Telegraph (song)

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Telegraph single.jpg
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Dazzle Ships
B-side"66 and Fading"
Released1 April 1983
Format7" single, 12" single
RecordedThe Manor, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England
GenreNew wave
LabelTelegraph (Virgin)
Songwriter(s)Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys
Producer(s)OMD, Rhett Davies
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"Genetic Engineering"

"Telegraph" is a song by the British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and is the second single from their studio album Dazzle Ships. "Telegraph" was originally slated to be the first single release, but being unhappy with the mix and with pressure from Virgin, the band opted instead to release "Genetic Engineering".[1][2]

The song was first recorded in 1981 at The Manor studios and had been under consideration for the Architecture & Morality album. The lyrics on the original 1981 version and the 1983 version are different in places, reflecting the harder edge the original version presented.[1] The 1981 version was released on the 2008 re-released Dazzle Ships album as an extra track. The original inspiration for "Telegraph" came from Andy McCluskey's strong feelings against politics and religion at the time. These motifs were weakened for the version on Dazzle Ships.[1]

Critic Stewart Mason in AllMusic retrospectively described the song as "insanely catchy" and "brilliant", adding: "[A]s the state-of-1983 electronics of the arrangement sound more and more quaint, the irony grows sharper."[3]

"Telegraph" was OMD's first single not to enter the top 40 in the UK since achieving chart success with the single "Messages" in May 1980. It was included on the CD and cassette versions of the group's first singles compilation album The Best of OMD in 1988 (in a remix unique to that release), but omitted from the second singles compilation The OMD Singles in 1998.


A new track entitled "66 and Fading" features as the B side to both the 7" and 12" releases of "Telegraph". The long instrumental track continues the band tradition of including more experimental songs as B sides. The song was not featured on the Dazzle Ships album and remained exclusive to this release until the inclusion of an edited version in the Navigation: The OMD B-Sides album in 2001 and then reinstated to its full length on the remastered special edition of Dazzle Ships in 2008.

"66 And Fading" is composed of the same chords as the track "Silent Running" (included on Dazzle Ships) but reversed and slowed down.[4]

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl single and 7" picture disc[edit]

  • UK: Telegraph VS 580
  • UK: Telegraph VSY 580

Side one

  1. "Telegraph" (Paul Humphreys/Andy McCluskey) – 2:57

Side two

  1. "66 and Fading" (Humphreys/McCluskey) – 6:31

12" vinyl single (extended version)[edit]

  • UK: Telegraph VS 580-12

Side one

  1. "Telegraph" (extended version) (Humphreys/McCluskey) – 5:53

Side two

  1. "66 and Fading" (Humphreys/McCluskey)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
German Singles Chart 39
Irish Singles Chart[5] 28
UK Singles Chart[6] 42
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[7] 32

Live versions[edit]

A live version of the song recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon, London was released as the B side of the "Tesla Girls" single in 1984. The song was not included in the set list of the special live performance of Dazzle Ships at The Museum of Liverpool in November 2014, although was reintroduced into the live performances of the album in London and Germany in 2016.


  1. ^ a b c - Telegraph info
  2. ^ - Dazzle Ships info
  3. ^ "Telegraph" review at AllMusic
  4. ^ "OMD Discography - Telegraph". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Allmusic - Billboard singles - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Billboard. Retrieved 1 September 2008.

External links[edit]