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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


Robyn - Body Talk 1 & 2
I remember the first time I heard ‘With Every Heartbeat’, and I was like: “When are the strings going to stop? They’re not going to stop… Oh wow, that’s cool. That’s deliberately restrained, they won’t release it, they’re holding it down… How good is that?” It’s her and Andreas Kleerup. The Kleerup album almost went in here. He’s at the mercy of whoever is singing, but the music is relentlessly brilliant. I’d got into Robyn from her previous work, and I was waiting for this one. People were talking about it because of the ‘Dancing On My Own’ single, but I didn’t go to that, I went straight to the album - the album version is so much better than the radio version. The album version is all “diggadiggadiggadigga boom crash crash”, then she comes in and it’s the best song for dancing and crying to. And then ‘Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do’ – fucking genius! On the next album there’s ‘We Dance To The Beat’. It’s interesting, because it’s taken this girl from Scandinavia to actually take electronic music forward because she’s got a pop sensibility. She’s steeped in Scandinavian R&B pop, so she’s not afraid to rap, she’s not afraid to sing pop as well as bleed over electro beats. She gives it these extra twists that give it a contemporary feel, whereas some of the UK, American, even German pop acts take music from our era and create a retro pastiche. I actually wrote a piece for Pitchfork when they asked me for my top ten records of 2010 and I said, “No, I’ll do you a Top One and call it Why Robyn Is The Greatest Musical Artist In The World Right Now.” It was a song in praise of her. I’ll admit that prior to Body Talk Pt. 1 I really believed that music had utterly entered a post-modern phase and there was nowhere else to go, and it actually restored my faith in going forward. It made me say to Paul: “Could we go forward? Is there a way we can move on? We should try.” So it inspired us to make English Electric.