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Architecture & Morality Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Mar. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B00007LZ2U
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,684 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

OMD Architecture And Morality (2003 UK 16-track digitally remastered CD issue of the 1981 album featuring the singles Souvenir Joan Of Arc and Maid Of Orleans plus 7 Bonus Recordings including Extended Souvenir Sacred Heart Navigation and Gravity Never Failed picture sleeve DIDCDR12)

BBC Review

After a delay in 2006, New Romantics old and, well...new can enjoy the highly anticipated release of OMD's Architecture and Morality, remastered and enhanced with DVD footage.

This third album from the bruised nucleus of bassist/singer Andy McCluskey and keyboardist/electronics enthusiast Paul Humphreys is often regarded as their seminal work, not least because it achieved critical and commercial success (over three million sales and several top ten hits) unlike its predecessor Organisation (for all its sonic ambition, overly challenging) and its follow up Dazzle Ships (which lacked memorable songs).

As the newly reformed group prepares to tour the UK in May, there is no better time to reconsider their contemplative, surreal and at times rather austere soundscapes, reminiscent of early 80's contemporaries including Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, Human League and The Cure. Crucially, despite similar penchants for stark portentous drum pads, sparse chiming keys and historical references in their lovelorn lyrics, OMD never achieved the same level of recognition, either here or aboard. Similarly their lineage to Bloc Party and the like goes unnoticed. Considering that OMD had been long-time collaborators in the late 70s working as VCL XI on 'digital echoes' of Kraftwerk and Eno (employing tape collages, home-made kit-built synthesisers, and circuit-bent radios) they certainly possessed the requisite vision and creative compulsion. So a second coming of the album is important.

Highlights include the winsome songwriting of ''Souvenir'' and ''She's Leaving'' plus the meditative instrumentals ''Architecture & Morality'' and ''Sealand''. The bonus tracks are by no means fillers either, as ''Sacred Heart'' illustrates.

For a band whose music is best enjoyed, as their name suggests, in the invisible shadows, an accompanying DVD is something of a liability. Indeed, upon cursory viewing it serves little purpose except to exhibit dodgy clothing, even dodgier dancing (witness McCluskey during their 1982 Drury Lane performance of ''Julia's Song'') and cringe-worthy miming/posturing in the music videos. Still, all the hits are impeccably performed live and 80s nostalgia junkies will be satisfied. On the whole, OMD deserve respect and adoration for their contribution to British pop music. --Amar Patel

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--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Calling OMITD's music "synth pop" doesn't do their music and this album justice; A&M is not Depeche Mode or the Human League! Okay, so the band used synthesisers but these were not the only instruments of their trade; as far as I'm concerned, it wasn't about what instruments they used but how they used them that gave their music that unique appeal.

A&M is a beautiful combination of synths, guitars, drums, sampled sounds and effects, bringing together OMITD's experimental and commercial sides. The album is an event, brimming with ideas. There's the frantic guitar on the opening track 'New Stone Age'. There's the gorgeous melody of 'Souvenir', and it's choral tapes. There's Andy McCluskey singing falsetto on 'Joan of Arc', providing that memorable haunting feeling. There's Malcolm Holme's distinctive drumming - one minute very minimal and dramatic as in 'Sealand', the next very rythmic as in 'Maid of Orleans'. There's the radio samples used brilliantly in 'Georgia'. There's the musical collage of the title track, consisting of the beautiful Mellotron Choir sound that builds to a dramatic climax. And what about the final song 'The Beginning and the End' that makes me want to start the album all over again.

The extended version contains additional tracks, mainly from their B-Sides. Sadly, and I don't know why, but the fantastic track 'Navigation' has been chopped at the end - which idiot made that decision? You'll have to buy Navigation (the B-Sides album) for the full version of this track. The DVD from the 1981 A&M tour is also a must. The production values are far better than the awful DVD from the A&M tour 2007.
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Format: Audio CD
This was the album that saw OMD break through to the wider commercial world.
The first two albums - OMD and Organisation - set up the shop for business with some superb songwriting. Songs like Messages, Electricity, Julia's Song, Enola Gay, Promise and Stanlow. Go and see for yourself! If the first two albums set the shop up, A & M well and truly opened it for business.
The musical climate of 1981 was changing. The spring had seen a crop of new British synth-based bands start to crossover to the mass appeal market. Synthdom was breaking out of the radiophonic workshop and laboratory and into the charts big-style. OMD had already started to pick up a formidable reputation, a support slot on Gary Numan's debut headlining tour in the autumn of 1979 providing the Birkenhead duo with a valuable shop window. Bassist/vocalist Andy McCluskey and synthesist/vocalist Paul Humphreys were already hitting their stride and the years 1979-85 saw them at the top of their game.
Recruiting help in the form of Martin Cooper (synths, sax, bass) and Malcolm Holmes (drums, electronic percussion), they duly took their material out live, with this line-up proving durable enough to last for several more albums.
'The New Stone Age' kicks the album off with Andy McCluskey's thrashed guitar and emotional vocal before they usher in the sublime pop of 'She's Leaving'. 'Architecture & Morality' spawned three stunning singles: the gentle but quirky 'Souvenir' (sung by Paul), the sheer craft of 'Joan of Arc' and then the almost atonal meeting between classic electronic pop and musique concrete in 'Maid Of Orleans'. As the two songs concerned Andy's obsession with the French maid who was burned at the stake, the latter was given the subtitle 'The Waltz Joan of Arc'.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite the tragic association with the second series of Alan Partridge, which has helped assist a snobbish response to O.M.D. by default, I feel the need to defend the band mostly known as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. 'A&M' took its title from a book entitled 'Morality & Architecture', the title suggested by Martha Ladly once of Martha & the Muffins and later associated with the Associates. The title fits perfectly the brilliant cover from Peter Saville Associates, who designed the majority of their sleeves (many of these are in an excellent book on Saville, well worth tracking down).

This version of 'A&M' is an extension of the extended/remaster from a few years ago, the major addition being the second disc which has DVD elements (video/live), mostly culled from a performance at Drury Lane. This is the deluxe version of the best-selling OMD album, one the fan's will have to get - if you're less certain, plump for the single disc remastered version which has all the b-sides/bonus tracks. I am one of the few who are hoping their masterpiece, 1983's 'Dazzle Ships' gets the same treatment.

The original nine-track LP is pretty perfect, advancing on the promise of the previous two albums and proving that the perfect pop of 'Enola Gay' was no one-off (which some might think when hearing the bleak electronic soundscapes of 'Organisation'). There is subversive pop, akin to 'Enola Gay', the subject this time being Joan of Arc, a figure who has been read in many ways (perhaps they had just overdosed on 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'?).
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