OMD / half-speed mastered vinyl

First four albums • Half-speed mastered vinyl • Die-cut sleeves

As part of a year of 40th anniversary celebrations OMD are to reissue their first four albums on 180g vinyl, mastered at half-speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, to give them their full name, were formed
in 1978 by teenage friends Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys and they released their first self-titled album in 1980, which delivered the hit single ‘Messages’.

Organisation followed the same year, giving them their first top ten single ‘Enola Gay, while 1981’s Architecture & Morality was a massive success and featured three top ten singles, including ‘Souvenir’ (still their highest charting single, peaking at number three).

The next album Dazzle Ships (issued in 1983) saw the band get more experimental at the expense of any big hit singles. It wasn’t particularly well received at the time, but is now regarded as something approaching a lost classic.

All four albums are reissued on vinyl and housed in their original iconic die cut sleeves designed by the legendary Peter Saville. These are released on 2 November 2018.

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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - half speed vinyl mastered 180g vinyl


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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

organisation - half speed mastered 180g vinyl


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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

architecture & morality - half speed mastered 180g vinyl


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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Dazzle Ships - half speed mastered 180g vinyl


Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark (1980)

Side A
1           Bunker Soldiers
2           Almost
3           Mystereality
4           Electricity
5           The Messerschmitt Twins

Side B
1           Messages
2           Julia’s Song
3           Red Frame/White Light
4           Dancing (Instrumental)
5           Pretending To See The Future

Organisation (1980)

Side A
1           Enola Gay
2           2nd Thought
3           VCL XI
4           Motion And Heart
5           Statues

Side B
1           The Misunderstanding
2           The More I See You
3           Promise
4           Stanlow

Architecture & Morality (1981)

Side A
1           The New Stone Age
2           She’s Leaving
3           Souvenir
4           Sealand

Side B
1           Joan Of Arc
2           Joan Of Arc (Maid Of Orleans)
3           Architecture & Morality
4           Georgia
5           The Beginning And The End

Dazzle Ships (1983)

Side A
1           Radio Prague
2           Genetic Engineering
3           ABC Auto-Industry
4           Telegraph
5           This Is Helena
6           International

Side B
1           Dazzle Ships (Parts II, III And VII)
2           The Romance Of The Telescope
3           Silent Running
4           Radio Waves
5           Time Zones
6           Of All The Things We’ve Made

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I Love all four half-speed releases of OMD’s album, but has anybody had trouble with the download codes that were provided with the vinyl releases? I keep getting error messages for all four codes from the Sound of Vinyl website, OMDs host for the downloads? Ive contacted the OMD store, 100% AND The Sound of Vinyl site, they sent an additional replacement code, but that didn’t work either and they haven’t responded back to this new problem?

Julian Sleath

Same for me here in Canada. Just bought OMD and the download process is an endless loop of webpages over and over again without being able to register…….mind you it plays nice from vinyl on the turntable – hurrah. Takes me back to my first year at Uni. Played it all the time whilst setting up shows for the drama club. Even used a track in a student show for the Edinburgh Fringe.

James Lee

I doubt anyone will notice this comment after all this time but I must say these are fabulous LPs The sound quality is stunning.

Paolo Pardo

Thank you James… I was actually waiting for a review of the sound quality of these releases!

The Sound Foundation

Here’s a link to a piece I wrote about Peter Saville’s sleeve designs for OMD: https://goo.gl/BxrtBw

Mark Franklin

I absolutely adore Maid Of Orleans. Yes, their arrogance at the time was almost astonishing (Joan of Arc was the single and Maid of Orleans was also titled Joan of Arc, record company wouldn’t allow this though hence the brackets) but for a 2 verse only song to be this good with wonderful instrumentation to me, is a masterpiece.


These are 4 great albums. I have almost everything from 80’s OMD : albums, 7″ and 12″, flexis, etc. I probably won’t buy these remasters but would love to have a 12″ compilation with all 12″ long versions and remixes. There’s the so80s compilation but to my knowledge there’s ni Real extensive compilation. I’d love to have either a double CD compilation or box sets similar to Depeche Mode.

After Paul McCluskey’s gone solo (without Paul Humphreys), I had no interest in OMD. For me, the 90s period of OMD is dull. I renewed interest in OMD after Paul Humphreys came back and they reformed and started a new tour on 2008.


Of course you meant to say Andy McCluskey. Sugar Tax and Universal were two very good albums and in no way were they dull though Liberator was shit.


Liberator is very good, though has a few songs I don’t care for. I do not understand calling it feces.


I agree, liberator was, except 3 or 4 songs not worth the money and left me completely disappointed. It was almost kinda terrible bat, and as since you can find on every later release until now unfortunately . Feels a bit sad to me cause they were my first music love and still are somehow along my indie stuff, postrock and else.
I adore those early releases and so I will buy them again on vinyl . A new halfspeed master, carefully observed by Andy and Paul seems not to be only for the money. I hope. Gemstones they are without any doubt…a blackened depth and virtuosity at a time as yet DM were kidding around with cheesy popsongs…i still love OMD.

