Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark or OMD for short are an English new wave / electro-pop band fronted by Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys. During the early 1980’s their popularity gathered throughout Europe and when Architecture & Morality (their third album) was released they found a wider audience. The album yielded 3 top 5 singles in the UK, one of which “Maid of Orleans” reached #1 in Ireland and New Zealand.
The opening song is “The New Stone Age” A mixture of synth and urgent bass pumping it along. Track two is my favourite on Side A, “She’s leaving”, a simple synth-pop song, followed by the lead single “Souvenir” which reached #3 in UK. Side A closes with the nearly 8 minute track “Sealand” after a lengthy instrumental introduction which is like a mini synth symphony half way along a few lines of vocals appear with the backing track moving to the beat of a drum, and experimental synth sounds take over again.
Side B is opened by two singles “Joan of Arc” and Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans) followed by the title track which is an instrumental “Architecture & Morality”. Track 4 “Georgia” is back to pure synth pop again. “The Beginning and the End” ends this album. This album is now seen as the band’s seminal work.
The album made #3 in UK and certified as platinum, #1 in Netherlands #8 in Germany and was the first album to chart in US at #144. The front cover of this album is unusual as there is a cut out square. When the inner sleeve is inside the cover it looks complete. I have the Grey coloured cover, but was originally issued in yellow. There were also blue and green versions. The electro-pop sound so indicative of the time gives the album a experimental feel, like they are trying to formulate a story around the electronic instruments.
Produced by OMD and Richard Manwaring and “Souvenir” produced by Mike Howlett.