29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
There's not much difference between OMD's Best Of and their Singles collection. All the real classics like Maid Of Orleans, Joan Of Arc, Electricity, Souvenir and Tesla Girls appear on both and those few tracks that are different are not their best. So if you prefer We Love You, La Femme Accident and Genetic Engineering to Sailing On The Seven Seas, Dream Of Me and Walking On The Milky Way, go for this one! You will still get their more experimental first outings like Electricity plus their spacey, magnificent later work from Architecture And Morality. OMD was one of a slew of original UK synth-duo's that emerged in the early 1980s, along with Yazoo, Eurythmics and Soft Cell. OMD's mark of distinction is their elegant, almost classical structures and mournful moods, best demonstrated by Joan Of Arc and Maid Of Orleans. They were the architects of some truly remarkable and timeless sonic sculptures.
46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
I've always looked upon The Best of OMD as the most disposable CD in my collection, so I thought it would be fun to review it, as a change of pace if nothing else. I can't begin to say how many years it had been since I listened to this album. It's actually a bit serendipitous, as just recently I've begun trying to get a handle on this whole "synthpop" thing, never remembering I had a musical retrospective of one of the more influential synthpop groups close at hand all the while. I still can't tell you exactly what synthpop is, at its simplest, it's pop music played primarily on synthesizers. To me, though, synthpop primarily translates to musical memories of the 1980s, and I've never made a secret of my love for all things 80s, especially the music.
Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark had a long and successful career, but they achieved mega-success with only one song. If You Leave, from the soundtrack of that seminal 80s film Pretty in Pink, towers over the musical landscape of the 1980s. If I had to pick one tune that represented the decade of my youth, I would probably choose If You Leave. I'm still perplexed why the song never rose above #4 on the US charts. I originally bought this CD because of that one awesome song, and this probably explains why I didn't really "get" this music at the time, especially since a majority of the tracks date back to the group's earlier years. OMD first appeared on the music scene in 1979 with the song Electricity, a catchy but rather ephemeral track that managed to win them a recording contract. Their early recordings are hard for me to classify; I believe Enola Gay made the top ten in the UK in 1980, but this song always seems to hang around in my head to the point of being annoying after I listen to it. Tracks such as Joan of Arc and Maid of Orleans demonstrate the growing musical maturity of the group, though.
OMD began to hit their stride with the release of the album Junk Culture in 1984. Tesla Girls, in particular, is a much tighter, certainly much more energetic song from the somewhat experimental products that had come before. This song almost demands to be danced to (but not by me, of course) and had what earlier tracks did not - pop appeal. Locomotion has a more pop-oriented sound, as well, but its good points are all but nullified by the constant repetition of a certain silly phrase. Talking Loud and Clear, a third track from Junk Culture, also suffers from repetition and a stultifying level of musical restraint. The group's pop-oriented synthpop sound continued with the album Crush in 1985, with OMD finally finding significant success in America with the single So in Love. Secret taps into the kind of teenaged lovesickness that fueled much of the best of 80s music; back then, a crush could actually be an innocent albeit heart-wrenching thing that basically defined adolescence. For the first time, OMD was beginning to sound (to me, anyway) like the group that would go on to record the era-defining song If You Leave.