Michael Larson

I am also looking forward to the live recording they are putting out later this year for their upcoming concerts with the Liverpool philharmonic. Should be interesting, too. But those are only on their own store and Pledge for preorder so far.

Peter Muscutt

Love Architecture & Morality…for me, the song ‘The New Stone Age’ is one of OMD’s best – it really got me interested in hearing more from their back catalogue rather than just the singles/well known tracks. Might pick some of these up!!

Peter Hill

For UK buyers, I’ve just ordered all 4 LPs through the Sound Of Vinyl website. Although I’ve ordered from there before, I just signed up for their newsletter and got a voucher code for 10% off so got the lot for £68 inc UK postage which is £20 cheaper than Amazon !


wrote this a few years ago, a fan writing about Architecture And Morality.



amazon.it has pre-order button for Dazzle Ships (but no pic!).

mr mercury

Would love the Sugar tax album Remastered.


Indeed the sound quality on the original is horrible and flat sounding which can be explained by it’s time of release 1991 as far as the mastering goes.

James Lee

Martin is right all 4 are available with a free tote bag. On the OMD site the cost is a reasonable £72. If anyone wants a tote bag let me know!


Forgive me for being a bit tangential, but I’m interested in further exploring OMD. To date, I have a singles collection, the So80s mix album, and the two most recent full-length albums, but I would love to dive deeper into their earlier catalog. What do people recommend if they were going to point to the best three albums to start with out of their pre-English Electric catalog?

Gary Eckerson

Great question. To get a sense of what they are about throughout their career, I’d go with “Organisation” for a taste of their earlier sound (and the excellent single “Enola Gay” is on here), “Junk Culture” for a touch of their experimental edge but with strong pop leanings so it’s easier to swallow (“Tesla Girls” and “Locomotion” are on this one), and “Sugar Tax” for the Andy “solo” years of clean, electro pop from the 90’s (nice collection featuring “Pandora’s Box” and “Sailing on the Seven Seas” but NOT the song “Sugar Tax, “ which was released a zillion times as b-sides to singles from this album).

I hope that helps. Just my two cents. I’m sure others will have wildly different opinions.

Dave B

Personally, I’d go with the first three albums…wonderful releases all. I originally had them all on vinyl (they predate the CD era). The original vinyl die-cut releases created by legendary designer Peter Seville are brilliant works of art in and of themselves and are all visually incredibly sympathetic to the audio within. Fantastic news that they’re being reissued just as they were originally released! :)

As for the music, they were far and away a left-field, experimental, cutting-edge, indie pop group back then. Sure, they had melodic chops to spare, but there was never a sense that they were chasing the dollars, as they seemed to be by the mid to late 80’s after “If You Leave” from the John Hughes movie “Pretty In Pink” bolstered their bank balances massively and saw them move away from their original sound towards a far more commercial palette.

Of the first three albums, “Architecture & Morality” for me is the clear front-runner. It is simply a masterpiece and sounds like no other album ever made.

I think for a lot of long-term fans, hearing the post reformation releases of McCluskey/Humphreys has been pretty gratifying as they sometimes successfully manage to recapture that lovely balance of indie experimentalism with pop smarts that they got so right on those first three platters.

Riches await!


@Dave B
I would tend to agree with your recommendation although I think that of their mid-period stuff Junk Culture and Pacific Age are both really excellent too. For some reason I have always had a bit of a downer on Crush… But the first three albums are true masterpieces.

Incidentally I met Peter Saville earlier this year while we were both wanting for the Eurostar in Paris. Being a super fan I had to go over and speak to him and get an autograph (much to my girlfriend’s confusion as she had no idea who he was).
Peter Saville’s manager, who was with him, seemed primarily concerned that I was going to try to sell the autograph on eBay. Peter himself came across as nice and laid-back.


And the 40th anniversary live albums??


vinyl + high res download them I’m in

Adam Shaw

Still have my originals which are in pristine condition , Organisation is still one of my all time favorite albums . If they were being released as 45 rpm I might have had the lot but can’t see the point at 33 rpm speed .


Grey sleeve version of Organisation originally had the free 7″, and it’s this version that is featured on the Universal and official OMD sites. Do we know if they are doing two versions of Organisation?

Martyn Alner

Pledgemusic have a bundle of all 4 albums on the OMD store on that site. I ordered that the other day – and the excitement of a ‘Free Tote Bag’! :)


That’s odd. I just went to Pledgemusic and they do not have the albums for preorder. Just the upcoming live album and the new book.


excuse the ignorance but are these half speed masters a lot superior as I’ve yet to purchase one

martin farnworth

i have a couple- the Orbs Ultraworld and Associates Sulk. There is a distinct difference. There is a richer and fatter sound. If you love the original album I would definitely purchase.

Jim B.

