Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
|Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark|
OMD performing in Berlin, July 2010
|Also known as||OMD|
|Origin||Meols, Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England|
|Genres||Synthpop, electronic, new wave, experimental, post-punk|
|Years active||1978–1996, 2005, 2006–present|
|Labels||100%, Virgin, Dindisc, Factory, Bright Antenna|
|Associated acts||The Id, Dalek I Love You, Godot, The Listening Pool, Onetwo|
|Past members||Dave Hughes
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English new wave/synthpop group formed in 1978, whose founding members, Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England. While steadily eschewing pop star status, the band cultivated a fanbase in the United Kingdom from 1978–1980. They gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 single "Enola Gay", and achieved broader recognition via album Architecture & Morality (1981)[a] and its singles. OMD garnered acclaim for their experimental recordings, which are noted for their intellectual depth.
Although retrospectively lauded, the challenging Dazzle Ships (1983) eroded European consumer interest during the mid 1980s; Junk Culture (1984) marked a shift toward more pop-oriented songwriting. Concurrently, OMD reached their peak in the United States and had a major hit with 1986's "If You Leave", written for the film Pretty in Pink. Humphreys departed in 1989 with Martin Cooper (various instruments) and Malcolm Holmes (drums) to form The Listening Pool, leaving McCluskey to lead the outfit; Sugar Tax (1991) and its initial singles were sizeable hits in Europe. By the mid 1990s, however, synthpop had become unfashionable amid the guitar oriented musical climate, and McCluskey dissolved the band in 1996, months after their last successful single, "Walking on the Milky Way". He founded pop group Atomic Kitten in 1998.
The band reformed in 2006 and began releasing new material in 2009. Their European fanbase remained steadfast: History of Modern (2010) became the group's biggest hit on the German chart; English Electric (2013) their largest in the UK since Sugar Tax. The group have sold over 40 million records. With a legacy as innovators within popular music, OMD have influenced many modern acts. Their songs have been covered or remixed by numerous artists, and the group are the subject of two tribute albums. Regarding the group's impact on synthpop, The Scotsman wrote that "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark were its Beatles"; McCluskey and Humphreys have been labelled by numerous critics as the genre's counterpart of Lennon–McCartney.
- 1 Formation
- 2 Roots
- 3 The Id
- 4 Formation and first releases
- 5 Classic line-up
- 6 American chart success
- 7 Classic line-up split – OMD in the 1990s
- 8 Reformation
- 9 Legacy and influence
- 10 Personnel
- 11 Discography and writing
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The group was founded in 1978 by Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys who remain, and were perceived as, the core members. Adding sidemen Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper by the end of 1980, this quartet (with occasional line-up fluctuations) was the live concert line-up until 1989, when Humphreys, Cooper and Holmes all left OMD to found The Listening Pool. McCluskey then retained the OMD name and continued to record and tour as OMD with new line-ups until 1996.
Although McCluskey essentially retired the OMD name in 1996, shortly thereafter Humphreys began playing live shows as OMD with other musicians on an as-needed basis, but without McCluskey. Then in late December 2005, OMD's official website announced a forthcoming reformation of the "classic" 1980s line-up (Humphreys/McCluskey/Cooper/Holmes), both for live performances and for a new studio album. This reformed quartet began touring in 2007, and further successful sold-out tours took place in 2008 and 2009. OMD's most recent studio album English Electric was released on 8 April 2013.
Founders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys met at primary school in Meols in the early 1960s, and in the mid-1970s, as teenagers, they were involved in different local groups but shared a distaste for guitar driven rock with a macho attitude popular among their friends at the time.
By the mid-1970s McCluskey had formed Equinox, as bassist and vocalist, alongside schoolmate Malcolm Holmes on drums, while Humphreys was their roadie. During that time McCluskey and Humphreys discovered their electronic style influenced by Kraftwerk. After Equinox, McCluskey joined Pegasus, and, later, the short-lived Hitlerz Underpantz, alongside Humphreys. McCluskey would usually sing and play bass guitar, whilst electronics enthusiast Humphreys initially began as a roadie, graduating to keyboards. The pair shared a love of electronic music, particularly Brian Eno and Kraftwerk.
