ORCHESTRAL MANOEVRES IN THE DARK
One of The Wirral Peninsula's most well know faces is Andy McCluskey from OMD is from Meols. Famously, to those old enough to remember OMD had a track called 'Red Frame White Light' which referred to the Public Telephone Box between the church and the Railway Inn. Hidden within the lyrics was the telephone number of the telephone box. OMD's worldwide appeal was such that fans would call the telephone number from all over the world
Featuring the core members Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey, the Merseyside synth-pop group Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark formed in the late '70s. Humphreys and McCluskey began performing together in school, playing in the bands VCL XI, Hitlerz Underpantz, and the Id. After the Id split in 1978, McCluskey was with Dalek I Love You for a brief time. Once he left Dalek,he joined with Humphreys and Paul Collister to form Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark. The group released their first single "Electricity" on Factory Records; the record led to a contract with the Virgin's subsidiary DinDisc. Using their record advance, McCluskey and Humphreys built a studio, which allowed them to replace their 4-track recorded with drummer Malcolm Holmes (formerly of the Id)and Dave Hughes (formerly of Dalek I Love You). In 1980, the group released their self-titled debut album. Organisation appeared the same year which featured the U.K. Top Ten single"Enola Gay" Hughes was replaced by Martin Cooper soon after its release. The band's next few albums -- Architecture and Morality (1981), Dazzle Ships (1983),Junk Culture (1984) -- found the band experimenting with their sound, resulting in several U.K. hit singles. Recorded with two new members, Graham and Neil Weir Crush, their most pop-oriented album, found more success in America than in Britain, as the single "So in Love" hit number 26 on the charts."If You Leave," taken from the Pretty in Pink, soundtrack was their biggest American hit, climbing to number four in 1986.
The Pacific Age was released the same year, yet America was the only country where it was popular. Shortly after its release, the Weir brothers left the band, followed by Holmes, Cooper, and Humphreys.McCluskey continued with the band, releasing Sugar Tax in 1991 in the meantime,Humphreys formed the Listening Pool. After Sugar Tax failed to gain an audience, Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark returned with Liberator in 1993, which also was ignored.It was followed three years later with Universal. The OMD Remixes appeared in 1998.