OMD Dazzle Ships, Live at the Museum of Liverpool E.P. Picture Disc.

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Live At The Museum of Liverpool: 12" Picture Disc- Released November/December 2015

Track Listing:
Side A:
1. Radio Waves
2. Genetic Engineering
3. Dazzle Ships (Parts II, III & VII)
Side B:
4. 4-Neu
5. International
6. The Romance of the Telescope
7. Dazzle Ships (Parts I, IV, V & VI) (Bonus Track)

Collectible picture disc releases from bands always seem to prove popular with their fans- and OMD's 'Live at the Museum of Liverpool' is certainly no exception. Upon the announcement of its release, it was initially thought that not even 300 copies would be sold; this was, of course, not the case, as sufficient orders came in and copies were also sold at the group's famed Royal Albert Hall performance on the 9th May the following year.

As for the record itself, as well as being an interesting collector's item, it also provides an insightful snippet of the level of energy that OMD has when performing. Also, despite it being that- just a snippet- somehow, the record manages to capture, and even enhance the essence of the original album from which the tracks are taken (1983's commercial disaster 'Dazzle Ships', which sold a meagre 300,000 copies compared to previous album 'Architecture and Morality', which sold about 3 million). However, it is the fractured compatibility of these songs that lends this record most of it's charm. Raucous first track 'Radio Waves' is a complete contrast to the majestic, almost-dictatorial 1983 single 'Genetic Engineering', whereas the second side is perhaps the more 'orchestral' of the two, with rousing ballads (of sorts) 'International' and (reportedly Paul Humphrey's favourite OMD song) 'The Romance of the Telescope'. 'Over decades/now this romance has sustained us all', the lyrics of the latter tell us- and they ring so true.

For the last four decades or so, it is the romance that fans have felt within OMD's songs that have kept them buying the records and kept the band going- even during the commercially darker times of records such as 'Dazzle Ships'.

OMD Dazzle Ships, Live at the Museum of Liverpool CD and DVD

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Dazzle Ships- Live at the Museum of Liverpool (Limited Edition Box Set) (Released 25th September 2015)



CD Tracklist:

1. Dazzle Ships 
2. ABC Auto Industry 
3. Sealand 
4. Messages 
5. Radio Waves 
6. Genetic Engineering
7. History Of Modern (Part I) 
8. Julia's Song
9. She's Leaving 
10. Souvenir 
11. Maid Of Orleans 
12. 4 Neu 
13. International 
14. Metroland 
15. Sister Marie Says 
16. Sailing On The Seven Seas 
17. Enola Gay 
18. Electricity 
19. The Romance Of The Telescope 

DVD Running Order:

1. Dazzle Ships 
2. ABC Auto Industry 
3. Sealand 
4. Messages 
5. Radio Waves 
6. Genetic Engineering 
7. History Of Modern (Part I) 
8. Julia's Song 
9. She's Leaving 
10. Souvenir 
11. Maid Of Orleans 
12. 4 Neu 
13. International 
14. Metroland 
15. Sister Marie Says 
16. Sailing On The Seven Seas 
17. Enola Gay 
18. Electricity 
19. The Romance Of The Telescope 
20. Documentary 
21. Q & A 

In 2014, OMD announced that they would be playing two very special gigs at the Museum of Liverpool on the 1st and 2nd of November of the same year, signifying the culmination of various Dazzle Ships-related projects- mainly overseen by the band themselves- including a mini-film festival, a new OMD exhibit in the museum, and the unveiling of an actual 'Dazzle Ship' (the name given to WWI ships decorated with bright, complex patterns in order to confuse the enemy) in one of the dry docks in Liverpool itself. 

Due to the unique nature of the gigs, the 1100 tickets were obviously in high demand. This demand was increased, however, when it was announced that, not only would the band be playing the full 'Dazzle Ships' track (complete with missing parts) at the gig, but it would also mark the first time the infamous reel-to-reel tape recorder 'Winston' (used by the band in their very early days) had graced any stage for thirty years.. The event was also the museum's debut as hosts of a music act of OMD's proportions, with Janet Dugdale, the museum's director saying how 'thrilled' she was that they were able to host the concert. 

'The Museum of Liverpool tells the story of the city's rich and fantastic heritage' she went on to say. 'To bring that story to life with a concert by OMD should be very special indeed'.

Watching the gig back on this DVD, it's exactly what you'd expect from an experienced group like OMD- professional and slick, but also hugely entertaining. It is the little added extras, however, that make the gig, as well as this CD/DVD package, extra special. 

For example, a few surprising songs are thrown into the band's set list for the gigs (most notably 'She's Leaving' and 'Sailing On the Seven Seas' the latter of which in particular prompting an outburst of windmill-like dancing from McCluskey), but also newer tracks from the band's 2010 and 2013 albums 'History of Modern' and 'English Electric' respectively. 

Despite the seamlessness with which these later songs are able to fit into a set of synth pop classics (and although some of the songs they play are yet to earn that title, they are all certainly deserving of it), it is obvious that it is the early tracks that are most lovingly received by fans. 'Julia's Song' (from the group's 1980 eponymous debut LP) begins and ends with rapturous audience applause, whilst worldwide hit 'Enola Gay' gets everybody dancing- much to McCluskey, Humphreys and Cooper's obvious delight. 

