Catching up on forty years. 1981: Souvenir – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

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This is the year that Prince Charles and a certain Lady Dianna married.  This is the year AIDS was identified.  This is the year that Microsoft’s MS-DOS was released.  This is the year the SDP were formed.  This is the year the London Marathon was first run.  This is the year that MTV was launched.  This is the year that the first copy of Queen’s Greatest Hits was sold…and still going strong.

This is the year my love for electronic music came to life.  One evening, on a radio station buzzing with interference (it always seemed to be so much worse in the evenings) I started to hear the strange new sounds of groups like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. A long forgotten group called After The Fire.  Heaven 17’s Penthouse and Pavement. Visage’s Fade to Grey.  Ultravox’s Vienna.

1981 was after all the year of Architecture and Morality, which started it off for me.  I’ve gone for Souvenir which is probably one of their more mainstream numbers, because it evokes so much that cleanness of sound that came from early ’80s electronica.   The one downside is probably one of the dullest videos below, but a quick search on youtube will uncover lots of arm swaying and dad dancing to uncover the true joy of this song.

A dishonourable mention has to be made for two of the worst songs EVER made that also came out in 1981 – The Birdie Song by The Tweets and Joe Dolce Music Theatre’s Shaddup You Face.


See also Living with…Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark…for a week.