V 2261 ‹Dazzle Ships›
Produced by Rhett Davies and Orchestral manoeuvres In The Dark
Released on March 4, 1983
UK CHART POSITION #5 . . . US CHART POSITION #162
Find it at GEMM
V 2261 cover  

T he band had apparently been listening to Kraftwerk records in the dark of late (notably Radioactivity), sailing into ever-more experimental seas on Dazzle Ships. The snippets of man/machine commentary are interesting, from the surreal herald of “Radio Prague” to the pastiche of music and media on “This Is Helena” and “ABC Auto-Industry.” It’s clear that OMD was trying to make some sort of big statement, as if the itch of “Bunker Soldiers” still needed scratching, but the boys simply don’t have the musical chops to back up their revolutionary stance. Listen to the chilling “ABC Auto-Industry” give way to “Telegraph” and you’ll hear what I mean. As it turned out, unfortunately, “Telegraph” was their future. Dazzle Ships is the last time that wistful epics like “The Romance of the Telescope,” “Of All The Things We’ve Made” and “International” lumber past the screen. To my mind, they’re the best parts of Dazzle Ships; that the first two date from 1981 should tell you which maid has my affections. If I knock Dazzle Ships for being of uneven construction, note that it’s still better than the records that followed. Expectations were high after Architecture & Morality, and this half-ambitious followup was deemed more disappointing than dazzling by some. Few were willing to take OMD as seriously as they took themselves on Dazzle Ships, and it marked a turning point for the band. Subsequent albums would downplay the electronic experimentation and focus on pretty and bouncy electronic pop. The punky edge would also be softened in the crossing, so latter-day listeners may be surprised to find “Radio Waves” and “This Is Helena” so agitated. If I catch a ride on Dazzle Ships more often than most folks, bear in mind that I enjoy the poppier exploits of Brian Eno, Kraftwerk and Polyrock. It’s not the first OMD album you should own, but it may be the last.

V 2261 inner gatefold V 2261 inner sleeve
V 2261 inner gatefold V 2261 inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. RADIO PRAGUE    (arr. by OMD)    1:18
  2. GENETIC ENGINEERING    3:42
  3. ABC AUTO-INDUSTRY    2:06
  4. TELEGRAPH    2:57
  5. THIS IS HELENA    1:58
  6. INTERNATIONAL    4:26
  7. DAZZLE SHIPS (PARTS II, III & VII)    2:21
  8. THE ROMANCE OF THE TELESCOPE    3:26
  9. SILENT RUNNING    3:33
  10. RADIO WAVES    (OMD/Floyd)    3:44
  11. TIME ZONES    (arr. by OMD)    1:49
  12. OF ALL THE THINGS WE'VE MADE    3:23

    All titles by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark unless noted

CREDITS

M.H. COOPER --
M.A. HOLMES --
P.D. HUMPHREYS --
G.A. McCLUSKEY --
Maureen Humphreys -- additional vocals
Original tapes for Dazzle Ships provided by Sound Centre Radio
OMD -- engineer
Rhett Davies -- engineer
Ian Little -- engineer
Keith Richard Nixon -- engineer
Brian Tench -- engineer
M. Garrett, K. Kennedy, P. Pennington, P. Saville, B. Wickens for Peter Saville Associates -- design

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/CAN March 4, 1983 Virgin LP V 2261 diecut gatefold, inner sleeve
US March 4, 1983 Epic LP BFE 38543 inner sleeve
GER 1983 Virgin LP/CS 2/405 295 320 picture sleeve
UK   Virgin CD CDV 2261  
EUR   Virgin CD 86090  

 

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