I’ve got this series underway that’s looking back at chart hits from 30 years ago, which is proving to be scary. If I had taken it back to 1980, then it would have been absolutely terrifying to realise just how long some pieces of vinyl have been in my possession.

Like the 10″ version of the first hit single, in May 1980, for Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. I often try and clean up some of the tracks that I post here, looking out for cleaner copies that don’t snap, crack, pop or skip. In this instance, I’m just going straight from the vinyl, which has survived reasonably intact, possibly as a result of the songs being pressed on a particularly hard piece of vinyl that would refuse to bend no matter how hard you would try (not that I did try…..well, not since the first couple of days after buying it as I had genuinely never seen a record that looked or felt like this particular piece of plastic).

mp3 : Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Messages

Two tracks on the b-side, one being a remix/instrumental version of the single and the other being an electropop take on a Velvet Underground classic:-

mp3 : Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Taking Sides Again
mp3 : Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Waiting For The Man

I’ve long thought that there’s a real sense of a bassless Joy Division to Taking Sides Again.

But 40 years ago?????????  C’mon………………………………………….



  1. I have this piece of plastic too, OMD did a string of utterly fantastic singles back then. Must confess I didn’t always understand (or like) all the album tracks – but oh my, the singles 1979 – 1983 were just fantastic – and still are 40 years on…

  2. Thanks for posting this JC. I’ve seen OMD live a good few times and I always giggle to myself when they play messages (a favourite) and then later on locomotion (which I can’t stand). We know they are both going to be on the set list and one I love and the other…don’t ask me about that awful steel drum sound…

  3. Wow! Flooded with memories. I don’t think I bought this in 1980, maybe ’81? It’s a very important part of my collection; not just because I was well on my way to forging my own musical identity but also because the 10” doubled as my ‘safe’.
    If ever I had money or anything of value that was personal – letters and the like – they lived safely (for a while) in this 10”. Until, that is, it was molested some years later by my older brothers who saw my savings as a way to buy ‘fags n lager’ and to ridicule me with my innocuous fan letters.

    After reading the article I sought out my wee, ahem, 10”. I eased it lovingly from its sleeve (that’s quite enough of that) and … still nestling inside was the original envelope in which I received my Bowie Serious Moonlight (Milton Keynes) ticket and the info leaflet. Not only that but my Murrayfield ticket too. Both tickets fully intact. Wow! Did I buy more than one Murrayfield ticket? I can’t remember.

    I then recalled queueing outside The Apollo overnight with a friend to get Murrayfield tickets. A fond memory.

    Bowie at Murrayfield ranks as one of the worst gigs on my life so much so that I did not go to Milton Keynes. I was a naïve devotee and was uber excited but he was just terrible.

    Support acts: Icehouse – amazing and a real thrill I was a fan when they used to be called Flowers. The Thompson Twins – full of pop energy and the place was set abuzz for Bowie.

    Bowie – flat, tinny and not worth the effort. I left after he murdered a few songs and went back to sit on the coach – gutted.

    So … JC, thanks for bringing all of that back and for allowing me to inflict it upon others.

    Next week: Flimflamfan sees some wallpaper that reminds him of ….

  4. Flimflamfan – At least you had the presence of mind to walk out on a Bad Bowie experience. You were smart. There were concerts I should have walked out on: Simple Minds 1986, Deborah Harry 1993. In fact about 30 minutes in I had resolved to walk out on Harry but then the show ended as soon as I had made my decision!! I was stunned. There there were the concerts I did walk out on. No regrets there. At least you saw Icehouse in 1983! What I wouldn’t have given for that chance.

  5. Of all the English synthy outfits that proliferated in the post-punk era OMD have aged the best. Well-constructed songs, immaculate production, earnest but never over the top performances. Great cover artwork, too. That’s saying something after 100 years.

  6. It’s hard to think of a lot of so called over played songs from the Post Punk Era as defined say 1978 – 87. Maybe I took a break from ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ or ‘Oblivious’, ‘Tainted Love” or ‘I Melt With You’ when alt radio cottoned on to them, but Messages, even Enola Gay and Electricity have always had a vibrancy and urgency for me that burst from the speakers and is so very satisfying.

    And as for bad Bowie experiences…I have never walked out on him, but I have never held my tongue when seeing Bowie live and he was crap. Serious Moonlight at Madison Square Garden and Glass Spider at The Meadowlands Stadium stand as my least favorite of his live shows I’ve seen. When the first two concerts of you ever went to were Bowie Diamond Dogs in summer 74 at 11 and then on the rejigged Soul Tour/Young Americans on Halloween of the same year, there was a lot for Bowie to live up to.

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