Locomotion (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark song)

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"Locomotion"
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Locomotion single cover.jpg
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Junk Culture
B-side "Her Body in My Soul"
"The Avenue"
Released 2 April 1984 (1984-04-02)
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, 3" CD
Recorded Air Studios, Montserrat
ICP Studios, Brussels
Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum
Genre New wave
Length 3:53
5:22 (Extended Mix)
Label Virgin
Songwriter(s) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Producer(s) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Brian Tench
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"Telegraph"
(1983)
"Locomotion"
(1984)
"Talking Loud and Clear"
(1984)
"Telegraph"
(1983)
"Locomotion"
(1984)
"Talking Loud and Clear"
(1984)
Shaped picture disc
7" picture disc
7" picture disc

"Locomotion" is a song recorded and released by British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and is also the first single taken from their 1984 album, Junk Culture. It was one of the group's biggest European hits, reaching the top five in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, and charting at number 14 in Germany.

"Locomotion" has been included in every OMD singles and greatest hits compilation album.

Background[edit]

"Locomotion" was recorded in the last week during the sessions at Montserrat before the drums were overdubbed at ICP Studios in Brussels. The original song was combined with a steel drum rhythm that Paul Humphreys had written the previous week and a bass line and piano that Gordian Troeller (the band's manager) contributed. The track was mixed and the brass added at Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands; the brass arrangements were made by Tony Visconti. The song marries downcast lyrics with upbeat melodies.[1]

Live recordings of "Locomotion" have been issued on the 12" releases of the singles "La Femme Accident" (1985) "If You Leave" (1986) and the second CD single of "Everyday" (1993), as well as on the Architecture & Morality & More and Live in Berlin albums.[2]

Reception[edit]

"Locomotion", which marked a move toward more pop-oriented material for OMD, faced initial criticism – notably on BBC Radio 1's Round Table show.[3] Conversely, Tom Hibbert of Smash Hits felt the single was a return to form after the commercially unsuccessful Dazzle Ships. He wrote: "Having failed to impress the world with songs about robots in Czechoslovakia, OMD return in a lighter vein [...] with no references whatsoever to genetic engineering. Pleasant."[4]

Critic Dave Thompson praised "Locomotion" in a retrospective review for AllMusic, writing: "[E]verything about this number spells lightness: the breezy melody, the tootling synths, the giddy keyboards, and — best of all — the band's effervescent harmonies."[1] Louder Than War journalist Paul Scott-Bates remarked: "In terms of a pop song, it borders classic – instantly recognisable from the first few seconds, a chorus that everyone knows and verses that were as memorable as choruses."[5]

B-sides[edit]

All formats featured "Her Body in My Soul" on the B-side. There is an additional track on the 12" vinyl and 3" CD singles, "The Avenue". Both songs can be found on the B-sides compilation album, Navigation: The OMD B-Sides (2001). "The Avenue" was the first song recorded at Montserrat and deals with the repetition of mistakes that people have made before you. The sample used in the song is taken from the Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker, released in 1979.[6]

Track listings[edit]

7" vinyl[edit]

  • UK: Virgin / VS 660, VSS 660 (shaped picture disc)
  • West Germany: Virgin / 106 377
  • USA: Virgin / AM-2671
  • France:Virgin / 90115
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Locomotion" 3:53
Side B
No. Title Length
2. "Her Body in My Soul" 4:40

12" vinyl[edit]

  • UK: Virgin / VS 660-12
  • France: Virgin / 80092
  • USA: A&M Records / SP-12108
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Locomotion" (Extended Mix) 5:22
Side B
No. Title Length
2. "Her Body in My Soul" 4:44
3. "The Avenue" 4:14
  • Canada: Virgin / VDJ02 (promo)
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Locomotion" 3:54
Side B
No. Title Length
2. "Tesla Girls" 3:49
3. "Talking Loud and Clear" 4:18

3" CD[edit]

Released 25 July 1988 (1988-07-25), Virgin / CDT 12.[7]

No. Title Length
1. "Locomotion" (Extended Mix) 5:22
2. "Her Body in My Soul" 4:44
3. "The Avenue" 4:14

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[8] 30
Dutch GfK Chart[9] 8
Dutch Top 40[10] 5
Irish Singles Chart[11] 4
Swiss Singles Chart[12] 22
UK Singles Chart[13][14] 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Locomotion" review at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Song "Locomotion"". musicbrainz.com. Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  3. ^ Waller, Johnny; Humphreys, Mike. Messages. Sidgwick & Jackson. 1987. ISBN 0-283-99234-4. p. 131.
  4. ^ ""Like Punk Never Happened - a Smash Hits archive", Smash Hits, April 12, 1984 - p.21". flickr.com. Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  5. ^ "Junk Culture Deluxe Edition – album review". Louder Than War. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Official OMD Website - Discography - Locomotion 12". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  7. ^ "Official OMD Website - Discography - Locomotion CD Single". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 224. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA from mid 1983 until 19 June 1988.
  9. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark) - Locomotion". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 21, 1984". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark) - Locomotion - hitparade.ch". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  13. ^ "everyhit.com search results for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "Chart Stats - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Locomotion". Retrieved 13 April 2009. 

External links[edit]