Architecture and Morality
Patrick Chapman, Irish poet, has brought this to my attention: a very good online discussion and interview surrounding the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest of the 80s albums - synth-pop/avant-garde hybrid, Architecture & Morality, by OMD. OMD have fascinated me since, well, at least 1980 or so, when I was 14. I'd never heard music like this - it had the pop nous of The Beatles, but was cerebral, solemn, eerie, and profoundly serious, as well as being emotive. Perhaps my PhD research into British poetic styles of the 1940s started here - for OMD certainly manage to fuse melodrama and the rational, in a romantic-classical mix that would have pleased a young Nicholas Moore. The album's opening track, 'The New Stone Age' remains one of my all-time favourite songs - Misha Glouberman first played it for me in Westmount on a snowy Sunday morning, after waking up in his home after a party. It felt like a revelation. "Oh my God, what have I done this time?" strikes me as one of the finest lines in all pop music - haunting, faintly comical, but also potentially theological in its implications. Meanwhile, 'Sealand', the song about the industrial plant near Liverpool, is so estranging, and ominous, it must count as one of the oddest fourth-track songs ever. Not to mention the two Joan of Arc songs. For those too young (or old) to have heard this on its release thirty years ago, do check it out now.