October 16, 2014
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Founded by Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys in the 1970’s, this British new wave band gained notoriety with their hit 1980 single ‘Enola Gay’ and then attracted further notice with their now classic 1981 album, Architecture & Morality. They continued to release albums throughout the 1980’s, experimenting with sound more and more and cementing their reputation as one of the best synth bands of all time.
Below is Andy McCluskey’s reflection on Kraftwerk, a heavy influence on OMD.
For me the Kraftwerk holy triptych of albums is Autobahn, Radio-Activity, and Trans Europe Express. In less than three years they reached from electronic tone poems, through postulating a series of very listenable queries about what could be considered music, to the invention of hypnotic technodance. They invented the future of music by abandoning Anglo-American rock cliché.
Autobahn was my introduction to their world. Trans Europe Express was Kraftwerk’s ultimate expression of concept and beauty and sealed my eternal love for them, but Radio-Activity was the album that bonded me completely to them. It is both inspirational and aspirational. Still searching: still raw. Providing questions and answers for a 16 year old Andy McCluskey and reassuring him that pushing boundaries could also still be musical.
Seeing Kraftwerk play at the Liverpool Empire on Sept 11th 1975 changed my life for ever. Fifteen years later I told them all that our song ‘Electricity’ was a punk homage to their title track Radio-Activity. They agreed and said that they already knew!