Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark were a Synthpop group formed in the Wirral, UK, in the mid-70's by Andy [=McCluskey=] and Paul Humphreys.

Their real fondness was for bands like {{Music/Kraftwerk}} and Neu!. Their first three albums were filled with very intellectual stuff but had one or two hit singles each, keeping the record company happy (''very'' happy with ''Architecture and Morality'', which was an international hit album and spawned three hit singles, two [[ShoutOut about]] JoanOfArc). Their fourth just had the weird stuff with no hits. The record company had a little word with them, and subsequent albums were entirely written to the hit formula.

They split in the late 80s, with FaceOfTheBand [=McCluskey=] retaining the name and releasing three more albums, which were actually reasonably successful, while the rest of the former members formed issued one, not so successful, album as The Listening Pool. After a bit of a hiatus, during which [=McCluskey=] masterminded the early hits of AtomicKitten, among other things, the classic lineup reformed and has toured and recorded new material to some acclaim.

Albums:

* ''Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark'' (1980)
* ''Organisation'' (1980)
* ''Architecture & Morality'' (1981)
* ''Dazzle Ships'' (1983)
* ''Junk Culture'' (1984)
* ''Crush'' (1985)
* ''The Pacific Age'' (1986)
* ''Sugar Tax'' (1991)
* ''Liberator'' (1993)
* ''Universal'' (1996)
* ''History of Modern'' (2010)
* ''English Electric'' (2013)

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!!Tropes:

* AuthorAppeal: [=McCluskey=] definitely has more than a passing interest in Joan Of Arc.
* BreakupSong: The songs they're best known for in the USA, "So In Love" and "If You Leave" are both this.
* CaptainErsatz: They couldn't get permission to use a real EdwardHopper work on the cover of ''Crush'', so an in-the-style-of painting was commissioned instead.
* CoverVersion: VelvetUnderground's "Waiting For The Man"
* DooWopProgression: "Enola Gay"
* GenreRoulette: Not usually, but ''Crush'' is all over the place in stylistic terms, with everything from straight synthpop ("Secret"), to rock ("88 Seconds in Greensboro") to avant-garde ("Crush"), to BaroquePop ("La Femme Accident") to some weird pop + rockabilly + horn section mash-up ("Bloc Bloc Bloc").
* GreenAesop: "Electricity" advocates the use of solar power.
* IAmTheBand: Andy [=McCluskey=] for ''Sugar Tax''.
* IWantSong: "Atomic Ranch" is the creepiest one you will ever hear.
* LyricalDissonance: "Enola Gay", an upbeat song about [[UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki the bombing of Hiroshima.]]
** "Dreaming" is a poppy song about a person who is ''really'' disillusioned with his/her feelings for someone who refuses to commit to them.
* NewSoundAlbum / LighterAndSofter: After the panning given to the dark and angsty ''Dazzle Ships'', the band responded by making ''Junk Culture'', an album of jolly pop songs.
* NonAppearingTitle: Their two joint highest-charting UK hits (reaching number 3) both have non-appearing titles: "Souvenir" and "Pandora's Box". The latter was subtitled "[[RefrainFromAssuming (It's A Long, Long Way)]]" in the USA.
* NotChristianRock: Despite a lot of references to God, Joan of Arc, nuns, etc.
* PachelbelsCanonProgression: "Walking On The Milky Way", virtually chord for chord.
* PrecisionFStrike: "Garden City", "Crush"
* RockstarSong: "Walking On The Milky Way"
* ScienceIsBad: Inverted in "Genetic Engineering". Although many listeners took it to be a Science Is Bad song, WordOfGod says it was actually celebrating the ability of science to improve our lives.
* ShoutOut: "Pandora's Box" is about the actress Louise Brooks; "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans" are titular shout-outs to Joan of Arc (and both singles have sleeve art to match, the former even using her actual signature), though they don't seem to be about her, as such.
** "Sister Marie Says" is about a real-life nun, Sister Marie Gabriel, who made a number of prophecies of doom, including predicting that the world would end in a fireball following the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy with Jupiter in 1994.
* SelfTitledAlbum
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: ''Architecture And Morality'' famously has "Joan Of Arc" and "Joan Of Arc (Maid Of Orleans)". Both were released as singles, the latter being retitled "Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Joan Of Arc)". Also "Apollo" from ''Junk Culture'' and "Apollo XI" from ''Sugar Tax'' are completely different songs.
* StandardSnippet: Need an instantly recognisable riff to sum up the synthpop era? Then you need the intro to "Electricity"! Strangely, it was never actually a hit at the time. "Enola Gay", which ''was'' a hit, also serves the same purpose. When something more atmospheric is required, "Maid of Orleans" is a popular choice.
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: In theory there was a VocalTagTeam set-up in the band, but it was tilted toward [=McCluskey=] to the extent that Paul Humphrey's lead vocals effectively became this. Malcolm Cooper's rarer lead vocals are a less ambiguous example.
* TrainSong: "Locomotion", obviously.