Yet another release from the John Peel/BBC archives, and in this case it is a clear winner. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) was one of the most original and unique sounding bands of the 1980s, and they were also one of the most beguiling. To the average listener, they were a synth-pop group chock full of hits. Yet there was another side to this band, and it is that side that is displayed on this release. The music here, recorded live in the studio for the BBC, has the trademark melodic hooks, but it also features some of their more creative sounds. Even well-known songs such as "Enola Gay" take on a new life here. Rougher, rawer, and much more experimental. Fans also have the opportunity to hear some tracks from their very much underrated Dazzle Ships performed "live." Those particular tracks are downright eerie, especially "ABC Auto-Industry." But brilliant nonetheless. The CD is well recorded, and the playing is tight and exciting. To round off the CD, there is a bonus track of the original 7" version of "Electricity" (released on the Factory label). This alone is worth the price of the CD. Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys have never sounded so good and so alive and energetic on any of the studio releases. Highly recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Aaron Badgley