The Peel Sessions - Released 24th April 2000
1. Bunker Soldiers
2. Julia's Song
4. Red Frame/White Light
5. Pretending To See The Future
6. Enola Gay
8. Motion and Heart
10. The Misunderstanding
11. The More I See You
12. Genetic Engineering
13. Of All The Things We've Made
14. ABC Auto Industry
15. Electricity (Bonus Track, Factory FAC6 Version)
From 1967 to 2004, nearly 2000 artists were invited to record live music sessions for John Peel's Radio show, broadcast on weekday evenings on popular station BBC Radio 1. Tapes would be sent in by budding singers and groups (many of whom went on to become hugely popular artists, such as Madness and Yazoo) for whom the show presented the unique opportunity to showcase their music to the record-buying public.
The music Peel chose often leant towards more alternative music rather than typical pop (he was known for his eclectic taste), meaning that OMD's concoction of futuristic yet catchy synth melodies and matter-of-fact lyrics ('you have a yellow book/with adverts...there is a black lead/to a dial and phone') instantly attracted the DJ's attention.
Between 1979 and 1983, the group recorded four sessions for the show- all of which are included on this album, and all of which undoubtedly show OMD's capability as a band.
The first four tracks (all from the group's eponymous debut album) are raw and edgy, (particularly live-favourite 'Julia's Song'), and one can certainly imagine how barrier-breaking they must have sounded compared to the sickly-slick disco sounds of popular artists at the time, such as the Bee Gees, the Commodores and Donna Summer.
Though the almost-cold rawness is lost as the album progresses, the edginess of the songs is certainly not. 'The More I See You'- the undoubted highlight, which at times sounds even better than the original- is a glimpse into the mind of a man obsessed by the woman he loves (a feeling enhanced for the listener by McCluskey's intense vocal delivery), and, to this day, audience's still remain captivated by the hypnotic 'ABC Auto Industry' (taken from the album known as OMD's 'commercial suicide', 'Dazzle Ships').
Though the 'proper' versions of all of these tracks can be found elsewhere, their inclusion on this particular compilation album show OMD's enormous growth and progression as a band in a very short space of time.