Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Junk Culture (1984) {Deluxe Edition 2015} [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Junk Culture (1984) {Deluxe Edition 2015}
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:53:02 minutes | 2,33 GB | Genre: Punk, New Wave
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Universal Music GmbH

30 years after the release of O.M.D’s Junk Culture comes the remastered double HighRes-Deluxe Edition. Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys returned to the Virgin Archives to revisit the album. The album was remastered at Abbey Road and the other tracks featured on double album have previously only been available on vinyl.

Frontman Andy McCluskey explains the origins of the two never heard before tracks included: “All or Nothing is a complete song featuring Paul Humphreys on wistful triple tracked lead vocals. It is possibly the closest that OMD ever came to a folk song courtesy of Paul’s organic harmonic singing. 10 to 1 is a forerunner of Love and Violence. Musically there is almost nothing that hints at the explosive instrumentation of the final version. There is only part of a chord sequence that sees the accompanying vocal melody climbing precariously to its climatic crescendo in each verse that is retained by the final recording. The majority of the lyrics never survived to be included in the version that was released, only part of the second verse”.

Smarting from Dazzle Ships’ commercial failure, the band had a bit of a rethink when it came to their fifth album – happily, the end result showed that the group was still firing on all fours. While very much a pop-oriented album and a clear retreat from the exploratory reaches of previous work, Junk Culture was no sacrifice of ideals in pursuit of cash. In comparison to the group’s late-’80s work, when it seemed commercial success was all that mattered, Junk Culture exhibits all the best qualities of OMD at their most accessible – instantly memorable melodies and McCluskey’s distinct singing voice, clever but emotional lyrics, and fine playing all around. A string of winning singles didn’t hurt, to be sure; indeed, opening number “Tesla Girls” is easily the group’s high point when it comes to sheer sprightly pop, as perfect a tribute to obvious OMD inspirational source Sparks as any – witty lines about science and romance wedded to a great melody (prefaced by a brilliant, hyperactive intro). “Locomotion” takes a slightly slower but equally entertaining turn, sneaking in a bit of steel drum to the appropriately chugging rhythm and letting the guest horn section take a prominent role, its sunny blasts offsetting the deceptively downcast lines McCluskey sings. Meanwhile, “Talking Loud and Clear” ends the record on a reflective note – Cooper’s intra-verse sax lines and mock harp snaking through the quiet groove of the song. As for the remainder of the album, if there are hints here and there of the less-successful late-’80s period, at other points the more adventurous side of the band steps up. The instrumental title track smoothly blends reggae rhythms with the haunting mock choirs familiar from earlier efforts, while the elegiac, Humphreys-sung “Never Turn Away” and McCluskey’s “Hard Day” both make for lower-key highlights.

CD1 #01 – Junk Culture
CD1 #02 – Tesla Girls
CD1 #03 – Locomotion
CD1 #04 – Apollo
CD1 #05 – Never Turn Away
CD1 #06 – Love And Violence
CD1 #07 – Hard Day
CD1 #08 – All Wrapped Up
CD1 #09 – White Trash
CD1 #10 – Talking Loud And Clear

CD2 #01 – Her Body In My Soul
CD2 #02 – The Avenue
CD2 #03 – Julia’s Song (Re-Record)
CD2 #04 – Garden City
CD2 #05 – Wrappup
CD2 #06 – Locomotion (Extended Mix)
CD2 #07 – Tesla Girls (Extended Mix)
CD2 #08 – Talking Loud And Clear (Extended Version)
CD2 #09 – Never Turn Away (Extended Version)
CD2 #10 – (The Angels Keep Turning) The Wheels Of The Universe
CD2 #11 – 10 To 1
CD2 #12 – All Or Nothing
CD2 #13 – Heaven Is (Highland Studios Demo)
CD2 #14 – Tesla Girls (Highland Studios Demo)
CD2 #15 – White Trash (Highland Studios Demo)