In September 1977, McCluskey and Humphreys put together the seven-piece (three singers, two guitarists, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player) Wirral 'supergroup' The Id, whose line-up included drummer Malcolm Holmes and McCluskey's girlfriend Julia Kneale on vocals. The group began to gig regularly in the Merseyside area, performing original material (largely written by McCluskey and Humphreys). They had quite a following on the scene, and one of their tracks ("Julia's Song") was included on a compilation record of local bands called Street to Street. Meanwhile, Humphreys & McCluskey collaborated on a side-project called VCL XI (named after a misreading of a valve from the diagram on the back cover of Kraftwerk's Radio-Activity album; the name of valve is actually written with Arabic numbers, VCL 11, and not Roman numerals). This side-project allowed them to pursue their more bizarre electronic experiments, often working with tape collages, home-made kit-built synthesisers, and circuit-bent radios.
Formation and first releases
In September 1978, the same month he left Dalek I Love You, McCluskey rejoined Humphreys and their VCL XI project was renamed Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. The name was gleaned from a list of song lyrics and ideas that were written on McCluskey's bedroom wall. They began to gig regularly as a duo, performing to backing tracks played from a Teac 4 track tape-recorder christened "Winston" (after the antihero of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four). Their debut performance was in October 1978 at Eric's Club in Liverpool. Finding themselves on the cusp of an electronic new wave in British pop-music, they released a one-off single, "Electricity", with celebrated independent label Factory Records. The track was supposed to be produced by the legendary Factory Records producer Martin Hannett. In fact, the A-side was the band's original demo produced by their friend, owner of Winston and soon to be manager, Paul Collister under the pseudonym Chester Valentino (taken from a nightclub called Valentino's in the nearby city of Chester). The single's sleeve was designed by Peter Saville, whose distinctive graphics provided OMD's public image well into the mid-1980s. The unusual graphics that feature on the sleeve were partially inspired by Andy and Paul's original musical notation style. Unable to read or write music, they adapted a series of symbols, each one representing different instruments.
In 1979 they were asked to support Gary Numan on his first major British tour. They were always grateful to Numan for his help and support. He let them travel on his bus and use his trucks to transport their gear. They returned the favour some 13 years later when they asked Numan to support them on their arena tour in the mid-1990s.
The eponymous first album (1980) showcased the band's live set at the time, and was basically recorded by the Humphreys/McCluskey duo, although included some guest drums from Id drummer Malcolm Holmes, and saxophone from Wirral musician Martin Cooper. It had a simple, raw, poppy, melodic synthpop sound. Dindisc arranged for the song "Messages" to be re-recorded (produced by Gong bassist Mike Howlett) and released as a single (right) – this gave the band their first hit. Dave Hughes, a founder member of Dalek I Love You who joined OMD in early 1980, is featured in the "Messages" video.
A tour followed, Winston the tape recorder was augmented with live drums from Malcolm Holmes, and Dalek I Love You's Dave Hughes on synths. Hughes then left OMD in November 1980, replaced by Martin Cooper.
The second album Organisation (perhaps a reference to the band which preceded Kraftwerk, founded by Kraftwerk's original members Florian Schneider-Esleben and Ralf Hütter) followed later that year, recorded as a three-piece with Humphreys, McCluskey and Holmes. It was again produced by Howlett, and had a rather moodier, dark feel. The album spawned the hit single "Enola Gay", named after the plane that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The song was intended to be included on the debut album, but was left out at the final selection, which might explain why the song is somewhat at odds with the darker feel of the second album. The tour for this album had a 4-piece band line-up, with saxophonist Martin Cooper (another Dalek I Love You alumnus) recruited for keyboard duties. Howlett then presided over the recording of a further hit single, "Souvenir", co-written by Cooper & Humphreys. It ushered in a lush choral electronic sound. The song also became OMD's biggest UK hit to date.
