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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are a British new wave group formed in 1978, whose founding members, Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), are originally from Wirral, England. While steadily eschewing pop star status, the band cultivated a fanbase in the United Kingdom from 1978–1980. They gained popularity throughout Europe with the hugely successful 1980 single "Enola Gay", and achieved broader recognition via seminal album Architecture & Morality (1981) and its singles. OMD also garnered acclaim for their experimental recordings, consistently producing music of greater intellectual depth than that of their peers.

Although retrospectively lauded, the sonically challenging Dazzle Ships (1983) eroded European consumer interest during the mid 1980s; Junk Culture (1984) marked a shift toward more pop-oriented songwriting. Concurrently, OMD reached their peak in the United States and had a major hit with 1986's "If You Leave", written for the film Pretty in Pink. Humphreys departed in 1989 with Martin Cooper (various instruments) and Malcolm Holmes (drums) to form The Listening Pool, leaving McCluskey to lead the outfit; Sugar Tax (1991) and its initial singles were sizeable hits in Europe. By the mid 1990s, however, synthpop had become unfashionable amid the guitar oriented musical climate, and McCluskey dissolved the band in 1996, months after their last successful single, "Walking on the Milky Way". He founded pop group Atomic Kitten in 1998.

The band reformed in 2006 and began releasing new material in 2009. Their European fanbase remained steadfast: History of Modern (2010) became the group's biggest hit on the German chart; English Electric (2013) their largest in the UK since Sugar Tax. The group have sold over 40 million records. Despite limited mainstream support for their unconventional works, OMD have carved a unique legacy within popular music, being regarded by critics as the synthpop counterpart of The Beatles, and a pioneering and highly influential act. The Quietus magazine editor John Doran once remarked: "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are not one of the best synth bands ever: they are one of the best bands ever."

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Rating Releases
1980 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3 6
1980 Organisation 3 7
1981 Architecture & Morality 4 9
1983 Dazzle Ships 6
1984 Junk Culture 3 7
1985 Crush 4
1986 The Pacific Age 4 3
1991 Sugar Tax 3 4
1993 Liberator 3
1996 Universal 2
2010 History of Modern 4
2013 English Electric 4

Album + Compilation

Year Title Rating Releases
1981 O.M.D. (tracks from self-titled and Organization) Compilation 1
1988 The Best of OMD Compilation 4.35 5
1990 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark / Organisation / Architecture & Morality Compilation 1
1998 The OMD Singles Compilation 3
2001 Navigation: The B-Sides Compilation 1
2008 Messages: Greatest Hits Compilation 5 1
2011 So80s Presents Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Compilation 1
Flip... The Other Side of OMD Compilation 1

Album + Live

Year Title Rating Releases
2000 Peel Sessions 1979-1983 Live 1
2008 Architecture & Morality & More Live 2

Album + Remix

Year Title Rating Releases
The OMD Singles (Remix Edition) Remix 1

Single

Year Title Rating Releases
1979 Electricity 2
1980 Red Frame/White Light 2
1980 Messages 2
1980 Enola Gay 4 3
1981 Souvenir 2
1981 Joan of Arc 2
1981 Enola Gay / Souvenir ("Super-Sound-Single") 1
1982 Maid of Orleans 3
1983 Genetic Engineering 2
1983 Telegraph 3
1984 Locomotion 2
1984 Talking Loud and Clear 3
1984 Tesla Girls 2
1984 Never Turn Away 2
1985 So in Love 4
1985 Secret 3
1985 La Femme Accident 3
1986 If You Leave 4
1986 We Love You 1
1988 Dreaming 5
1991 Call My Name 2
1991 Pandora's Box 3
1991 Sailing on the Seven Seas 2
1991 Then You Turn Away 2
1993 Stand Above Me 1
1996 Walking on the Milky Way 2
1996 Universal 2

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