Tesla Girls

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"Tesla Girls"
Tesla Girls.jpg
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Junk Culture
B-side "Telegraph" (Live)
"Garden City"
Released 28 August 1984
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded Air Studios, Montserrat
Genre Dance, new wave
Length 3:51
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"
(1984)
"Tesla Girls"
(1984)
"Never Turn Away"
(1984)

"Tesla Girls" is a song by British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released as the third single from their 1984 album, Junk Culture. It charted at number 21 in the UK and Ireland, and number 33 in the Netherlands. Although only moderately successful on the charts, it became one of the group's biggest club hits.[1]

The song featured in the 1985 film Weird Science.

Background[edit]

The song title refers to Nikola Tesla and was suggested by Martha Ladly, who had also suggested the Architecture & Morality album title. Tesla is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. "The references to electric chairs and dynamos is actually a reference to dynamos which was essential for the use of the alternating current and anything electrical basically," said Andy McCluskey in an on-line Q&A session in 1998.[2]

Reception[edit]

"Tesla Girls" met with a few detractors on release, including musician and writer Kim Wilde, who called the song "inane and monotonous".[3] Critic Dave Thompson, in a retrospective review for AllMusic, described the track as "electrifying" and a "quintessential dance number", while praising its lyrics.[1] Colleague Ned Raggett also commended the song's words, as well as its melody and "brilliant, hyperactive" intro.[4] Louder Than War journalist Paul Scott-Bates wrote that "Tesla Girls" is "as perfect as pop singles get".[5]

Versions[edit]

Several versions of the song exist in recorded form, including two new versions coming to light on the deluxe re-issue of the Junk Culture album in 2015.[6]

  • original Junk Culture album version (1984) - 3:51
  • 7" edit (1984) - 3.26
  • 12" version (1984) - 4.25
  • 12" 'extra remix' (1984) - 3.37
  • 12" (US only) 'specially remixed version' (1984) 5.03 - also includes an instrumental version (4.43) and a 'video version' (3.26)
  • compilation album version - 3.34 (used on compilation albums such as The Best of OMD and The OMD Singles)
  • 'extended mix' - 4.44, as featured on the So80s OMD remix compilation album (2011)
  • Junk Culture Deluxe re-issue version (2015) - 3.36 (replacing the original album track)
  • Highland Studios Demo (1983) - 4.01, bonus track featured on Junk Culture deluxe re-issue (2015)

An early live version from 1983 also exists in bootleg form.

B-sides[edit]

The 7" release features a live version of the Dazzle Ships track and single "Telegraph" recorded in 1983 at the Hammersmith Odeon, London. The intro to another Dazzle Ships track Radio Waves can also be heard in the fade-out.

The 12" and cassette releases feature a brand new song Garden City, which remained exclusive to this release until it was featured on the B-sides album Navigation: The OMD B-Sides, released in 2001.[7] The lyrics to the song include the obscene word "fuck".

Track listing[edit]

7" and 7" picture disc
  1. "Tesla Girls" – 3:26
  2. "Telegraph" (live) – 3:57
First 12"
  1. "Tesla Girls" (extended version) – 4:35
  2. "Garden City" – 4:05
  3. "Telegraph" (live) – 3:57
Second 12" and Cassette
  1. "Tesla Girls" (Extra Remix) – 3:37
  2. "Garden City" – 4:05
  3. "Telegraph" (live) – 3:57
  4. "Tesla Girls" (extended version) – 4:35
US 12" (A&M Records – SP-12120)
  1. Tesla Girls (Specially Remixed Version) -5:03
  2. Tesla Girls (Instrumental Version) - 4:43
  3. Tesla Girls (Video Version) - 3:26

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 21
Ireland (IRMA)[9] 21
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 33

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tesla Girls" review at AllMusic.
  2. ^ "OMD Q&A: Songs". omd.messages.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  3. ^ Waller, Johnny; Humphreys, Mike. Messages. Sidgwick & Jackson. 1987. ISBN 0-283-99234-4. p. 137.
  4. ^ Junk Culture review at AllMusic
  5. ^ "Junk Culture Deluxe Edition – album review". Louder Than War. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "The Definitive Tesla Girls guide". omd-messages.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  7. ^ "Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Navigation - The OMD B-Sides (CD, Comp) at Discogs". Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2010 (2010-06-20).
  9. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark) – Tesla Girls" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 20 June 2010 (2010-06-20).

External links[edit]