In November 1981, their most commercially successful album was released in the UK and Europe – Architecture & Morality (which was also a success in Canada). The group went into the studio with Richard Mainwaring producing. Cooper then temporarily dropped out and was replaced by Mike Douglas, but this change was reversed by the time the album was released and a tour embarked upon. The album's sound saw OMD's original synth-pop sound augmented by the Mellotron, an instrument previously associated with prog rock bands. They used it to add very atmospheric swatches of string, choir and other sounds to their palette. Two more hit singles "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans" (which became the most successful single of 1982 in Germany) were taken from the album, which eventually sold more than 4 million copies. "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans" were originally both titled "Joan of Arc"; the name of the latter single was changed at the insistence of the publishers and to avoid confusion. It became "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)" and later simply "Maid of Orleans".
In 1983 the band lost commercial momentum somewhat, with the release of their more experimental Dazzle Ships album, which mixed melancholy synth ballads and uptempo synthpop with musique concrète and short wave radio tape collages. It was recorded by the 4-piece Humphreys/Holmes/Cooper/McCluskey line-up, and produced by Rhett Davies. Its relative commercial failure caused a crisis of confidence for Humphreys and McCluskey and brought about a deliberate move towards the mainstream.
American chart success
1984's Junk Culture was a return to a pop-style sound and the band used digital sampling keyboards such as the Fairlight CMI and the E-mu Emulator. The album was a success, reassuring the group about their new direction. The "Locomotion" single returned the group to the top five in the UK and was a good indicator of the group's new found sound, notably the adoption of a classic verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, which is something the group had often previously avoided. In 1985, the band expanded to a sextet, featuring new band members Graham Weir (guitar, keyboards, trombone) and Neil Weir (trumpet, bass guitar), and released Crush, produced by Stephen Hague in Paris and New York. The success of the single "So in Love" in the US Hot 100 also led to some success for the LP which entered the American Top 40, establishing the group in the US and making Stephen Hague a sought-after producer.
Later in 1985 the band was asked to write a song for the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink. They selected "Goddess of Love". The ending of the film was re shot. After the song received a negative reaction from test groups, OMD wrote "If You Leave" in less than 24 hours and it became a huge hit in Australia, the US and Canada where it reached the Top 5. The same six piece line-up also released The Pacific Age in 1986, but the band began to see their critical and public popularity wane in the UK while they failed to capitalise upon their breakthrough in the US market. The Pacific Age contained the UK No. 11 hit single, "(Forever) Live & Die" and other notable single releases, "Shame" and "We Love You". The success of "If You Leave" has concealed the group's history of making innovative music.
Classic line-up split – OMD in the 1990s
During 1988 the band appeared poised to consolidate their US success, with a support slot for Depeche Mode's 101 tour at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on 18 June 1988, a top 20 US hit with "Dreaming" and a successful "Best of" album. However, it was at this point when OMD broke in two. Graham and Neil Weir left at the end of the 1989 US tour and co-founder Paul Humphreys subsequently called it a day, unhappy with the band's commercial orientation. Finally, Cooper, and Holmes left OMD by 1990 to join Humphreys in founding a new band called The Listening Pool.
This left only McCluskey to carry on, essentially becoming a solo artist working under the OMD banner. McCluskey's first album from the new OMD was Sugar Tax LP in 1991, which charted at No. 3 in the UK. McCluskey recruited Liverpool musicians Lloyd Massett and Stuart Kershaw as collaborators on Sugar Tax, though not as full-fledged group members – writing credits carefully distinguished between songs written by OMD (i.e., McCluskey) and songs written by OMD/Kershaw/Massett. This iteration of the group was initially successful with hits like "Sailing on the Seven Seas" and "Pandora's Box", with lesser success on fellow chart entries, "Call My Name" and "Then You Turn Away".
