I had certain plans for today’s post, but that flew out of the window when I caught wind of an upcoming release from OMD, which was apparently released to social media last Friday! Sure, sure. I’ve been on the OMD mailing list for as long as they had one. “Had” being the operative word, since now they don’t even send out emails to the faithful any more even when an upcoming release is the news. The last post on their moribund website is almost a year old. So now I guess everything is only released to culturally toxic social media. Nice! I found out about this on one of the remaining web forums still extant in 2021! Sigh.
No matter how poorly they communicated this news to me, a person who has bought many releases through their web store and online campaigns, the fact of the matter is that the band are having yet another tour focusing on their top selling “Architecture + Morality” album which is 40 years old on November 6th, 2021. I spent all of late 1980 and 1981 in thrall to the compelling music that OMD was making and I remember buying that LP at the Record Mart Warehouse in Orlando in the fall of 1981 as soon as it hit the sacred import bins.
The album would go on to have three Top 5 UK singles issued from it, which, in retrospect, seems a little crazy. The album was a challenging program of more Art than Pop, but tell that to the throngs that bought every single from the album like it was an Adam + the Ants record at the time.
The band reissued a DLX RM of the album in 2007, with the sole extended A-side, and all of the singles B-sides appended plus a bonus DVD of their “Live At Drury Lane” home video from that tour. Conventional wisdom says that when the 40th anniversary of your multi-million selling career best album came around, you would issue a three figure box to squeeze the faithful and pack it with 4x LPs, 2xCDs, and maybe Steven Wilson’s 5.1 mix on DVD. Perhaps some tchatchkes like a key ring or T-shirt.
What they’ve done is much kinder to our budget, and frankly more interesting. They are releasing a compilation called [straightforwardly]: “Architecture + Morality: The Singles.” The single A/B sides from the various releases are all present and accounted for, but the other half of the material is previously unreleased demos and live material to sweeten the pot. We have the choice [still!] of buying this on a 3x 12″ EP set on colored vinyl, or a convenient CD with 18 tracks. Though the record edition looks fine, I will be opting for the CD. I’ve got to stretch my music budget responsibly. Here are the offerings.
OMD: Architectire + Morality The Singles – UK – CD 
- Motion & Heart (Amazon Version)
- Sacred Heart
- Souvenir (Demo)
- Choir Song (Rough Mix)
- Motion & Heart (Live at Drury Lane, 1981)
- Joan Of Arc
- The Romance Of The Telescope (Unfinished)
- Joan Of Arc (Live at Drury Lane, 1981)
- Joan Of Arc (Rough Mix)
- New Song (Georgia Demo)
- She’s Leaving (Demo)
- Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)
- Sealand (Demo)
- Maid of Orleans (Demo)
- Joan Of Arc (Maid of Orleans) (Live at Drury Lane, 1981)
That’s a healthy playlist with the familiar versus the unknown. Their recent “Souvenir” boxed set celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary had a full disc of demo material but none of this is repeated from that set. We’ve got seven demos, all of the A-sides as performed live from the Drury Lane show, and an eighth song [“Submarines”] that’s all new.
The colored vinyl set as shown at the head of the post features three six track EPs, in burgundy, red, and purple colored vinyl with sleeve art inner sleeves to fit within a triple gatefold silver, embossed cover. The CD has all eighteen tracks. The 12″ set is selling for a fairly moderate $50.00 in the OMD web store, with the CD at $16.00.
The shipping of the 12″ set from the UK to America will probably cost almost twice as much as the cost of the item itself, so we Yanks are fortunate that we have the option of buying at the US Rough Trade store as well. Rough Trade US will be $63.99 for the 12″ set but I guarantee the shipping will be scant. The CD from Rough Trade US is actually one cent less than from the OMD web store. So anyone with an interest into one of OMD’s most commercially [and artistically] fertile periods might want to check out the twin option buttons below.
