Electricity
by OMD

Album: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • This was the debut single of the synthpop group OMD. The track is one of the band's most popular and recognisable songs even though it never became a hit.
  • Andy McCluskey of OMD revealed to Mojo magazine November 2009 that this song was influenced by the German synth pioneers Kraftwerk and particularly their single, "Radioactivity." He explained: "I'm sure it was Kraftwerk's influence behind our penchant for writing love songs to inanimate objects: aeroplanes, telephone boxes, oil refineries. We wrote Electricity when we were 16, the year we heard 'Radioactivity.' I remember many years later being invited to (ex Kraftwerk member) Wolfgang Flür's apartment and I happened to notice their gold record for 'Radioactivity,' which had been a single in France. I said, 'Oh Radioactivity, my favorite Kraftwerk song. You do know that our Electricity was our version of Radioactivity sped up.?' And Wolfgang and Karl said, 'Oh yes, we knew that.'"
  • Why the fascination with electricity? In our 2010 interview with Andy McCluskey, he explained: "Paul (Humphreys) studied electronics and would probably have been an engineer if the band had not changed his life. No accidents yet. But there's still time."
  • The song was mixed by Martin Hannett at Strawberry Studios in Manchester. Andy McCluskey recalled to Uncut: 'We didn't have a bass drum on 'Electricity', we'd used a detuned bass sound on our crappy Korg. And Martin thought it sounded horrible, so he put it through this 32-band parametric EQ and we thought, 'That's overkill, isn't it."
  • Despite never being a hit, this is a favourite song of OMD's fans. Paul Humphreys told Uncut: "We've never done a gig without playing 'Electricity', never. It's often the last encore. When we're doing our own tours, no song goes down better."

Comments: 1

  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesI think this did finally break into the UK charts in late 2002 when it was used in a popular TV commercial for Clarks' Shoes that featured a little boy dancing in front of a mirror
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