Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

1980’sElectronic Dance Music

1980's electronic dance music
There were so, so many pop bands in the 1980’s. Anyone that had the itch could buy a small synthesizer, a carton of hair gel products, day-glo clothing with upturned collars, and a generally superficial sensibility, was already 90% of the way towards small club gigs. Add in an androgynous pre-emo sound, a few art-for-style’s sake lyrics and, voila, you had a 1980’s band. If a band only needs 2-3 people and the guitar and drum kit take a back seat, you most likely have the trappings of an instantly forgettable Top 40 hit.

But some bands rose above the rest. Not to say that they were particularly different sounding or differently inclined towards earnest and original experimentation. Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark (OMD), however, walked that fine line between absurdly irrelevant music and interestingly worthwhile. In other words, they sometimes got it right. You can still hear many of their songs on the satellite radio and not always on the obligatory 1980’s throwback hour. Some of the best songs of the electro-dance genre of the era came from OMD: Electricity, So in Love, and If You Leave. Here’s a video of one of their weirder hits. We love the backing “No!” vocals.

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