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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English new wave/synthpop group formed in 1978, whose founding members, Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, 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 1980 single "Enola Gay", and achieved broader recognition via album Architecture & Morality (1981) and its singles. OMD garnered acclaim for their experimental recordings, which are noted for their intellectual depth.

Although retrospectively lauded, the 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. With a legacy as innovators within popular music, OMD have influenced many modern acts. Their songs have been covered or remixed by numerous artists, and the group are the subject of two tribute albums. Regarding the group's impact on synthpop, The Scotsman wrote that "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark were its Beatles"; McCluskey and Humphreys have been labelled by numerous critics as the genre's counterpart of Lennon–McCartney.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1980 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3 8
1980 Organisation Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3 8
1981 Architecture & Morality Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4 12
1983 Dazzle Ships Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 8
1984 Junk Culture Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3 11
1985 Crush Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
1986 The Pacific Age Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4 3
1991 Sugar Tax Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
1993 Liberator Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
1996 Universal Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
2010 History of Modern Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 5
2013 English Electric Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 5

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1981 O.M.D. (tracks from self-titled and Organization) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
1988 The Best of OMD Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4.35 4
1990 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark / Organisation / Architecture & Morality Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
1998 The OMD Singles Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
2001 Navigation: The B-Sides Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
2003 The OMD Singles / Navigation – The OMD B‐Sides Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
2008 Messages: Greatest Hits Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 5 1
2011 So80s Presents Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 Peel Sessions 1979-1983 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
2008 Architecture & Morality & More Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
2011 Live in Berlin Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
2015 Access All Areas Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
2015 Dazzle Ships at The Museum of Liverpool Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3

Single

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1979 Electricity Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
1980 Red Frame/White Light Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
1980 Messages Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
1980 Enola Gay Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4 4
1981 Pretending To See The Future / Swing Shift Orchestral Manoeuvres \ Nash the Slash 1
1981 Souvenir Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
1981 Joan of Arc Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
1981 Enola Gay / Souvenir ("Super-Sound-Single") Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
1982 Maid of Orleans Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
1983 Genetic Engineering Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
1983 Telegraph Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
1984 Locomotion Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
1984 Talking Loud and Clear Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
1984 Tesla Girls Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2
1984 Never Turn Away Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
1985 So in Love Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
1985 Secret Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
1985 La femme accident Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
1986 If You Leave Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 4
1986 We Love You Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
1986 (Forever) Live and Die Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
1987 Shame Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1
1988 Dreaming Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 6
1991 Sailing on the Seven Seas Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
1991 Call My Name Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 2

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