McCluskey worked with keyboardists Nigel Ipinson and Phil Coxon for the album Liberator (1993). Liberator's 5th track "Dream of Me" was built around a sample from "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra, a track which was written and produced by Barry White. To release the "Dream of Me" track as an OMD single, however, McCluskey had to agree that the single release of the track would remove the actual "Love's Theme" sample, but still be officially titled "Dream of Me (Based on Love's Theme)", and furthermore would still give sole writing credit to White.
McCluskey returned with a rotating cast of musicians for the 1996 album Universal. For this last album, Humphreys returned as a co-writer of a few songs, though not as a performer or group member.
Though both Liberator and Universal produced minor hits and the latter also spawned their first Top 20 hit in five years with "Walking on the Milky Way", McCluskey retired the OMD name in late 1996, due to waning public interest. A second singles album was released in 1998, and an EP of remixed material by such acts as Sash! and Moby.
Post-1996, McCluskey decided to focus on songwriting for such Liverpool based acts as Atomic Kitten and The Genie Queen, and trying to develop new Merseyside artists from his Motor Museum recording studio. With McCluskey focusing his talents elsewhere, Humphreys decided to work with his new musical partner Claudia Brücken, of the ZTT bands Propaganda and Act, as Onetwo. He also undertook a US live tour under the banner Paul Humphreys from OMD.
An unexpected request to perform from a German Television show and McCluskey's divorce led the group to reform. On 1 January 2006, Andy McCluskey announced plans to reform OMD with the McCluskey, Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper line-up. The original plan was to tour the album Architecture & Morality and other pre-1983 material, then record a new album set for release in 2007.
In May 2007, the Architecture & Morality remastered CD was re-released together with a DVD featuring the Drury Lane concert from 1981 that had previously been available on VHS. Through May and June, the band toured with the "classic" line up of McCluskey, Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper. They began their set with a re-ordered but otherwise complete re-staging of the Architecture & Morality album. The second half of each concert featured a selection of their best known hits.
In Spring 2008, a live CD and DVD of the 2007 tour, OMD Live: Architecture & Morality & More, recorded at the London Hammersmith Apollo, was released as was a 25th anniversary re-release of Dazzle Ships, including six bonus tracks. At the same time, a brief October 2008 tour was announced, partly to tie-in with the Dazzle Ships album's 25th anniversary. China Crisis supported OMD on this tour.
In June 2009, an orchestral concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic was given in Liverpool. A recording of this concert was released on DVD in December 2009. In November and December, the band returned to arena touring as support for Simple Minds. OMD performed with Night of the Proms in December 2006 in Germany and later again in Belgium and the Netherlands in October and November 2009.
OMD were also the headline act at Britain's first Vintage Computer Festival at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park, in June 2010. On 9 July 2010, OMD were invited by the German designer Michael Michalsky to perform at his Stylenite event during Berlin Fashion Week.
In March 2011, OMD played their first North American tour as the original line up since 1988. In September 2011, the band appeared at the Electric Picnic 2011 festival in Stradbally, Co Laois, Ireland. In November 2011, OMD announced they were getting back to the studio to start work on their latest album, English Electric.
On 11 February 2013, OMD announced "Metroland" would be the first single from the forthcoming album English Electric. The single was released on 25 March, and includes the B-side "The Great White Silence."
The album English Electric was released in the UK on 8 April and entered the UK album chart at No. 12 and the German chart at No. 10. Reviews for both the album and their concerts have generally been positive.
For Record Store Day 2013, on 20 April, a 500-copy limited edition 10-inch picture disc EP "The Future Will Be Silent" from English Electric was made available, which includes an exclusive non-album track titled "Time Burns".
After collapsing at a show in Toronto due to heart failure, Malcolm Holmes retired from OMD, and is making music on his own.  Following shows as a trio at the Museum of Liverpool, OMD is touring with former drummer Stuart Kershaw.
