Awesome music from the archives - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’ s ’Architecture & Morality’
It’s impossible to say how I feel about this album now without explaining what it meant back then. Then being day one in the year zero.
Objective critical appraisal is beyond me here I’m afraid. This was my first tape. It was no ordinary love. First there was a television. At some point the most appealing thing on it switched from being Wanderly Wagon to Top of the Pops. Maybe it’s the mists of time getting in my eyes but it feels like I was only moving from one stage of the magical mystery tour to another. Both offered a way out. It was just the mode of transport changing. One day my escape route was via a caravan that flew and the next it was an altogether different kind of carpet ride.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark performing Joan of Arc was what did it. That was the big bang. Its impact forced me to take matters into my own hands and go find it. The acquisition involved a long bicycle ride to Killarney followed by an explanation that OMD was not a battery. I didn’t mention the title. Those were big words in a small town.
The only place I could hear it was on the tape deck in the family car. Listening to OMD in the interior of RZX 675 was when I realised I could disappear and never be alone. The invention of solitude suddenly got easier.
I can still relate to all the hooks that made me fall for it so hard. It’s a perfectly formed emotional landscape. They were reimagining the electric dreams of Eno and Kraftwerk. The beating heart of the new romance was theirs.
As I plugged in to the new power source, the car battery drained. My next trip to Killarney was for spark plugs. Just another spin on the yellow brick road.