Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cassette experiment day 7 - OMD 'Crush'

Here’s a tip – If you have anything that you consider to be in the slightest bit precious please don’t store it in a cold, damp loft.
Today’s tape received an awful lot of play on assorted  cassette players in Minis, Triumph Heralds, Ford Escorts, Morris Travellers, Renault 5s etc., and then it was placed in the aforementioned loft (or to be more precise, lofts) for over twenty years – and now it doesn’t sound too good. I guess that’s one of the reasons cassettes have become so unloved and unappreciated.
Musically though, if you ignore the sonic murk that has been deposited by the intervening years, it’s still an impressive listen. For the first time on this album the OMD boys (still just in their mid-20s remember) pretty much abandoned their love of electronic experimentation and embraced POP with all of their eight arms. The album cracks away with the chirpy ‘So in love’ and the pace continues brightly, only dipping slightly at the dawn of side 2 with the murkier (and not just on this copy!) ’88 seconds in Greensboro’ and ‘The Native Daughters of the Golden West’, then picking up again with two of their finest tracks ever committed to vinyl (or, in this case, tape) ‘La Femme Accident’ and ‘Hold You’. Tucked away on side two at bands (that’s a technical term!) 3 and 4 they really do merit another listen, as does the whole album.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (to give them their Sunday name) had previously released albums that were better than this, but subsequently they were never as good again – sorry boys.
Label – Virgin Records
Year - 1985
In an attempt to conquer the accumulated years of murk on these tapes I managed to find four (!) old head cleaner tapes, including one from HMV with the prophetic slogan ‘Know HMV – Know Music’. In Durham and many other places this is about to become a reality.