Secret (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark song)

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Secret - CD Single.jpg
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Crush
  • "Drift" (UK)
  • "Firegun" (US)
Released8 July 1985
Format7" single, 12" single
RecordedThe Manor, 1984
GenreNew wave
LabelVirgin Records (UK)
A&M Records (US)
Songwriter(s)Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys
Producer(s)Stephen Hague, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"So in Love"
"La Femme Accident"

"Secret" is a song by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, released as a single from their 1985 album Crush. Paul Humphreys sings lead vocals on the track. It became their second US Billboard Hot 100 entry, peaking at number 63, and also made number 34 on the UK Singles Chart.

The song was featured in the movie Arthur 2: On the Rocks and on its soundtrack album.


"Secret" received generally unfavourable contemporary reviews.[1] On the other hand, Bill Merrill in the Altus Times noted the song's "smooth combination of airy vocals and catchy hooks",[2] while Michigan Daily writer Beth Fertig called it "strong", "witty" and "playfully silly".[3]

Retrospectively, Dave Thompson in AllMusic called "Secret" an "emotive love song buried in an over-produced behemoth of a backing".[4] Conversely, Thompson's colleague Mike DeGagne lauded the track as one of OMD's best 1980s singles, noting its "adolescent innocence".[5]


The UK B-side "Drift" was an instrumental song written by Paul Humphreys and Martin Cooper. "Drift" has never been released on CD. The US B-Side "Firegun" is a vocal song credited to the whole band that was later released on their 2001 CD compilation Navigation: The OMD B-Sides. "Firegun" was released in the UK as the B-side to the band's successive single "La Femme Accident".

Music video[edit]

The video for "Secret", directed by Andy Morahan,[6] shows various vintage black & white film clips, including footage of The Beatles, interspersed with new black & white footage of Humphreys and a woman processed to look like old home movies; additionally there are colour scenes of Humphreys singing. The theme is that a woman deserts her current love interest (McCluskey) to return to the arms of her true love (Humphreys). McCluskey's character observes the two lovers together and, though despondent, gallantly accepts that his love interest should instead be with Humphreys' character, before walking into the distance along the shore. The clip was filmed at Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex.[citation needed]

Live performances[edit]

The song was part of the setlist during the Crush tour in 1985 and 1986, although more recently has only been performed at gigs in the US.[7] A video recording of a short concert held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in aid of Greenpeace on 26 October 1985 shows that Humphreys shared the lead vocal with Andy McCluskey.[8]

Track listing[edit]

7": Virgin / VS 796 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Secret" – 3:54
  2. "Drift" – 4:14

12": Virgin / VS 796-12 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Secret" (extended mix) – 6:14
  2. "Drift" – 4:14

7" A&M/Virgin / AM-2794 (US)[edit]

  1. "Secret" – 3:54
  2. "Firegun" – 4:36

Initial releases had a bonus disc with:

  1. "Red Frame/White Light"
  2. "I Betray My Friends"

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
UK Singles Chart 34
US Billboard Hot 100 63
German Singles Chart 25

Cover versions[edit]

A cover of the song by Laura Watling appeared on the 2001 compilation Pretending to See the Future: A Tribute to OMD.

References in other media[edit]

The hit Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which was known for naming episodes in its early seasons after '80s hit songs, named a two-part episode after this song. It was also featured in the 2014 film The Skeleton Twins.


  1. ^ Waller, Johnny; Humphreys, Mike. Messages. Sidgwick & Jackson. 1987. ISBN 0-283-99234-4. p. 151.
  2. ^ Merrill, Bill (18 August 1985). "Record review". Altus Times. Google News. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. ^ Fertig, Beth (18 September 1985). "Records". The Michigan Daily. Google News. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Secret". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  5. ^ DeGagne, Mike. "The Best of OMD". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  6. ^ Garcia, Alex S. " - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - "Secret"". Music Video DataBase. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Secret by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Retrieved 2016-08-30.
  8. ^ "OMD - Live 1985 Full Concert" (YouTube). 30 October 2013. Retrieved 2016-08-30.