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hank you to Heloisa Flores for this transcribe from last nights (14.4.2020) Twitter #timstwitterlisteningparty with OMD and the Architecture & Morality Album.
//Trying Mellotron tape loop sounds and writing songs about Joan of Arc, we just pushed ourselves really
hard to try something even more radically different on this record! If you only know our synth pop hits..
welcome to a different journey!!
//We had put out two albums in 1980 and our early songs that we had thought to be “experimental” had
amazed us by being very popular.
//After the huge success of the single Enola Gay from our second album, we felt that we could do anything
that we wanted to.
TRACK 1 - THE NEW STONE AGE
//Stephen Waller: Who plays guitar on the first track? @OfficialOMD
//A: It was me (Andy)
//Thrashing two bar chords on a guitar tuned to open E, this song was actually written over the drums on
another failed track!
//We always used the multi track tape machine to create on. You can hear the original recording reemerging at the end to the tape!
//Pete Jenkins: Andy, what was the label's reaction to The New Stone Age as it was so far from anything
//A: The label trusted us after Enola Gay's success!
TRACK 2 - SHE'S LEAVING
//Really simple song. Drum Machine, bass guitar, old Vox Jaguar organ and the cheap Micro Preset synth
bought from my mother’s mail order catalogue.
//This was wanted by the label as the fourth single. After three top five hits it should have been another , but
I refused to “prostitute” our art by releasing another single. DUH! I was such a precious little git!
//Tom Livermore: Why was this only a single in Benelux? Great song!
//A: Since Maid was #1 in Belgium and Holland I allowed them to release a third single there (as Joan hadn't
//Ian Cooke: Great song in the live set.
//A: It’s @stukershaw's favourite song to play live!
//John Irelan-Hill: How is Malcolm?
//A: He’s really well thanks
TRACK 3 - SOUVENIR
//The first single from A&M released in summer 1981. Paul created the ethereal backing track from tape
loops of a choir.
//The drums were Roto-Toms not a kit - we had to insist that the producer didn’t make us be conventional.
First single that Paul ever sang on.
//the fall of icarus: @OfficialOMD how did the bauhaus architectural movement influence your music?
//A: Nothing specific but always loved modernist architecture!
//New Romantic Fangirl: What was your worst - or best! - ‘80’s fashion moment? #timstwitterlisteningparty
//A: My jumpers!
//aidan berry: Who decided which of you would lead on vocals and was there much of a fight ?
//A: If Paul wrote the song he did vocals!
Fi: Did the choir know they were on Souvenir?
Heloisa Flores: Any good memories from recording the video to Souvenir?
//A: Loved being in the English countryside in the sunshine
TRACK 4 - SEALAND
//Inspired by the fact that we grew up surrounded by water on the Wirral Peninsula. Intentionally minimal...
like a sea shanty requiem.
//We had written a ode to the Stanlow oil refinery the year before... there is a place called Sealand in Wirral
//Also inspired by the German band Neu’s track Seeland
//Chris Jones: Am I right Andy your father worked at Stanlow?
//A: Yes, my dad worked at Stanlow
//Mark Dignam: Always thought it referred to the Sealand in the Thames Estuary. My favourite track on this
album. Maybe favourite OMD track ever. Ridiculously melancholy. Makes me feel like I’m in love with the
//A: It refers to Sealand on the Dee Estuary
//John Silcock: I remember a fighter plane outside - the highlight of our drive into North Wales on holiday
//A: A spitfire!
//c: what’s all the banging going on at 5:50
//A: Synth white noise!
//Edward Douglas: This is such a strange song to me, someone who is more familiar with @OfficialOMD's
uptempo poppy and danceable songs. There is as chance I never had this album.
//A: Hope you're enjoying the journey. There is more to us than the hits!
