Well, two months and 11 days after my last STUCK IN THE 80s, it finally happened – for whatever reason, I really missed doing the little radio show tonight. I knew, from the moment I dropped the mic on that snowy mid-February night, that I would always miss hosting and producing the show after it was done, and I was okay with that. I still want to take some time for myself and work on other things, and when the time is right, get to work on the show’s next incarnation. And I will.
But for tonight, I will merely express how I miss playing great 80s music for Portland, Maine and beyond. One of the songs I would have played tonight was never released as a single, it’s just one of my favorite album tracks from my favorite album by one of my all-time favorite bands, and it’s three-and-a-half minutes of pure Synthpop perfection.
England’s Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD for short), led by vocalist and bassist, Andy McCluskey, and keyboardist and vocalist Paul Humphreys, have been spreading their wealth of Synthpop / New Wave joy all throughout the world since their self-titled debut album in early 1980.
From their wonderful 1985 album, CRUSH (their sixth studio album, and produced by Portland, Maine native, Stephen Hague), is the third of ten songs on the album – “Bloc Bloc Bloc.”
According OMD.UK.com, “‘Bloc Bloc Bloc’ was basically a ‘stream of consciousness’ song, the lyrics of which were just random words and phrases that Andy sung off the top of his head.” And, while band members Malcolm Cooper, Graham Weir and Neil Weir do provide horns on CRUSH (all of whom appear performing their respective instruments in the video), the website says (and having seen in concert what OMD can do with synthesizers, I believe this), “The brass section is actually another Emulator sampler.” You be the judge.
Having seen OMD perform live in 2016 (and on Andy McCluskey’s 57th birthday at that), I can safely say they had one of THE best and most fun stage presences I’ve ever seen. They said they hadn’t performed in Portland, Maine in 28 years, and right away, they apologized for that. I thought that was not only classy, but pretty damn cool. And I hope they don’t wait another 28 years to come back, because I’d totally love to see them again.
And, for those folks who haven’t had the opportunity to see Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark perform live, I’d say “Bloc Bloc Bloc” and the attached video link is a testament to Andy and Paul’s camaraderie, both on stage and in the studio. They truly were fun and quite energetic to watch. I had been a fan for 31 years before I finally got to see them perform live, and I can safely say, it was worth the wait.
Speaking of which, for those many folks kind enough to support my little radio show for all those years, thank you for letting me take this time to figure some things out for myself while planning the next incarnation of STUCK IN THE 80s. Whenever that time comes, I hope you’ll think it’ll be worth the wait too…