The twenty minute documentary and half hour Q&A is also a lovely addition to the DVD, as helps the viewer to understand a bit more about, not only the show they've just watched, but also the reasons behind it. There are also lots of interesting details included about the making of the 'Dazzle Ships' album itself, which despite on its initial release being a 'commercial disaster' for the band, is known today by many as a 'forgotten masterpiece'.

OMD History of Modern Tour, Live in Berlin

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History of Modern Tour- Live In Berlin 2010

Track Listing:

1. History of Modern (Part III & IV)
2. New Babies; New Toys
3. Messages
4. Tesla Girls
5. Bunker Soldiers
6. History of Modern (Part I)
7. (Forever) Live and Die
8. She's Leaving
9. Souvenir
10. Joan of Arc
11. Maid of Orleans
12. New Holy Ground
13. Green
14. Locomotion
15. Sister Marie Says
16. Pandora's Box
17. Sailing on the Seven Seas
18. Enola Gay
19. If You Want It
20. Electricity

To completely experience the 'electricity' of a live OMD performance, you really need to go to one. This album, however- recorded at the Tempodrom in Berlin- presents a valiant effort to recapture the atmosphere and energy that the band create when they are on stage.

Thankfully, most of songs are performed exactly as they were on the original records- rather than being extended, or having long, drawn-out 'ad-lib' sections that usually succeed in eradicating any excitement from the song, and often bore the audience half to death.

Listening to these songs- each delivered with the same, if not more enthusiasm than the last- also makes you realised what a diverse band OMD actually are. Playing, for example, Sailing On The Seven Seas (a track that was written and released when 3/4 of the band had actually left) followed by what is perhaps their most well known song, Enola Gay, not only gives the audience more than enough evidence of this diversity, but also gives the audience two of the best songs to come out of the last thirty years- one after the other!

Also, in order to increase interest in the actual product itself, the limited edition (and slightly more expensive) version of this album included a book of exclusive pictures from the 'History of Modern Tour' itself, plus prints of some of the band's handwritten notes and lyrics.

2008 – OMD Live Architecture and Morality and More CD and DVD

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2008 – OMD Live: 'Architecture & Morality' and More (CD/DVD)

Track Listing (CD):

1. Architecture & Morality
2. Sealand
3. The New Stone Age
4. Georgia
5. She's Leaving
6. Souvenir
7. Joan of Arc
8. Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)
9. The Beginning and The End
10. If You Leave
11. (Forever) Live and Die
12. Pandora's Box
13. Locomotion
14. Sailing On the Seven Seas
15. Enola Gay
16. Electricity
17. The Romance of the Telescope

Running Order (DVD):

1. Architecture & Morality
2. Sealand
3. The New Stone Age
4. Georgia
5. She's Leaving
6. Souvenir
7. Joan of Arc
8. Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)
9. The Beginning and the End
10. Messages
11. Tesla Girls
12. (Forever) Live and Die
13. If You Leave
14. Pandora's Box
15. Talking Loud and Clear
16. So In Love
17. Locomotion
18. Sailing On the Seven Seas
19. Enola Gay
20. Walking On the Milky Way
21. Electricity
22. The Romance of the Telescope

Recognised not only as the group's most successful album, but also as one of the go-to albums of early '80s electronic music, 'Architecture & Morality' had a lot to live up to when the OMD decided to perform it in its entirety on their 'comeback' European tour in 2007 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. As well as being recorded for a live CD, the performance was also filmed for an entertaining- if occasionally audience-dominated- live DVD, both of which prove more than sufficiently that OMD were (and still are) a band who knew how to keep their audience up on their feet and begging for more.

In terms of the concert itself, the most notable aspect is that tracks played from the 'A&M' album (numbers one to nine) are in a different order to that of the original. Perhaps, though, this is a good thing; inevitably it keeps the audience on their toes as it means they don't know what's coming next, and also results in the focus being taken off the fact that the band- not because of any decline in musical ability, but simply due to technical limitations- would never be able to completely recreate the same endearing ambiance that made the album as popular as it was upon its release in the chilly, gloomy November of 1981.

The contrast within the album- the tunefully naïve, and perhaps better-known songs ('Joan of Arc', 'Souvenir'), with the occasional rippled of an ominous undercurrent on the noticeably darker tracks (particularly 'The New Stone Age' and the title track)- is, in a way, reflected in this live album and DVD. For one band to go from the soaring choirs of 'The Beginning and The End', to the defiantly unique yet satisfyingly catchy 'Messages', then to the overt pop of 'Tesla Girls' is an achievement in itself, but to then go on to deliver another ten hit singles showcases enormous achievement and, perhaps, a large slab of electro-pop irony, for a group that, at its conception, were determined to remain as far from 'pop music' as they possible could. 'We're not pop, we're experimental!' Andy McCluskey once declared, describing how he and Paul initially felt when they were told they were writing pop songs.

Although there is no doubt that OMD's later songs were nowhere near as 'experimental' as their earlier work ('Architecture and Morality' sounds drastically different, and a great deal less commercial than their last album of the 1980s, 'Pacific Age'), going from the very audible reaction of the audience that can be heard in between every single track on this album and DVD, it doesn't sound like anybody minds.

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