Universal (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Universal album cover.jpg
Studio album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Released 2 September 1996 (1996-09-02)
Recorded Pre-recorded at The Factory, Dublin, JE Sound, and Johnny Juma, Los Angeles
Recorded at The Townhouse, and Metropolis, London
Genre Synthpop, Britpop
Length 49:40
Label Virgin
Producer Andy McCluskey
Matthew Vaughan
David Nicholas
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark chronology
The OMD Singles
(1998)The OMD Singles1998
Singles from Universal
  1. "Walking on the Milky Way"
    Released: 5 August 1996
  2. "Universal"
    Released: 21 October 1996

Universal is the tenth album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), released in 1996. It spawned the group's first Top 20 hit in the UK for over five years with the track "Walking on the Milky Way". However, follow-up single "Universal" and the album itself performed poorly and this lack of success prompted singer Andy McCluskey to dissolve the band. It would remain their final album for over a decade until the group's reunion.

OMD co-founder Paul Humphreys, who had departed the group in 1989, served as principal songwriter on "Very Close to Far Away" and "If You're Still in Love with Me". Erstwhile McCluskey collaborator Karl Bartos (formerly of Kraftwerk) co-wrote "The Moon & the Sun".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[1]
Colin Larkin 3/5 stars[2]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine in AllMusic remarked: "Universal is a rote collection of synth-pop and dance-pop from OMD, demonstrating only a fraction of the sophisticated craft that made its predecessor Liberator enjoyable, and none of the adventurous spirit of their '80s records."[1] Trouser Press wrote that "the album quickly settles into the type of pop OMD has offered since Crush" and is "enjoyable enough for what it is".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Andy McCluskey, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Universal"   5:41
2. "Walking on the Milky Way" McCluskey, Nigel Ipinson, Keith Small 4:38
3. "The Moon & the Sun" McCluskey, Karl Bartos 3:37
4. "The Black Sea" McCluskey, Stuart Kershaw 3:38
5. "Very Close to Far Away" Paul Humphreys, McCluskey 5:45
6. "The Gospel of St Jude"   2:23
7. "That Was Then"   4:27
8. "Too Late" McCluskey, Kershaw 4:09
9. "The Boy from the Chemist Is Here to See You"   4:41
10. "If You're Still in Love with Me" Humphreys, McCluskey, Kershaw 2:51
11. "New Head" McCluskey, Simon Fung 5:01
12. "Victory Waltz"   2:45


  • Andy McCluskeyvocals, keyboards, production, mix on tracks 8–9
  • Matthew Vaughan – keyboards on tracks 1, 4, 8, and 10, guitar on tracks 2, 3, and 5, piano on track 3, bass on track 9, production on tracks 1–7, and tracks 10–12
  • Breda Dunne – backing vocals on track 1
  • Phil Spalding – bass on tracks 1–3, track 5, and track 7, backing vocals on track 2
  • Chuck Sabo – drums and percussion on tracks 1–3, track 5, and tracks 7–9
  • Hannah Clive – backing vocals on track 2
  • Carol Kenyon – backing vocals on track 5
  • Richard Allen Singers – vocals on track 6, courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
  • Jimmy Taylor – guitar on track 7
  • Maggie Keane – backing vocals on track 8
  • Anne Dudleystring arrangement for track 10
  • David Nicholas – production on tracks 1–7, and tracks 10–12, engineer, mix on tracks 2–10, and 12
  • Gregg Jackman – mix on tracks 1, and 11
  • Julie Gardner – engineer, assistant engineer
  • Neil Tucker – assistant engineer


  1. ^ a b AllMusic review
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music. Virgin Books. 1997. ISBN 0753501597. p. 350.
  3. ^ "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 

External links[edit]