//Ron Simms: Love how much empty space there is on Sealand. Too many songs unnecessarily cluttered
//A: Space through necessity! We didn't have many instruments - it was a blessing
TRACK 5 - JOAN OF ARC
//The band had toured in France in Spring 1981 and the support band noted that many of the cities were
associated with Joan of Arc. I was determined to write a song about Joan.
//Mateusz: Was this song complicated to write?
//A: One of the easiest we ever wrote, Just fell together
//The first track wasn’t working... So I wrote another... This one! Written on May 31st. The 550th anniversary
of her death. This was the second single.
//Went to the library and borrowed loads of books to do my geek research.
//Mateusz: Any recordings of the first recording lost in time?
//A: No because we actually took our demo masters and overdubbed on the final versions - sorry!
//tokenwelshman: The choral-sounding voice in the background is incredible
//A: The falsetto voice is me!!
//ApolloZero: Are you Catholic?
//A: I’m an atheist!
TRACK 6 - JOAN OF ARC (MAID OF ORLEANS)
//The first Joan song written. Malcolm our drummer asked what happened to the waltz time Joan song. I
said that I had scrapped it!
//He told me to bring the multi track tape to the Manor studios where we were completing the album. “I’ll
play on it and it will work!“ He did! And it did!
//Third single. I so wanted to mess with people’s heads by having two consecutive singles with the same
name. The label were having none of it! Still, getting a hit that starts with 40 seconds of distortion is pretty
//Declan Shiels: Maid of Orleans, try dancing to this as the first dance at your wedding, not easy I can tell
you @OfficialOMD @Tim_Burgess #timstwitterlisteningparty
//A: Not a good way to impress the in-laws!
//Paul Whitehead: Was this meant to sound like bagpipes? I always picture a misty sea loch
//A: No - it's a mellotron violin setting that happens to sound like bagpipes
//susan: what’s the distortion at the beginning?
//A: Us overdriving the desk to elongate the beginning as the song is so short
//Just topping up my Jack Daniels - keep the questions coming
//Fidi Loola: Wasn't it the most played song here in Germany that year?
//Anneke van der Meer: Why did you choose Fountains Abbey as a location for the music video ?
//A: Director chose it - we were lucky with the snow
TRACK 7 - ARCHITECTURE AND MORALITY
//The title track. The name was suggested by Martha Ladley from Martha and the Muffins taken from a book
//This was written completely from scratch at the Manor Studio.
//Backwards Gregorian chant, smashing rocks in the drum room and a little bit of a steal from Laurie
Anderson’s Oh Superman.
//Mike Donnelly: Do wish you had put The Romance of the Telescope on A&M?
//A: In hindsight yes. It remains the agreed favourite song of both Paul and I
//Martin Grayston: A&MSounds great with headphones on as the sound moves from one side to the other
//A: Glad you like it - completely fun and totally experimental
TRACK 8 - GEORGIA
//Song about International Geo politics. Georgia is the state that was in the old USSR. You have to
remember the Cold War was still happening and we all tough that someone would push the red button and
condemn us all.
//Couldn’t think of a chorus so we randomly chopped up tape recordings of radios and spun it in!
//Morning Star is the socialist newspaper and the words at the end reflect that if we survived the
apocalypse we would be dancing in the ruins!
//Edward Douglas: Your label must have given you a LOT of leeway to do this sort of thing. I'm guessing
A&R didn't walk in while you were making this song :)
//A: The label trusted us - wouldn't happen these days!
//Anneke van der Meer: Did you ever visit Chernobyl? There you can dance in the ruins of the Cold War!
//A: Sadly never been to Ukraine or Russia. Need to change that!
TRACK 9 - THE BEGINNING AND THE END
//The final track and another song about the apocalypse. The album’s epitaph. Turned into a song of
farewell to love - I was such a cheerful boy!
//Hand played marimba and the beautiful Mellotron Boy’s Choir fades out.
//AudioPluginTreats: The simplest song on the album, but the use of tapes at the end takes it to another
level, among my favorites on the album. As proto sampling goes this is a winner
//A: The end of the song was added during the recording to give it a darker twist!
