Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: “Locomotion” (1984)

The band’s new single travels light and found a welcome reception at European radio stations.

Kronomyth 5.01: Low on soul coal.

The new single from the fifth OMD album was the slight and bouncy confection, Locomotion. As with the earlier “Telegraph,” the band was clearly engineering a commercial crossover, though enough of the old, eerie electronic glow remained in the album tracks, as evidenced by the twitchy, well-mixed Her Body In My Soul. The 12-inch single includes an overextended, underweight version of “Locomotion” and another non-album entry, The Avenue, that treads the darker corridors of Dazzle Ships. The B sides turned up on 2001’s compilation, Navigation.

If I were plotting the point at which OMD sold out (and I’m not), I’d probably start my downward slope here, since “Telegraph” seems like highly principled art in comparison to “Locomotion.” Of interest, the labels produced a very sophisticated (for the time) music video to support this single. At least you don’t have to watch them dance in this one although, honestly, watching them run isn’t much better.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Locomotion (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) (3:53)
B1. Her Body in My Soul (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) (4:40)

Original 12-inch single version
A1. Locomotion (O.M.D.) (5:20)
B1. Her Body in My Soul (O.M.D.) (4:40)
B2. The Avenue (O.M.D.) (4:12)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch, 7-inch shaped picture disc and 12-inch single on April 2, 1984 in the UK and Australia (Virgin, VS/VSS600/-12), the US (A&M, 2671/SP-12108), Canada (Virgin, VS/VSX-1183) and Germany (Virgin, 106 377-100/601 265 213) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #5 on the UK charts.

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