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Baker's Dozen

Souvenirs: Andy McCluskey Of OMD’s Favourite Albums
Ian Wade , April 8th, 2013 10:49

Andy McCluskey, one half of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, gives us the low down on his top 13 LPs

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark formed in 1978, after a couple of school friends – Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphries – attended a Kraftwerk show at the Liverpool Empire and decided then and there that they’d seen the future. So armed with a left handed bass, a few circuit boards and a drum machine named Winston, the duo soon signed to Factory (so far, so new wave Northern), and released the rather ace ‘Electricity’, and were soon asked to pale faced pop cyborg Gary Numan on tour.

Within a few years the duo were chart regulars, with an array of chorus-free but melody-laden gems such as ‘Joan Of Arc’, ‘Souvenir’ and ‘Maid Of Orleans’ regularly popping into the Top Ten, and in 1983 they released the slightly bonkers but deeply influential Dazzle Ships, which may not have sold much at all, but is held close to the hearts of Radiohead and Saint Etienne as well as a whole host of dance types. Alas no one noticed its strength at the time when it was seemingly nailed to the shelves, and so the duo set off on a more commercial direction playing to another of their strengths: pop nous. Not for nothing is their Best Of one of the greatest singles collections ever.

While Paul left and came back, Andy kept the OMD faith with a few more albums into the nineties, but come 1996 he’d had enough, so he went off and invented Atomic Kitten and wrote songs for other people. But by 2006 the pair were back together to tour Architecture & Morality as well as other earlier material, and also followed this up with the release of a new album, 2010’s History Of Modern, which went down rather well, and are now about to unleash the jolly tremendous English Electric in April.

We caught up with Andy during a whirlwind schedule of signings and radio promo to find out what albums make up his – and OMD’s – musical DNA.

OMD are off on tour in support of English Electric, beginning later this month; for more details head here. To begin scrolling through Andy's choices, click on the image below.