SWIT’s Classic Albums: No. 3 – Architecture & Morality – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Although now rightly lauded as one of the greatest albums of the eighties, on it’s release it got a mixed reception. Melody Maker said ” frivolity disguised by furrowed brows, a new brand of meaninglessness”. Charming. How wrong can you be? Maybe  Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark were a little too mainstream for some. In reality, it’s a masterpiece, there’s not a note out of place, every song is immaculate. It was a huge commercial success also, in a way scarcely imaginable by most artists today. It made the band very rich indeed. And what did they do with the money? Well….let’s see….

“Morrissey and I once stopped at some services on the M6 somewhere or other, and there was this top-of-the- range, brand-new big BMW, with three or four aerials sticking out of the roof. ‘Whose is that car?’ we pondered. It was Andy McCluskey from OMD, who’d made his packet and looked like he’d spent it on car aerials. Morrissey said, ‘He must be going to Liverpool.’ Morrissey was very insistent that I try and catch him up, and whether I could overtake him, to prove some weird point. This black limo I was driving was about 15 years old and McCluskey’s was a brand-new car. I couldn’t overtake it, but I did follow him for some time. Morrissey was in such a state of high excitement that he was crouched behind the driver’s seat holding onto the back, urging me to go faster. ‘Come on, you can catch him up!”

Dave Harper (Driver for The Smiths & Morrissey)

P.S. That’s a photo of my copy. It’s a beautiful thing.

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