Legacy and influence
In recent years, several music critics have written about OMD's standing within popular music history. In February 2007 a Scotsman journalist said: "If Kraftwerk were the Elvis Presley of synthpop, then Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark were its Beatles." The Quietus magazine editor John Doran in September 2008 wrote: "OMD are the only Liverpool band to come near to living up to the monolithic standards of productivity and creativity set in place by the Beatles... if you want to chose one Merseyside band who combined an industrious ethic, a combination of the pop and the avant-garde and an undeniable gift for melody and emotional evocation, then OMD are your band." Doran asserted: "Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark are not one of the best synth bands ever: they are one of the best bands ever." Veteran BBC DJ Simon Mayo in September 2013 described OMD as "the fathers of electronic music in this country [the UK]."
Although OMD have enjoyed chart success throughout their career, the group's experimental and intellectual brand of synthpop has been known to garner little mainstream airplay after leaving the charts. The group generally eschew choruses, replacing them with synthesizer lines, and opt for "lyrical subjects that are not the usual pop music fodder." Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne, in an article for The Guardian remarked: "It wasn't as though OMD wrote conventional love songs...'Enola Gay' was famously about Hiroshima, 'Stanlow' about a power station." Despite some critics hyping McCluskey and Humphreys as the "Lennon–McCartney of synth-pop", the band also rejected celebrity status and strove "to have no image." McCluskey in 2010 opined that OMD had become "the forgotten band" (he had predicted in 1981, at the peak of the group's popularity, that they would soon be forgotten). The group have nonetheless maintained a loyal cult following, and their latter studio output, tours and festival appearances have resulted in renewed commercial attention. OMD have come to be regarded as one of the great Liverpool acts of the 1980s, and pioneers of the synthpop genre. Their albums Architecture & Morality (1981) and Dazzle Ships (1983) have been hailed as classic records within popular music, with the former selling more than 4 million copies by early 2007. Sugar Tax (1991), the album that marked a commercial renaissance for the band, had sold more than 3 million by the same time period.
Mid 1980s stylistic change
In response to the commercially underwhelming Dazzle Ships, the group moved toward a more radio-friendly sound in the mid 1980s – while continuing to incorporate experimentalism – which polarised critics. Retrospective opinions are also mixed, with some journalists dismissing the band's recordings during that time, and others expressing an appreciation for the new direction. In a reflective 2006 article, Sean O'Neal in The A.V. Club said OMD would "give up" creatively after 1983's Dazzle Ships. The Quietus writer Julian Marszalek in 2010 suggested that the group would have been "more fondly remembered and respected" had they split up after releasing that album, rather than in 1996. Conversely, Marszalek's colleague John Doran said: "It's quite popular to see OMD as nose-diving into the effluence after Dazzle Ships but the truth is there is still much to recommend". Ian Peel, in a piece written for Record Collector that same year, praised the group's poppier efforts. He opined that OMD's legacy consisted of "two brilliant, but very different, bands. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the early 80s Factory descendents who sampled blast furnaces and the Stanlow oil refinery; and OMD, the late 80s stadium pop act who defied expectations by updating their sound and becoming, if only briefly, relevant in the 90s." Their recent work – specifically English Electric (2013) – has been seen as more akin to their early output.
As new wave pioneers, OMD have been cited as an influence on the music of chart acts like U2, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, a-ha, Erasure, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Naked Eyes, Talk Talk, Yazoo, Howard Jones, Berlin, Blake Lewis and Mirrors. Erasure instrumentalist Vince Clarke (formerly chief songwriter of Depeche Mode, Yazoo and The Assembly) has cited the band as one of his primary inspirations, with their song "Electricity" being the track that moved him to pursue a career in electronic music; colleague and lead vocalist, Andy Bell, has confessed that he is always moved to tears upon hearing the track "Souvenir". Howard Jones has noted that he has "a lot of affection for OMD", and would perform a cover of "Enola Gay" – which he has described as "one of my favourite tracks" – during early shows.
