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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 2003 | EMI Marketing

Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 1988 | Virgin Records

Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys make up Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who were responsible for some of the catchiest and brightest synth pop that the '80s had to offer. O.M.D.'s material was a step above other keyboard pop music of the time, thanks to the combination of intelligently crafted hooks and colorful rhythms that bounced and jittered with pristine charm. Their squeaky-clean brilliancy initiated by both their synthesizers and subdued yet attractive vocal styles gave them a more mature sound over bands like Duran Duran and A Flock of Seagulls, who were attracting a younger audience. The Best of O.M.D. is an excellent compilation of their polished music, starting out with less provocative material like the basic electronic wash of "Electricity" and the bare but ebullient fervor of "Enola Gay." As this set moves along, so does the craftiness of their work, which is evident on tighter sounding songs like "Tesla Girls" and "Locomotion," where the intricacy of their formula begins to take a more resounding shape. O.M.D.'s best work came from 1985's Crush album, which harbored the midnight airiness found in "So in Love" as well as the adolescent innocence that streamed its way through "Secret," which are two of the best tracks on this set. Even though "If You Leave" was the highlight of Pretty in Pink's soundtrack, its adult feel and smooth transition from stanza to chorus makes it their most memorable song. With only four singles reaching the Top 40 in the '80s, all included here, the 18 tracks that make up this compilation prove that O.M.D.'s music was far more consistent and illuminating than the charts represent. © Mike DeGagne /TiVo
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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 2003 | EMI Marketing

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 2003 | Virgin Catalogue

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Electronic - Verschenen op 30 april 1984 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Smarting from Dazzle Ships' commercial failure, the band had a bit of a rethink when it came to their fifth album -- happily, the end result showed that the group was still firing on all fours. While very much a pop-oriented album and a clear retreat from the exploratory reaches of previous work, Junk Culture was no sacrifice of ideals in pursuit of cash. In comparison to the group's late-'80s work, when it seemed commercial success was all that mattered, Junk Culture exhibits all the best qualities of OMD at their most accessible -- instantly memorable melodies and McCluskey's distinct singing voice, clever but emotional lyrics, and fine playing all around. A string of winning singles didn't hurt, to be sure; indeed, opening number "Tesla Girls" is easily the group's high point when it comes to sheer sprightly pop, as perfect a tribute to obvious OMD inspirational source Sparks as any -- witty lines about science and romance wedded to a great melody (prefaced by a brilliant, hyperactive intro). "Locomotion" takes a slightly slower but equally entertaining turn, sneaking in a bit of steel drum to the appropriately chugging rhythm and letting the guest horn section take a prominent role, its sunny blasts offsetting the deceptively downcast lines McCluskey sings. Meanwhile, "Talking Loud and Clear" ends the record on a reflective note -- Cooper's intra-verse sax lines and mock harp snaking through the quiet groove of the song. As for the remainder of the album, if there are hints here and there of the less-successful late-'80s period, at other points the more adventurous side of the band steps up. The instrumental title track smoothly blends reggae rhythms with the haunting mock choirs familiar from earlier efforts, while the elegiac, Humphreys-sung "Never Turn Away" and McCluskey's "Hard Day" both make for lower-key highlights. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Electronic - Verschenen op 4 oktober 2019 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 2003 | EMI Marketing

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 2008 | Virgin Catalogue

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 1985 | Virgin Catalogue

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Pop - Verschenen op 1 september 2017 | RCA Local

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Contrary to what those with forked tongues might suggest, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, OMD to those in the know, wasn’t just a one-hit-wonder, with the massive hit Enola Gay. Behind this classic of synth pop new wave that peaked at the top of the charts by the end of 1980, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys’ crew hide close to a dozen albums. It’s no surprise that the 13th album, The Punishment Of Luxury, sails in clear waters. Their 100% OMD sound inherited from Kraftwerk is back, and has been taken in a much more pop direction. All we need to do is close our eyes and jump straight back into the heart of the 80s. © CM/Qobuz
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Rock - Verschenen op 11 juni 1991 | Virgin Records

