Locomotion (OMD song)

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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
Writer(s) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Producer(s) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Brian Tench
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"Talking Loud and Clear"
Shaped picture disc
7" picture disc

"Locomotion" is a hit single recorded and released by British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and is also the first single taken from their 1984 album, Junk Culture. The song marries downcast lyrics with upbeat melodies and 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.

The song was recorded in the last week during the sessions at Montserrat before overdubbing the drums 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.

"Locomotion" was poorly received within BBC Radio 1's "Roundtable" discussion upon release.[1] Conversely, critic Dave Thompson lauded the track in a retrospective review for AllMusic. He wrote: "The clapping beats are the song's engine, powering the piece across every ocean. No two-ton train this, but a sleek hovercraft, so aerodynamic that the vessel never actually touches the waves. And everything about this number spells lightness: the breezy melody, the tootling synths, the giddy keyboards, and -- best of all -- the band's effervescent harmonies. Indeed, this is the only way to travel, light on one's feet straight across the dancefloor."[2]


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.[3]

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.[4]

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
Australian Singles Chart 30
Dutch GfK Chart[5] 8
Dutch Top 40[6] 5
Irish Singles Chart[7] 4
Swiss Singles Chart[8] 22
UK Singles Chart[9][10] 5


External links[edit]