The Pacific Age – Released 29th September 1986
- Stay (The Black Rose and the Universal Wheel)
2. (Forever) Live and Die
3. The Pacific Age
4. The Dead Girls
7. Flame Of Hope
8. Goddess of Love
9. We Love You
10. Watch Us Fall
Despite the fact 'The Pacific Age' was an album that didn't go down well with the band themselves (it was written during 'a period where [OMD] lost the plot', Andy McCluskey claimed), it is also an album that made them seem more open and human than they had ever seemed before. Most of the songs are related to love (perhaps the reason why the group felt generally unsatisfied with the album), but in traditional OMD-style, none of the songs are particularly obvious- and all of the songs are beautifully unpredictable.
First track 'Stay' is an unexpected slice of 1960s pop (uncharted territory for OMD), whilst '(Forever) Live and Die' is contemplative, but with a catchy refrain that earned it the status of 'worldwide hit'. It is the last few tracks, however, that really give the album it's flair- 'Goddess Of Love' (originally intended for the 'Pretty In Pink' film until the storyline was altered at the last minute) and 'We Love You', are powerful, infectious and anthemic, made all the more impressive with the inclusion of electric guitars (a rarity for OMD).
Final track 'Watch Us Fall' holds an enchanting, poignant, beautifully-written story all of its own- 'last year you said/it's time to settle down/last time I saw you/you were still running around...'. The main essence of unpredictability, however, is in the album as a whole- its sound is raw, and one can hardly believe that it is the same band who, just three years earlier, released the mechanical, robotic 'Dazzle Ships' album.
It's almost-primal effect is also enhanced by the addition of two full-time members of the band (brothers Graham and Neil Weir) who's incredible flexibility as musicians (and 'unique' dancing style that often matched even Andy McCluskey's 'danse macabre') gave OMD a whole new dimension. ------ The Pacific Age!