Joan of Arc (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Joan of Arc"
JoanOfArc single.jpg
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Architecture & Morality
B-side"The Romance of the Telescope" (Unfinished)
Released9 October 1981
Format7" single, 12" single
RecordedThe Manor, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England
Songwriter(s)Andy McCluskey
Producer(s)OMD and Richard Manwaring
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"Joan of Arc"
"Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)"

"Joan of Arc" is a 1981 song by British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), released as the second single from their third studio album Architecture & Morality. It became an international hit, reaching the Top 5 in the UK and Canada and number 13 in Ireland.

This is the first of two OMD songs written by McCluskey on the subject of the French saint Joan of Arc. The second, "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)" was also issued as a single (renamed "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" for its release). Both tracks feature on Architecture & Morality.


Dave Thompson in AllMusic praised the track as a "revelation of a single" with a "gorgeous melody", adding that "the power of this song is almost equal to Joan's own".[1] Colleague Ned Raggett described it as "a towering heartbreaker, with Andy McCluskey and band in full flight".[2] Trouser Press called the song a "magnificent, ethereal hit".[3]


The B side to the single was a new track entitled "The Romance of the Telescope (Unfinished)", another new track but one which was not included on the original Architecture & Morality album. The song was however included on the successive Dazzle Ships album in 1983 without the "unfinished" caveat in the title, even though the arrangement and mix are practically identical to the first issue. The track labelled as the "unfinished" version was included on remastered re-issues of the Architecture & Morality album in 2003 and 2007. "The Romance of the Telescope" has also been performed live on several occasions since 1981 when it was usually played as a concert opener, although more recently as a final song on live set lists.[4]

Track listings[edit]

7" vinyl single[edit]

  • UK: DinDisc DIN 36

Side one

  1. "Joan of Arc" (McCluskey)

Side two

  1. "The Romance of the Telescope (Unfinished)" (Humphreys/McCluskey)

12" vinyl single[edit]

  • UK: DinDisc DIN 36-12
  1. "Joan of Arc" (McCluskey)

Side two

  1. "The Romance of the Telescope (Unfinished)" (Humphreys/McCluskey)

Track timings were not stated on vinyl releases.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
(sales thresholds)
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[5] 4
Irish Singles Chart[6] 13
UK Singles Chart[7] 5 BPI: Silver[8]

Live performances[edit]

The song has been performed at live shows on a regular basis since the Architecture & Morality tour in 1981.[9] A live performance from 1981 was filmed for the Live at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane concert in December 1981, initially released on VHS (1982) and laserdisc (1984) [10] and later on DVD [11]

Live recordings have been made available on the "Walking on the Milky Way" CD single (1996), the Architecture & Morality & More album (2008), and on Architecture & Morality / Dazzle Ships – Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2016). The song was also performed with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in June 2009 as documented by the Electricity DVD release.[12]


  1. ^ Joan of Arc at AllMusic
  2. ^ Architecture & Morality at AllMusic.
  3. ^ "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  4. ^ "The Romance of the Telescope by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  5. ^ "".
  6. ^ " search results for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  8. ^ "British certificates: searchable database". Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Joan of Arc by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Live at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Architecture & Morality (Collector's Edition CD & DVD)". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Joan of Arc song". Retrieved 18 May 2016.