Liberator (album)

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Liberator
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Liberator album cover.jpg
Studio album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Released 14 June 1993 (1993-06-14)
Recorded The Pink Museum and The Ministry in Liverpool
Genre Dance-pop, synthpop
Length 49:02
Label Virgin
Producer Andy McCluskey, Phil Coxon and Barry White
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark chronology
Sugar Tax
(1991)Sugar Tax1991
Liberator
(1993)
Universal
(1996)Universal1996
Singles from Liberator
  1. "Stand Above Me"
    Released: 4 May 1993
  2. "Dream of Me (Based on Love's Theme)"
    Released: 5 July 1993
  3. "Everyday"
    Released: 6 September 1993

Liberator is the ninth album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, released in 1993. It peaked at No. 14 on the UK Albums Chart.

None of the album's three singles cracked the Top 20 of the UK Singles Chart, although lead single "Stand Above Me", and follow-up "Dream of Me" did make No. 21 and No. 24 respectively. OMD co-founder Paul Humphreys, who had left the group in 1989, co-wrote third single "Everyday" (a No. 59 UK chart entry).

Background[edit]

Frontman Andy McCluskey had originally been influenced by World War II aircraft, the B-24 Liberator in particular. The cover art originally featured a variation of the "bomber girl" nose cone art that many of them used.[1]

"Sunday Morning" is a cover version of the song originally recorded by The Velvet Underground. "Dream of Me (Based On "Loves Theme")" takes a sample from the instrumental hit, "Love's Theme", originally released in 1973 by The Love Unlimited Orchestra.

"Heaven Is" was first performed by OMD during their showcase tour in late 1983, prior to the release of the Junk Culture album the next year (along with other new songs such as "Tesla Girls", "Never Turn Away", and the title track). "Heaven Is" however did not make the album and was shelved (it also nearly made 1986's The Pacific Age[2]) until the publication of this re-recorded version which contains some lyrical variations such as the name of the pornographic actress Christy Canyon as opposed to newsreader Selina Scott in the 1983 version. A demo version of the original was finally released in 2015, as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Junk Culture.

A song called "The Liberator" had been planned to appear on the album, but was dropped.[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[3]
Colin Larkin 3/5 stars[4]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine in AllMusic remarked: "While it is far from the experimental and edgy synth-pop that earned the group rave reviews in the early '80s, [Liberator] is an enjoyable, lightweight collection of appealing dance-pop."[3] Trouser Press wrote: "All those years spent in the company of keyboards evidently left [Andy McCluskey] fully able to make convincing percolating rhythms and layers of faux violins, and both get good use on what is a pretty stupid but diverting exercise."[5] The Electricity Club included Liberator in the list, "Some Not So Great Albums By Some Great Acts", but described "King of Stone" and "Christine" as "pure genius".[6]

McCluskey felt that he "messed up" the album,[7] and described it as "way too busy".[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Andy McCluskey, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Stand Above Me" McCluskey, Stuart Kershaw, Lloyd Massett 3:33
2. "Everyday" McCluskey, Paul Humphreys, Kershaw 3:57
3. "King of Stone"   4:17
4. "Dollar Girl"   4:19
5. "Dream of Me (Based on Love's Theme)" McCluskey, Barry White 4:13
6. "Sunday Morning" (The Velvet Underground cover) Lou Reed, John Cale 3:23
7. "Agnus Dei" McCluskey, Christopher Tye, Shopsko 3:39
8. "Love and Hate You"   3:18
9. "Heaven Is"   4:30
10. "Best Years of Our Lives" McCluskey, Kershaw 4:35
11. "Christine" McCluskey, Kershaw 5:04
12. "Only Tears" McCluskey, Kershaw 4:14

Personnel[edit]

  • Andy McCluskey – programming, production on tracks 1–4, and 6–12
  • Phil Coxon – programming, production on tracks 1–4, and 6–12
  • Beverly Reppion – backing vocals on tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 12
  • Nathalie James – backing vocals on tracks 4, and 8
  • Doreen Edwards – backing vocals on track 9
  • backing vocals on track 5
  • Stuart Boyle – guitar on tracks 1, and 6
  • Nigel Ipinson – piano and arrangement on track 6
  • Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares – a sample from "Bezrodna Nevesta" is used in track 7
  • Barry White – production on track 5
  • Mark Phythian – engineer
  • Paul Butcher – assistant engineer
  • Ian Collins – assistant engineer
  • Pat O'Shaughnessy – assistant engineer
  • Mike Hunter – assistant engineer
  • Andrea Wright – assistant engineer
  • Tony Cousins – mastering at Town House, London
  • Gregg Jackman – mix for tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12
  • Niall Flynn – assistant mix for tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12

Mixed at Amazon Studios, Liverpool tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12 mixed at Sarm West, London

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Browne, Paul. "The Launch of Liberator". Messages. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  2. ^ Waller, Johnny; Humphreys, Mike. Messages. Sidgwick & Jackson. 1987. ISBN 0-283-99234-4. p. 169.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Liberator review". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music. Virgin Books. 1997. ISBN 0753501597. p. 350.
  5. ^ "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Liberator". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Some Not So Great Albums By Some Great Acts". The Electricity Club. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  7. ^ Tarchala, Lori (24 October 2011). "Interview: Andy McCluskey". Messages – The OMD Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Joyce, Colin (9 April 2013). "OMD's Andy McCluskey Rewrote His Band's History and 'Everybody Bought It'". Spin. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 

External links[edit]