Martin Farnworth and Andy – there is a lot of ignorance about this process. Many remastering engineers don’t like doing it like this and don’t believe it adds anything and is a negative, as they can’t monitor the cut in real time.
As always it’s all in the mastering so you can’t say there is a difference unless you have something comparable to compare it to, for example the same mastering engineer cutting the same record at normal speed. Otherwise you are just comparing apples and oranges.
IMHO it’s a gimmick, it adds nothing apart from the fact they can charge more.
If the record is mastered well and pressed well it can sound wonderful but that’s nothing to do with mastering it at half-speed. It’s like this 180g thing which is just snake oil, that makes no difference either.


Totally disagree on the 180g thing (sorry).
I have some original albums that were made at the time when the oil industry was in a crisis and one of the side effects was that manufacturers scrimped on the quality of vinyl. The quality of such vinyl pressings was attrocious – very thin and easily worn out and damaged
Having the same album on ‘so-called’ heavyweight vinyl makes it much more resilient to scratches and general wear from playing.
Not snake oil at all!

Jim B.

Trasdh – sorry but that is very inaccurate. Explain to me how the thickness of a record males any difference to wear or scratches? That’s nonsense. In fact the thicker the vinyl the more prone it is to pressing problems as thick vinyl is more prone to warping.
You are right in that there were some very thin records made with recycled vinyl during the oil crisis, mainly in America, that should be avoided, but apart from those then any regular 14og vinyl is going to sound exactly the same. They use the same stampers.

Some more technical facts that I saved from an article I read:

“The sound carrier is the record compound. The grooves themselves are about 0.010” in height (0.3mm), which is quite small compared to the overall thickness of the record. If we’re talking about the quality of the groove noise, high frequency extension, and transient clarity, the record thickness has NO influence on it and this is not “a matter of opinion” but a scientific fact, pure and simple. The record compound, on the other hand, matters a lot.

Other people talk about the record mass and inertia; for a typical 2Kg platter, the jump from a 100g to a 180g record (80g) is just a 4% mass increase. Good record clamps are about 500g, which is a 25% difference in the same example. Plus… it is clamping the record.”

“Once the lacquers / masters are cut and the stampers are made – and assuming the manufacturer is doing everything correctly – it’s going to make exactly the same impression on thick vinyl as it would in something thinner.”


Did I use the word ‘thickness’ – don’t think so.
Weight also implies density…
And more prone to warping? Not in my experience!
I also did not talk about sound quality as I agree that is down to many factors. I’m saying that from my personal experience heavier vinyl pressings (including older ones that I used to source from Japan) have proved to be much more resilient to scratches and surface noise.
I shall continue to buy them – you have obviously decided otherwise!


They continue to ignore anything after Dazzle Ships which is disgraceful. I don’t care how bad they think “Pacific Age” is…I think it’s their finest hour (and I know most fans disagree with me). “Sugar Tax” is also a very good album. I don’t think we will ever get expanded/deluxe versions of those albums because they band don’t care about them.


Junk Culture has been released as a 2 cd Version, so they are not ignoring anything after Dazzle Ships. It might be more a matter of selling the stuff. When Junk Culture 2 cd came out it cost almost 20 euro. Today I can get the same set in the same shop for 6,99 euro. I think that speaks for itself


Would also like to see the CD reissues continue. There were a lot of remixes off the next two albums that would be great to round up.


They made an arse of Junk Culture with quite a few mistakes on it and only one was rectified.


I like every OMD album, but they tend to emphasize these four because the critics like them. I do think they should do a next run of repressing on the next 6 albums, too. The Junk Culture deluxe set was nice, but that seems scarce now. A deluxe for Crush should follow, I would hope.


I’m a huge OMD fan and have been buying their latest albums on vinyl. My originals of these ones are very worn out (from when I had a long-term dodgy stylus) so have ordered them. But I do wish that when these multi re-releases are issued (Pet Shop Boys are you listening!) that there was an option to have some kind of nice slipcover even as an optional purchase (cos including it would probably bump up the price) So, along with my still to do Depeche mode DIY project of making up the ridiculous priced box sets from bits and bobs, a cardboard box and – of course- some sticky backed plastic, I’ll use my old OMD covers to make one ! Thats another Youtube video I’ll have to do.


I wonder if Architecture & Morality has the original sleeve with cutout window? I remember the horror of catching it the first time I put the record away with the rest of the LPs in the cupboard at my parents and caught the inside of the cutout and “ruined” it’s printine condition with a tear. I’ll be putting in a pvc sleeve this time for sure!


Best UK prices I’ve seen so far are on Sound of Vinyl.
£18.99 each for OMD and Dazzle Ships.
£16.99 each for Architecture & Morality and Organisation
I’m sure Amazon will price match in due course…

Barry Page

A few minor points: ‘Electricity’ wasn’t a hit single, and ‘Sailing On The Seven Seas’ emulated the chart success of ‘Souvenir’, peaking at No. 3 in 1991.

Chris Squires

Can we assume from the tracklisting structure that these are single disc 33 1/3RPM rather than the 2 LP 45RPM re-issues that I am growing rather fond of….

That is a shame.

Steven Roberts

Will spring for these if they offer hi-res download cards inside (like the Eurythmics did)