With the split between McCluskey and the rest of the band resolved by the former's decision to carry on with the band's name on his own, the question before Sugar Tax's appearance was whether the change would spark a new era of success for someone who clearly could balance artistic and commercial impulses in a winning fashion. The answer, based on the album -- not entirely. The era of Architecture and Morality wouldn't be revisited anyway, for better or for worse, but instead of delightful confections with subtle heft like "Enola Gay" and "Tesla Girls," on Sugar Tax McCluskey is comfortably settled into a less-spectacular range of songs that only occasionally connect. Like fellow refugees from the early '80s such as Billy Mackenzie and Marc Almond, McCluskey found himself bedeviled in the early '90s with an artistic block that resulted in his fine singing style surrounded by pedestrian arrangements and indifferent songs. There was one definite redeeming number at the start: "Sailing on the Seven Seas," with glam-styled beats underpinning a giddy, playful romp that showed McCluskey still hadn't lost his touch entirely, and which became OMD's biggest single at home since "Souvenir." Beyond that, though, the album can best be described as pleasant instead of memorable, an exploration by McCluskey into calmer waters recorded entirely by himself outside of some guitar from Stuart Boyle. Without his longtime bandmates to help him, the results lack an essential spark (Holmes' drumming creativity being especially missed). In a tip of the hat to a clear source of inspiration, Sugar Tax includes a pleasant cover of Kraftwerk's "Neon Lights," with guest vocals by Christine Mellor, while "Apollo XI" uses Dazzle Ships-styled sample collages made up of moon-landing broadcasts, though the song itself isn't much. Even at its most active -- "Call My Name" and "Pandora's Box" -- Sugar Tax is for the most part just there. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 1983 | Virgin Catalogue

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 1986 | Virgin Records

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 1993 | Virgin Catalogue

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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 1996 | Virgin Records

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Electronic - Verschenen op 8 april 2013 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

On their second album since their 2005 reunion, synth pop pioneers Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark rekindle the spirit of two new wave classics, the first being their own "slept on" masterpiece from 1983, Dazzle Ships, an album that pushed the boundaries sonically. From the blippy, robotic, and almost musique concrète opener "Please Remain Seated" to the geometric sleeve that credits DZ designer Peter Saville with Executive Art Design, English Electric carries on the pop-meets-avant-garde spirit of that fan favorite album. It gives up a love song like "Night Café" that's so glossed and polished that it could be used in a John Hughes film, and then it offers an edgy swerve like "Decimal," where answering machine messages, countdowns, and other disembodied voices provided some kind of silicon chorus that's equally majestic and precise. Propaganda singer Claudia Brücken contributes some seductive computer voice narration on the highlight "Kissing the Machine," which, being co-written and previously performed by Karl Bartos, brings to light the album's other obvious influence, Kraftwerk. Key cut "Metroland" is dangerously close to Kraftwerk's "Neon Lights," and with its booming drum beat and sampled choir, "Our System" sounds like Andy McCluskey crooning at the Electric Café, but what a croon it is. Here, his voice is comfortable for the most part, full-bodied the whole way through, and powerful when need be, while background tracks are constructed with care, combining angular and certain beats with melodies that are either majestic and big or pillowy clouds of future fluff. Put it all together and it is the kind of OMD longtime fans crave, and if it comes closest to pandering with "Helen of Troy" (their "Joan of Arc" revisited) the duo's performances are as inspired as they are familiar, and you can say the same for most of the songwriting. Still, OMD's Kraftwerk fixation at this late date is a retro-within-retro move that puzzles, so prepare to be jarred a bit before declaring this a welcome addition to the catalog. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 2001 | Virgin Records

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Pop - Verschenen op 15 december 2017 | RCA Local

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Electronic - Verschenen op 4 december 2020 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)