Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Telegraph

Composed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Song Review by

The centerpiece of 1983's Dazzle Ships, and the only real pop song on that otherwise entirely fragmentary -- almost avant-garde -- album, "Telegraph" is an utterly sincere-sounding celebration of...actually, not much of anything. Upon inspection, it's one short verse repeated three times that basically boils down to the couplet "I've got a telegraph/It doesn't mean a damn thing." By itself, or in the context of one of the many Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark compilations, "Telegraph" sounds kind of slight an inconsequential. In the context of Dazzle Ships, where the insanely catchy tune, augmented by rhythmic morse code signals, sounds positively symphonic in comparison to the skeletal, largely amelodic experiments surrounding it, "Telegraph" is brilliant, a tongue-in-cheek ode to an all-but-obsolete technology that had once been state of the art, and as the state-of-1983 electronics of the arrangement sound more and more quaint, the irony grows sharper.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Dazzle Ships 1983 Virgin 2:57
The Best of OMD 1988 EMI
Messages: OMD Greatest Hits 2008 EMD Int'l
No Image Private Issue 4:39
blue highlight denotes editor's pick