Quintessential Album Series :: Crush :: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
A Little History:
Crush is the sixth album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, released in 1985. It was the first of two OMD albums produced by Stephen Hague, who had previously produced albums by Jules and the Polar Bears, Slow Children, Elliot Easton, Gleaming Spires and others
So in Love (co-written with Hague) became the group’s first hit single in the United States. The album also sold well in the United States. Aimed primarily at the United States market, it is notable for moving the band’s sound in a far more commercial direction, although elements of earlier experimentation are still evident on the title track, which is built around a tape loop of samples from Japanese television commercials, and the closing track The Lights Are Going Out.
A long-form video, Crush – The Movie was also released, showing the group talking about their career and performing the songs from the album.
What Makes This “Quintessential” to me?
At first listen to any Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, or OMD, song I am immediately brought back to a late Summer night in the late 80’s. I was in the backseat riding along with a few girlfriends I’d recently met through my first retail job, a small clothing store called Fashion Conspiracy (how late 80’s is that name?) in the City Mall (now an outdoor mega-mall/entertainment destination called The Block). We were driving around Newport Beach with the windows all rolled down. The streets were crowded and all around people were celebrating the Summer night.
OMD’s Greatest Hits were playing, and then later this album, Crush, was thrown in the car cassette player. The music and the night, the smell of the ocean, the sounds of people everywhere, and that feeling of freedom that being in a car with no real plans ahead can bring was filling the night. I can almost feel all of it right now, listening to this album again. I remember I did not sing-a-long, I was still too shy, but I was mouthing the words as I let the ocean breeze blow back my hair.
This album also reminds me of High School dances, the casual kind that were held in the gym, or sometimes in a church’s basement (pre-gym at Lutheran High School). It also reminds me of dancing in the Summertime at Knott’s Berry Farm with my friends. Cloud 9 was our favorite because they played all the New Wave, New Romantic, Punk and Goth (though we called it “Deathrock” at the time) music. I kissed a boy once while Secret played. It was a hurried kind of kiss, sloppy, yet exciting. I’m pretty sure I didn’t know his name. He wore eyeliner and styled his hair like Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, which was everything to me at the time.
This album brings back so many adolescent memories.
My Top 5 Favorite Songs:
1. So In Love
“I was so impressed by you,
I was running blind,
I would fall for every trick,
every twist of mind.”
2. Hold You
“To hold you,
to see you smile at the break of day.”
“There are things that I cannot tell ,
and there are things that you know damn well.
This is getting very hard for me.
I guess you’d better just wait and see.”
4. La Femme Accident
“She’s hanging on your every word.”
5. The Lights are Going Out
“There’s a girl who walks the line,
she’s with you all the time,
she won’t let go.”