A defining sense of melancholy seemed to characterize all of OMD's music, from weighty songs such as Forever Live and Die to pop-oriented tracks such as the excellent Dreaming. This collection's final two tracks, 12" versions of We Love You and La Femme Accident, close things out with great energy, but the songs you take away from this album are those more poignant offerings from the mid-80s, great tracks such as So in Love and If You Leave. Listening to this album now, I think I appreciate the music much more than I did all those years ago. OMD may not have hit the charts all that often, but theirs is a typically 80s sound that helped define the decade and did much to shape the development of synthpop. Needless to say, I am no longer inclined to look upon this CD as in any way disposable.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2005
I originally bought this CD for the well-known "If You Leave" track. I honestly never listened to any other songs until my husband and I went on a road trip. It is AWESOME! Honestly, I was just a little kid in the 80's but have always loved the music. And this CD is a great one to have if you're trying to build up a good 80's collection! The best songs (in my opinion) on the CD are: Electricity, Enola Gay, Souvenir, So in Love, Secret, If You Leave, and (my husband's favorite) Dreaming. Get this CD...you'll love it!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2005
I bought this cd because I heard the song If You Leave on the radio. And guess what? The cds surprised me because its so good. I love 80's music, especially new wave 80's songs, so this cd was definatly worth it. The music is amusing at times, and you can definatly tell that its from the 80's. The instruments are very beautiful, and its more outdone with the instruments and doesn't just focus on the song mostly, like a lot of music does now. Either way, I really liked the cd. -^_________^- I hope my random rambling review is helpful to some people. If not, sorry, I'm not good at this. -_-'
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2006
I never thought much of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark until I got this collection. Now I think quite alot of them. This disc is simply a must for fans of early 80's music, specifically the synth/pop genre. I enjoy every track here, but there are a number of them that really stand out. "Enola Gay" was a big hit, and can be found on many an 80's compilation. "Souvenir" is a simple and almost moving song that I enjoy. "So In Love" was a nice surprise to me, as I've always liked it alot, but didn't know it was an OMD song until now. Then there's possibly their biggest hit "If You Leave", which was on the great "Pretty In Pink" soundtrack. However, to me the best thing on here is easily "Forever Live And Die". That song is just one of the magic 80's hits for me, with a perfect beginning, and overall one of the coolest of the decade. The rest is still a pleasure, and a welcome addition to my CD stack.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2005
Once there was a time when music was fun to have... when people really loved covers/lyrics and even the music itself. Me, as an electronic music lover, I have fond memories of this little band from England. There were so many at the time... there were so many English guys who really wanted to make their mark with synthesizers and special effects etc. Like them, OMD succeeded in this. I remember Enola Gay as their first (even because id didn't chart in our country) and Souvenir as their 2nd single succes. The synth hooks are sometimes amazing an I think that my favourite here is Secret. As you see with other 80's bands nowadays, I like to see a reunion of them. They were one of the few that knew how to catch a sound that stays in the mind. Thanks Guys.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2006
Though I was a child of the 80's, I was too young to truely appreciate most of the music. I am a relative new comer to OMD though I have known a handful of their hits for a longtime now. I bought this CD recently and I listen to is all the time. The songs are so pretty and fun to listen to. I get so may of the songs in my head!!! Highly recommended if you love that classic New Wave sound!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2009
I was a massive fan of OMD way back in the early 80s, and have stayed a massive fan of them ever since. I actually bought this on cassette when it first came out in 1988 and then later replaced it with this CD (probably in about 1990). This contains all of their big hits from 1978 to 1988. They were popular in England long before they were popular in the US. In their early days, OMD didn't seem to follow the standard verse-bridge-chorus-verse style of writing of their songs, which made them different. To be honest, the fact that they were different is probably what made me such a big fan. While most other bands were doing that slushy love stuff, these guys were singing about their local telephone box, genetic engineering, the atom bomb and Joan of Arc.
After the Dazzle Ships album in 1983, they seemed to get a bit more timid about trying something different and became more safe and standardized and, although still quite experimental compared to a lot of other bands and it was still great music, it was a bit more mainstream than their earlier stuff.
The best song, for me, has to be Maid of Orleans, which the band actually weren't going to put on the Architecture and Morality album and then changed their minds at the last minute, in the UK it turned out to be one of their biggest singles. The instrumentation on it is superb and I still think it's is one of the best songs to come out in the 1980s.
All in all, if you're new to OMDs music, then I'd start with either this or their 1981 album, Architecture and Morality, which will give you a great idea as to what they're all about. After the departure of Paul Humphreys, Martin Cooper and Malcolm Holmes in 1989, although the music was still great, it just wasn't quite the same. This is, by far, the best collection you'll find of OMD.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2005
This CD is totally awesome! :-) I have the vinyl, which I purchased in the 80's, of course, and loved and loved until it got a bit scratchy. The songs originally on the viny which come on the CD are wonderful like I remember them :-) This CD comes with some extra songs, which at first listen I could take or leave; they sound like "B-side" songs (hmmn... does today's CD-generation or MP3-generation know what that is?), so they're a bit, um, "different", but I am starting to get used to hearing them. I'd probably miss them now if I switched to the regular version of this CD.
All-in-all, a totally awesome, rad CD, dudes! :-)
P.S. I had the CD playing when a 15-year old was over, and she asked me what type of music it was, when it was from and who was it. I told her it was New-Wave, and the basic year range, and that it was Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark / OMD, and they were awesome. She agreed! :-)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2008
I just love this CD... it brings back so many great memories of my teenage years back in Germany in the 80s. It really captures the new wave/synth music which was so popular back then in Europe and played on the radios and clubs all the time. I especially love their early song "Souvenir". This CD is one of my all time favorites...