Tesla Girls

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"Tesla Girls"
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"
"Tesla Girls"
"Never Turn Away"

"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]

Musician and writer Kim Wilde slammed "Tesla Girls" on release, calling it "inane and monotonous".[2] Critic Dave Thompson, in a retrospective review for AllMusic described the song as "electrifying", adding: "The clever lyrics are almost as smart as the music pounding across this song. Cutting-edge scratch production drives the sound, slamming beats fuel the fire, and an irrepressible melody and 'no, no, no' chorus all conspire to turn 'Tesla Girls' anthemic, while the soaring synths set the blood pumping...a quintessential dance number."[1] Colleague Ned Raggett wrote: "'Tesla Girls' is easily the group's high point when it comes to sheer sprightly pop...witty lines about science and romance [are] wedded to a great melody (prefaced by a brilliant, hyperactive intro)."[3]

The single performed more poorly than expected mainly due to a lack of media coverage. Controversy surrounded the song's video, which some in the media had slammed as 'sexist'. In fact, the video, which was largely Andy McCluskey's idea, was lampooning the style of American music videos the band was pressured into making by Virgin Records in the hope of breaking into the US market. He believed that American music videos relied heavily on attractive young female models posing and preening in front of the camera. While few got the joke, a furore did develop. It was the last time Virgin Records interfered with the style of videos of the band's singles.[citation needed]

The song featured in the 1985 film Weird Science.


The live version of "Telegraph" was recorded in 1983 at the Hammersmith Odeon, London. "Telegraph" was the second and final single from their fourth studio album, Dazzle Ships. The other B-side, "Garden City", was only released on the 12" vinyl and cassette single versions. "Garden City" was featured on the B-sides album Navigation: The OMD B-Sides, released in 2001.[4]

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

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 21
Ireland (IRMA)[6] 21
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 33


External links[edit]