//Great to get a drummer off his kit and playing guitar live at the @RoyalAlbertHall the other year - thanks
//Paolo_Gerard: Old school drum machine rhythm? Background
//A: It was our oldest drum machine which we bought before our CR78. Same one used on She's Leaving
END OF THE ALBUM
//Ian Townsend: Did you ever think this album would do so well, commercially or artistically? x
//A: We had no idea - we were just making music purely for ourselves. How lucky were we?
//Thanks so much to @Tim_Burgess for hosting. We'd love to do another! For now I'll keep answering
questions for a bit! Andy
//Cheryl Wright: Did you really think this was your last album back then?
//A: Yes. We had never expected the success, we were exhausted. Of All The Things We've Made (b-side to
Maid) was supposed to be our last ever OMD song.
//Darren Jones: Do you still own old musical equipment from A&M days?
//A: Still got quite a lot of it surprisingly. Only half of it works!
//Shirls: Is there anything about the album you and Paul disagree on - or would neither of you change a
thing? Apart from including Romance?
//A: Great question. In hindsight we are very happy with it. At the time we always had minor disagreements!
//Andrew Tekle-Cadman: I've always thought the title showed that Andy and Paul knew they had created a
masterpiece with 'Architecture and Morality' - if the album wasn't so sublime, a track with that title could
seem pompous, but it doesn't - just wonderful.
//A: Ha - we were lucky that the quality of music lived up to the pompous title. Again we have to thank
Martha for leading us to the original book!
//Alan Kyle: Did you buy a Korg Micro Preset synth off Ebay, and you was bidding against Paul for the
same synth? :-)
//A: That synth has now been cannibalised to replace the original Micro Preset!
//Andy: If you could rerecord any track differently, which one and why?
//A: I still hate the sound of the bass drum on Joan of Arc. Sounds like a cardboard box!
//Tentin Quarantino: Did you ever think you'd still be doing it 40+ years on ?
//A: Heck no!
//Ian Cooke: Andy can you talk future islands into doing one of these.thanks for introducing them to my life.
//A: I’ll email them - the Singles album is brilliant @futureislands
//IJH: @OfficialOMD Andy how high do you rate A&M in your vast canon of works?
//A: It’s right up there. The Punishment of Luxury in its own way is as good
//Marilyn: Were there any other designs that were considered to be used for the cover art of the album?
//A: No - Peter delivered it and we loved it instantly
//StuKershaw: Thanks Andy it was an honour and a pleasure, brother xx
//A: Thanks Stu - see you at rehearsals when all this is over!
//HowieFiveO: Experiments in Vertical Take Off ..What happened with this track ? On the cover of the
12inch Maid Of Orleans ..but not on the record .. #timstwitterlisteningparty
//A: It is The Romance Of The Telescope!
//Edward Douglas: Did Motion and Heart appear on another record? I totally remember this from those
days so I must have had it on my "OMD Compilation Tape" (I made a lot of these before coming to NYC in
//A: We did an Amazon version that has been released
//LFCishy: whats been your favourite video Andy out of all your tracks ??
//A: Easy. Walking on the Milky Way
//Erik Smalbrugge: Andy, do you still have some wishes (musicwise) or do you think you've acomplished
just about everything?
//A: We keep doing new things which is amazing. There's a museum project coming up in 2022 - watch this
//Mike Andrew: Andy, do you always plan the live set to have a ‘slow’ song after Maid of Orleans so you
can have a rest?
//A: Too right!
//Thanks to everybody. Sorry if we haven't answered your question. We would love to do another one if
@Tim_Burgess isn't too busy!
OMD Cover The Jean Genie live music in the studio from Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark on the Zoe Ball breakfast show. 15th November 2019 This is OMD doing The Jean Genie.
We took your questions and we asked them.
This is a up close and personal interview with Andy
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