In 1981 OMD released what has largely been regarded as their most definitive album release. Architecture & Morality brought OMD both public and critical appraisal augmented by the success of the singles ‘Souvenir’, ‘Joan Of Arc’ and ‘Maid Of Orleans’.
The album was subsequently reissued in 2003 and featured a remastered version of the original album alongside bonus tracks, sleeve notes, photos and restored artwork. As part of the reissue process, Paul Browne interviewed the band to ask about their thoughts about the album then and now.
Did you have any sense that Architecture & Morality was going to be so successful?
The band had been on an upward climb beforehand and ‘Enola Gay’ had reached the Top Ten, but it was a very pleasant surprise that the album and three singles did so well.
Can you explain a little bit about the evolution of ‘Souvenir’?
Paul had asked me to go to the studio to do a bit of writing with him. When I arrived, a friend, Dave Hughes, had given Paul some tape loops of people singing long straight notes. These were arranged into chords and blended around a chord sequence that Paul had been working on. The song gradually evolved from there.
Originally the song was much slower. I think even the finished master was recorded slower, but when it was finally mastered it was sped up.
How do you feel listening to the album today?
Obviously I feel very nostalgic for those times – particularly the touring in the early years, although the whole 10 years that I was involved with OMD do come back to me.
The album still sounds really fresh and original with a wonderfully naïve charm. It is my favourite all-time OMD album.
Original interview by Paul Browne 2003
Revised text 10th February 2014
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and The Electricity Club.