal album a month later. The song reached #17 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's first UK Top 20 single in over five years, and their last UK Top 40 entry to date. Although it was unable to crack the Top 10, the song became one of the band's biggest radio hits.[1] It became further ingrained in public consciousness due to its use in television commercials for Mars' Milky Way chocolate bar in 1998. The group were flanked by a full string orchestra for their Top of the Pops performance of the song.

Characterised by an ethereal and melancholy sound and a soaring delivery of the lyric, the song wistfully recalls the glory days of youth but cautions that time cannot be turned back. Critic Dave Thompson in Allmusic wrote: "[Andy] McCluskey gives one of his most rousing performances to date, at times actually belting out the lyrics, and swaggering his way across the song. With its sublime melody and a suitably anthemic chorus, this stellar single, released in August 1996, was a deserving Top 20 British hit."[2] McCluskey has noted that the repeated "Hey, hey!" refrain was written with the intention that it would become a call and response with live audiences.[3]

The B-side "Mathew Street" references the location of Eric's Club in Liverpool, where OMD made their first public performance.

Track listing[edit]

Virgin: 5" single: VSCDT1599 (UK 1996)[edit]

Produced by Andy McCluskey (except "Walking on the Milky Way" [Andy McCluskey/Matthew Vaughan/ David Nicholas])

  1. "Walking on the Milky Way" (Andy McCluskey/Nigel Ipinson/Keith Small)
  2. "Mathew Street" (Andy McCluskey/Karl Bartos)
  3. "The New Dark Age" (Andy McCluskey)

Variant release (UK 1996)[edit]

  1. "Walking on the Milky Way" (Andy McCluskey, Ipinson, Small)
  2. "Joan of Arc (Live)" (Andy McCluskey)
  3. "Maid of Orleans (Live)" (Andy McCluskey)
  4. "Walking On Air (Live)" (OMD/Kershaw/Massett)

Tracks 2, 3 & 4 recorded live at Bonn Biskuithalle November 16 1993 (broadcast by SWF3).

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
position
German Singles Chart 53
UK Singles Chart 17

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Remembering: OMD". Uncut. October 1999. "['Walking on the Milky Way'] became a surprise radio hit in the latter half of the decade...[it] gained particularly strong support from Capital [Radio].
  2. ^ "Walking on the Milky Way" review at Allmusic
  3. ^ Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Royal Concert Hall. Glasgow. 12 May, 2013.