1988 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Dreaming
Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys met when they were in primary school. From time to time they played in several bands together. In 1977 they assembled The Id, a seven-person group that played at local clubs. They also worked on a side-project concentrating on synthesizers and other electronic experimental music that they called VCL XI. The Id fell apart in 1978, and later that year the two rejoined and renamed their side-project Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). They released the single Electricity three times in 1979 and 1980, but the single never charted.
In 1980 the group finally had success on the UK charts with their singles even though they still hadn’t reached the US Hot 100. Their first top ten single in the UK was Enola Gay, a protest song about the plane that bombed Hiroshima in World War II. Four more top ten singles followed over the next four years. Souvenir reached #3 and was their biggest hit during that period.
The group expanded to six members in 1985 and recorded So In Love. While the record failed to even reach the top twenty in the UK, it became their first US chart record when it reached #26 on the Hot 100 and #16 on the US Dance chart.
The makes of the film Pretty In Pink asked the group to produce a song for the soundtrack of the film. The song OMD selected did not test well with audiences, so the group wrote a replacement, If You Leave, in less than 24 hours. In 1986, The #4 single became their biggest Hot 100 record, but it failed to even enter the UK top forty.
In 1988, the band opened for Depeche Mode at the Rose Bowl and once again reached the US Hot 100 when the single Dreaming peaked at #16. The record was the first of four OMD singles to chart in the top ten on the US Dance Chart. The group never charted on the Hot 100 again.
Paul left the group in 1988 and formed a new group and took several other members of OMD with him. Andy began working as a solo artist with help from studio musicians but continued to release his records as OMD until 1996 when he declared the band inactive.
Andy and Paul reformed the band in 2006. OMD has appeared in concert sporadically and released new music as recently as 2019. They even released Electricity a fourth time, and while it didn’t chart on the regular UK chart, it reached the top of the UK Vinyl Singles Chart.
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