Other acts who have named OMD as an influence include: The Killers, Moby, La Roux, Robyn, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne, Glasvegas, Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, The xx, Hurts, LCD Soundsystem, Peter Bjorn and John, Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, Owen Pallett, Gravenhurst and Telekinesis, who has named Dazzle Ships as his all-time favourite album. Dazzle Ships was described by Ian Wade in The Quietus as "deeply influential"; it has also been championed by performers like Mark Ronson and Terre Thaemlitz. Rock group ZZ Top, who shared a studio with OMD on a 1980 edition of BBC2 show The Old Grey Whistle Test, became loyal fans of the band, playing OMD's self-titled debut album over the PA prior to concerts and adopting McCluskey's distinctive on-stage routine – dubbed by the BBC's Stuart Maconie as the "Trainee Teacher Dance". OMD are also recognised as an influence on Freur, an early incarnation of Underworld. BBC Radio's Steve Lamacq – who selected Architecture & Morality as his "Classic Album of the Day" on 21 November 2012 – has named "Electricity" as the track that made him want to become a DJ.
The band's work has been covered or remixed by chart musicians including: David Guetta, Sash!, Moby, Steve "Silk" Hurley, Good Charlotte, Scooter, White Town, Nada Surf, NOFX, 3rd Bass and John Foxx. The 2001 album, Messages: Modern Synthpop Artists Cover OMD, comprises interpretations by various artists, such as The Faint, Color Theory and Ganymede. Pretending to See the Future: A Tribute to OMD, also a 2001 release, features covers by Mahogany, the Acid House Kings and Majestic, among others.
- Current members
- Andy McCluskey – bass guitar, keyboards, vocals (1978–1996; 2005–present)
- Paul Humphreys – keyboards, vocals (1978–1989; 2005–present)
- Martin Cooper – keyboards, saxophone (1980–1989; 2005–present)
- Stuart Kershaw – drums (1993, 2015), piano (2010)
- Former members
- Dave Hughes – keyboards (1979–1980)
- Michael Douglas – keyboards (1980–1981)
- Graham Weir – guitar, brass, keyboards, writer (1984–1989)
- Neil Weir – brass, keyboards, bass guitar (1984–1989)
- Phil Coxon – keyboards (1991–1993)
- Nigel Ipinson – keyboards (1991–1993)
- Abe Juckes – drums (1991–1992)
- Malcolm Holmes – drums and percussion (1980–1989; 2005–2013)
Discography and writing
- Studio albums
- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (1980)
- Organisation (1980)
- Architecture & Morality (1981)
- Dazzle Ships (1983)
- Junk Culture (1984)
- Crush (1985)
- The Pacific Age (1986)
- Sugar Tax (1991)
- Liberator (1993)
- Universal (1996)
- History of Modern (2010)
- English Electric (2013)
- There were several fanzines about the band, including Winston and the successful Telegraph, (which McCluskey was heavily involved in) that were active during the post-split period. Telegraph designed by Paul Browne in partnership with Phillip Marsh folded in 1994 after 5 issues. Browne went on to run the band's website and an official magazine called Messages which is still running. Marsh recently started to run the band's Myspace site.
- The book Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, an unauthorised biography by Mike West, published in 1982.
- The book Messages, written by Johnny Waller and Paul Humphreys' brother Mike Humphreys, details the career of the band up to the time of The Best of OMD.
- Waller, Johnny; Humphreys, Mike. Messages. Sidgwick & Jackson. 1987. ISBN 0-283-99234-4
- West, Mike. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. Omnibus Press. 1982. ISBN 0-7119-0149X
- McCluskey, Andy (24 November 2010). "The Future, the Past and Forever After". Athens Voice.
[B]ecause we weren't trying to be pop stars and weren't terribly interested in presenting ourselves as sexy or colourful, when people think back to 30 years ago, we're often forgotten. Because we were just about the music...We were fed up of being the forgotten band!
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- Raggett, Ned. Junk Culture review. AllMusic. Retrieved 12 November 2013. "Junk Culture was no sacrifice of ideals in pursuit of cash...[at] points the more adventurous side of the band steps up."
- Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70s. BBC Radio 2. 1 May 2011. "'Electricity'...the debut single from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who...sold more than 40 million records."
