Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English electronic music band formed in Wirral, Merseyside in 1978. Spawned by earlier group The Id, the outfit originally functioned as a duo composed of founding members Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), before other personnel were enlisted. As a band, OMD gained popularity throughout Europe with 1980 single "Enola Gay", and achieved broader recognition via their seminal album Architecture & Morality (1981) and its singles. Steadily resistant to "pop star" status, the group earned acclaim for their adventurous recordings, which combined sonic experimentation and atypical subject matter with potent hooks.
Although retrospectively described as a challenging masterpiece, the avant-garde Dazzle Ships (1983) eroded European support during the mid 1980s; the band shifted toward more pop-oriented songwriting on Junk Culture (1984), while continuing to experiment with sounds via newly acquired digital samplers. This change in direction led to greater success in the United States, and yielded the 1986 hit, "If You Leave". A year after the release of The Best of OMD (1988), creative differences rendered McCluskey the only remaining member of the group as Humphreys formed spin-off band The Listening Pool. OMD would return with a new line-up and explore the dance-pop genre: Sugar Tax (1991) and its initial singles were sizeable hits in Europe. By the mid 1990s, however, electronic music had been supplanted by alternative rock, and both OMD and The Listening Pool disbanded in 1996. McCluskey went on to found, and write multiple hits for girl group Atomic Kitten, while Humphreys performed as half of the duo Onetwo.
In 2006, the band reformed with Humphreys back in the fold, and began to work on material more akin to their early output. The group's European fanbase remained steadfast: History of Modern (2010) became their biggest hit on the German chart; English Electric (2013) their largest in the UK since Sugar Tax. The band have sold over 40 million records and have cultivated a legacy as innovators within popular music. An influence on many artists in diverse genres, their songs have been covered, remixed and sampled by numerous chart acts, and the group are the subject of two tribute albums. The Oxford Times described OMD as being "among the most important bands Britain has ever produced".