OMD Books

 

 

 

Messages- The OMD Biography (By Johnny Waller and Mike Humphreys)

As this book was originally published in 1987, it is by no means a complete biography of the band's entire history; it ends with group returning to Liverpool from America in order to '[begin making] plans for the rest of 1987', and therefore doesn't even hint at their soon-to-come-breakup, which saw Paul Humphreys, Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper leave the group (eventually to form their own outfit 'The Listening Pool'), and Andy McCluskey continue writing, recording and touring as OMD, alone.
However, the fact that the book was written during the band's heyday (and therefore doesn't chart their complete career) also lends it a certain freshness. Events move fairly quickly, and although this may be in part due to the speed of the OMD's rise to fame (one example of this being that as soon as the band had finished building their own recording studio with their bare hands, they then had just three weeks to record their debut album), it is also due to the skill of the writers who, as well including a satisfactory amount of technical detail, manage to make the book intimate and interesting. Also adding to the intimacy of the book is the number of quotes included- primarily from the band themselves.
Some inform the reader about the origin of OMD's songs (''Apollo' [from 1984's 'Junk Culture'] is just about this incredible black girl I met in Montserrat- it's about hedonism and sex!' said Andy McCluskey), some describe what it was actually like to be in a famous band ('the massive crowds, the sell-outs...girls trying to get on stage to kiss us' Paul describes), whilst some just explain the band's commercial decisions ('OMD's sixth album was called 'Crush'..."because of the number of love songs amongst the material" explains Andy').
The book also includes a discography, and a particularly interesting section titled 'Where Are They Now?', describing the fates and fortunes of some of 'the people that have been instrumental in OMD's career'.

Overall, although in terms of the actual standard of writing, it isn't exactly 'War and Peace', 'The OMD Biography' represents a work that every fan would almost certainly want to have written about their favourite band; it has quotes, humour, and anecdotes that the band probably wouldn't want repeated!