- "Interview: Andy McCluskey, OMD". PRS for Music Online Magazine. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- Lester, Paul (7 April 2013). "OMD's return to the lighter side". The Express. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Orchestral leap in the dark". The Scotsman. The Scotsman Publications. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- O'Neal, Sean (29 July 2008). "Paul Humphreys of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Rock Formations: Categorical Answers to How Band Names Were Formed, Dave Wilson, 2004, p. 58
- Taylor, Paul. Popular Music Since 1955. Mansell Pub., 1985. ISBN 0-7201-1727-5, ISBN 978-0-7201-1727-1
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- "Page Title". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- Link2Wales: PQ.
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- Pete Frame's Rock Family Tree
-  Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "OMD | Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark | discography". Omd.uk.com. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "Q&A: OMD's Paul Humphreys Talks Reformation, The Return of Intelligent Music and Being in Hitler's Underpants". Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- Dream of me vs. Love's Theme.
- "OMD News: November 2009". 25 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
- "Vintage computers inspire next generation of scientists". BBC News. 21 June 2010.
- "Trevor Horn • The Buggles – The Lost Gig – 28.09.10". Trevorhorn.com. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "Trevor Horn • OMD to support The Buggles on 28.09.10". Trevorhorn.com. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "OMD News: August 2009". Retrieved 21 August 2009.
- "OMD Blog: Next Album". Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Coachella Lineup". Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Metroland Pre-Order". Official OMD website. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "OMD News – Record Store Day". Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "OMD debuts new track "Night Café", announces 10-inch EP for Record Store Day". Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Doran, John (25 September 2008). "Messages – Greatest Hits". The Quietus. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "OMD". Simon Mayo Drivetime. 23 September 2013. 77 minutes in. BBC Radio 2. British Broadcasting Corporation.
- Fiddler, Michelle (2 May 2008). "Homecoming gig for OMD; Electro pop duo to take city by storm.". Liverpool Echo. The Free Library. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "252-281: The '80s". 501 Lost Songs (NME): 53. 2011.
- Stanley, Bob. How to lose 3 million fans in one easy step. The Guardian. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". BBC Breakfast. 13 September 2010. BBC One. British Broadcasting Corporation.
We [OMD] were trying to have no image.
- West, p. 31
- Hoong, Yong Shu (3 March 2012). "Duran Duran and OMD revive disco fever". AsiaOne. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Cubarrubia, RJ (15 April 2013). "OMD Marvel Over Synthpop's Growing Fanbase". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Power, Ed (21 May 2013). "Reunion sparks renewed synths of purpose". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Hickling, Alfred. The Electric Hills. The Guardian. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- Jeffries, David. "English Electric review". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Michaels, Sean (21 May 2010). "OMD announce first studio album in 14 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Bray, Elisa (5 April 2013). "Our friends electric: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". The Independent. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Gaston, Peter (16 August 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: New Song from Synth Pop Legends OMD". Spin. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- See: Reception and legacy of Architecture & Morality and Reception and legacy of Dazzle Ships.
- McGuane, Kenny S. (19 June 2013). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Under the Radar. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Various – Anthems: Electronic 80s at Discogs.
- Various – Anthems: Electronic 80s 2 at Discogs.
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[S]tarting with 1984's Junk Culture, OMD morphed from a risk-taking art-pop band to the still-inventive but commercially calculating act that found American success.
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When I first started playing synthesizers it [my inspiration] would have been people like The Human League; Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, their very first album; I was a big fan of Daniel Miller's work, as the Silicon Teens and as The Normal; and also of Fad Gadget, who was on Mute Records.
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When I was 18 or 19 I heard a single called 'Electricity' by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. It sounded so different from anything I'd heard; that really made me want to make electronic music, 'cause it was so unique.
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...[A]rtists like La Roux and The Killers, both of whom have cited our next guests as one of their influences.
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Fans love your distinctive dancing, which Stuart Maconie called the 'Trainee Teacher Dance'.
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