OMD WEBSTORE for UK/EU
US ROUGH TRADE WEBSTORE for USA
I don’t usually buy these sort of box sets with repressed singles but given that I didn’t buy the 12″ singles first time around (I did get the Souvenir 10″ though) I thought I’d splurge as it worth it just for the amazing sleeves (I hope that Maid of Orleans is all shiny like the original). My only disappointment, especially as it was hinted by Andy McClusky that it would happen, is that, unlike last years Enola Gay release, we don’t get the long awaited extended versions of either of the Joan of Arc singles. A real shame, but at least there are no annoying remixes!!!
Richard Anvil – I was surprised that the 10” version of “Souvenir” was not included. The sleeves with the single artwork in the image are the inner sleeves of the 12” discs. So they are probably thin paper. Caveat emptor!
I got an email with this announcement last week. I’m surprised you didn’t. Since I bought the premium package for the 15 March 22 concert, I’m hoping some of this swag will be in my goodie bag.
I want a t-shirt with that lovely stained glass Maid….however, I may splurge for the CD like you.
I am anxiously awaiting their new album they’ve been working on.
Still tentatively planning on the 16 Nov show in Brighton, although the UK is a royal PITA to travel to now with mandatory testing at close to $150 a pop….
Bridget: Now I’m doubly surprised that I didn’t! Grrrr!
When I did VIP in 2011, the $150 VIP swag bag was pretty generous: The US “History Of Modern” LP, signed glossy photo, tourbook, totebag, and my 2nd favorite OMD t-shirt design as shown here…
Your mileage may vary. That stunning “Maid Of Orleans” stained glass design that still gets me many compliments when I wear it is #1 forever.
And someone is profiting from mandatory testing at $150 a pop?! [shock! horror] Sort of like how a certain Florida governor’s extreme preference on monoclonal antibody treatment for people hospitalized with Covid-19 over cheaper, prophylactic measures [masks, vaccines] that do not put dollars into his donor’s pockets.
Just to trebly surprise you, I also received the email, but didn’t alert you as I knew that you were (allegedly) on their list.
I am quite tempted by the 12″ set.. no doubt it will sell out before I make up my mind. They do seem to be merchandise maniacs, but people seem to be happy with the quality of their products.
Gavin – As I have all of the original singles in all variations [including the insane embossed silver foil “Maid Of Orleans”] I feel…okay about passing this set of 2000 copies up. Yes, I have enjoyed anything I have ordered from them in their sunset years.
I wonder if a version of “Submarines” was resurrected in time for the next album, as “Dazzle Ships Part II”?
JT – ‘Twas my suspicion.
let me pile it on here :) I receive OMD email announcements periodically, and had received one announcing “Architecture + Morality’s” 40th Anniversary. I immediately bought the cd, ? 10 days ago
schwenko – Holy Toledo. Now I’m getting a persecution complex!
I’m very interested in the new song they’re unveiling. Is it new as composed specially for the box set or new as recorded but unreleased at the time? I’d prefer the latter, of course.
Thinking about it, they could’ve done a full companion album like Foxx did – there are enough songs from B-sides and archives. In fact I did something like that already and the tracklist goes like this:
Of All The Things We’ve Made / Sacred Heart / The Romance Of The Telescope / Brand New Science / Navigation / Motion & Heart (Amazon Version) / Gravity Never Failed / Telegraph (The Manor Version)
Obviously, “Motion & heart” sounds rather out of place musically so maybe “Submarines” will be a good substitute?
By the way I’m amazed “Brand new science” remained unreleased all these years. It’s a fantastic song! Instead of redoing the already recorded ones they could get this one out as a B-side or something. So nice to see it released finally!
Vlad – According to the store everything is “unheard demos, studio sessions and live performances of tracks from the album.” So it would not be something new stuck in there as a piece out of another time. I remember when we got “Gravity Never Failed” in 1988 and thought that was a real gift. As for “Brand New Sci3nce,” I have yet to buy the “Souvenir” BSOG. Yes, I know. I’m a loser. I need to act fast before it’s too expensive. At least I got the Heaven 17 “Virgin Years” as my last purchase of 2020. Signed and sealed edition with pack of replacement discs for $158. Probably at exactly the right time… [checks current pricing on the box] Yes. It was the last moment to buy it, I think. The OMD is probably similar now.