Song of the Day, June 16: Electricity by Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark

OMDElectricityToday’s song is one of the most appropriate debut singles of all time. Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey had just begun working together as Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark when they landed a gig supporting Joy Division. Inspired by the experience, they sent a demo of one of their songs, Electricity, to Joy Division’s label, Factory. While the label head didn’t care for it, his wife did, and the duo landed their first recording deal.

It’s a magical song about the power of power. OMD explore our dependence on energy and the ways it can improve our lives. That conundrum is perfectly captured in the smart, pioneering synth-dance groove that propels the lyrics. Sung in an endearing style that laces the challenges with a fundamental optimism, it’s a well-crafted balance that you can dance to.

OMD tinkered with the sound a few times, releasing three different versions of the single before they felt they got it just right. While it barely dented the charts (hitting #99), the song set a high standard for the emerging genre and announced OMD as a major breaking talent. Vince Clarke of Erasure, Yaz and Depeche Mode fame has credited this track with inspiring him to begin working in electronic music.

Enjoy this groundbreaking, fun song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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