In 1979, new British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher began a thorough shake-up of British society, with a package of policies that, with time, totally redrew the landscape of the United Kingdom. Her agenda also encompassed a new world order that was as radical as her domestic legislation. Not only would she place Britain unequivocally by America's side, she also put the island firmly into the cold war frontlines by granting permission for US cruise missiles to be stationed on British soil.
A massive public outcry ensued, the long dormant Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) sprang into action, organizing some of the largest demonstrations ever seen in Britain (at least until another PM forced his unwilling nation to once more follow America's lead). And, amid the welter of protest themed singles that followed, a litany that stretches from TV Smith’s Explorers’ premonitory ”Tomahawk Cruise” to the Fun Boy Three’s ”The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum”, OMD turned the calendar back to August 1945, to relive the "Enola Gay" bomber's mission to Hiroshima.
Andy McCluskey says nothing about contemporary events, but he doesn't need to. A simple reminder of that fateful flight taken 35 years earlier makes his point more eloquently than any number of speeches or lyrical excesses on the dangers that nuclear weapons threaten. In a few months, Duran Duran would detonate their own bomb on "Planet Earth", and proclaimed they wanted to be the band to dance to when the end came. By then, however, "Enola Gay" was long airborne, obliterating Britain and most of Europe with the band's perfect synth-dance-pop extravaganza. The single, released in October, 1980, slammed into the UK Top 10 and mushroomed to the top of the charts in three European countries, giving the band their first international Number One.