Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English new wave/synthpop group formed in 1978, whose founding members, Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England. While steadily eschewing pop star status, the band cultivated a fanbase in the United Kingdom from 1978–1980. They gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 single "Enola Gay", and achieved broader recognition via albumArchitecture & Morality (1981)[a] and its singles. OMD garnered acclaim for their experimental recordings, which are noted for their intellectual depth.
Although retrospectively lauded, the challenging Dazzle Ships (1983) eroded European consumer interest during the mid 1980s; Junk Culture (1984) marked a shift toward more pop-oriented songwriting. Concurrently, OMD reached their peak in the United States and had a major hit with 1986's "If You Leave", written for the film Pretty in Pink. Humphreys departed in 1989 withMartin Cooper (various instruments) and Malcolm Holmes (drums) to form The Listening Pool, leaving McCluskey to lead the outfit; Sugar Tax (1991) and its initial singles were sizeable hits in Europe. By the mid 1990s, however, synthpop had become unfashionable amid the guitar oriented musical climate, and McCluskey dissolved the band in 1996, months after their last successful single, "Walking on the Milky Way". He founded pop group Atomic Kitten in 1998.
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