OMD Albums
THE PACIFIC AGE
sleeve
CATALOGUE V2398
FORMAT VINYL ALBUM
LABEL VIRGIN
RELEASE DATE 29/09/86
CHART 15
SLEEVE DESIGN Mick Haggerty. Photography by Claus Wrickwrath
CURRENT VALUE £8-10
 
RUN-OUT A -
RUN-OUT B -
TRACK LISTING WRITERS PRODUCER RECORDED
STAY (THE BLACK ROSE AND THE UNIVERSAL WHEEL) OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
(FOREVER) LIVE AND DIE OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
THE PACIFIC AGE OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
THE DEAD GIRLS OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
SHAME OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
SOUTHERN OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
FLAME OF HOPE OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
GODDESS OF LOVE OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
WE LOVE YOU OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris
WATCH US FALL OMD Stephen Hague Studio de la Grande Armeé, Paris

NOTES

'Stay' had originally been scheduled as the first single from the album. In fact the band worked with Tom Lord Alge on a new mix of the song with additional backing vocals and extra guitar parts. However, Virgin refused to release 'Stay' as a single and in fact were pushing 'Shame' as a more likely candidate. The 'universal wheel' refers to the world while the 'black rose' signifies the end of love.

'(Forever) Live And Die' was the first single released from the album.

'The Pacific Age' was based on an idea that Andy had about world economics. In the 1987 OMD biography Messages he said "My initial idea was to make people aware of the change in the economic world that has taken place in the past few years: The Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese of Taiwan, they all dominate the big international market now".

'The Dead Girls' was conceived as an attempt to revisit Architecture And Morality-era OMD, but using the technology of 1986. The distinctive intro was created by feeding in two phrases of the French vocal (provided by singer Aliss Terrell) into a sampler known as the Publison Infernal Machine. The device can stretch sound, while maintaining the pitch, resulting in the unusual stretched sound. The military-sounding percussion on the song was also created using OMD's original hands-on approach with Paul Humphreys manually striking the bass and snare drums.

'Shame' was the third and final single to be released from the album. The band were surprised to learn that Virgin had scheduled 'Shame' as a single (especially as they had been on tour at the time) and they still preferred their version of 'Stay'.

'Southern' was actually quite an old song OMD had been working on and which had previously been scheduled for inclusion on the previous album Crush. For The Pacific Age, the band reworked the song which included the original (but unused) bass line from 'Telegraph' and the brass section for the live version of 'Pretending To See The Future'. The song lacked suitable lyrics however, until Andy came across a series of taped speeches and noticed one by the civil rights activist Martin Luther King that seemed to fit perfectly into the context of the song, without diminishing the power of the speech itself.

'Flame Of Hope' had originally started out as a B-side, written and recorded in 4 hours. The band liked the finished song so much though that they decided to keep it for the album. The song also uses some of the Japanese TV ad samples that had been left over from the recording of Crush. "It's about a confusion of feelings" Andy remarked in an OMD fan club newsletter "about how, when you're even at your most angry and depressed about someone, you can still find reasons to love them".

'Goddess Of Love' was originally written for the soundtrack to the film Pretty In Pink before a dramatic rewrite of the film script rendered the lyrics of the song redundant. The band radically reworked the song for inclusion on The Pacific Age, notably rewriting some of the lyrics.

'We Love You' was the second single released from the album. The song had actually been written for the soundtrack to the film Playing For Keeps and was rewritten and rearranged for the album version.

"'Watch Us Fall' refers to a guy and his girlfriend in a yo-yo relationship" Andy remarked in the book Messages, "It's like you want to get rid of someone but you can't and you think 'here we go again...'".

 

TRIVIA

The studio was still under construction when the band arrived which meant they had to be put up elsewhere while the wiring work was completed.

'The Dead Girls' takes its title from a book that Andy spotted in a Los Angeles bookshop, although the song has nothing to do with the book itself.

Other songs considered for the album were 'Cajun Moon' and 'Cut Me Down'. Andy had also considered writing a song called 'Gun People' - a metaphor for people living in the US.

Mick Haggerty had just returned from a trip to Mexico where he had produced a series of wood-block prints for a publishing company. He re-used this idea for the sleeve of The Pacific Age, the design being hand-chisled from a block of wood. To further the idea of a hand-made feel, the design was printed on the reverse side of the sleeve so that the rough, unvarnished side was facing out and the smooth side was on the inner sleeve.

Test pressings of the album repeated the fade-out on side one also at the start of side two!

The speech by Martin Luther King used on 'Southern' was actually King's last public appearance recorded on 3rd April 1968 - shortly before he was assassinated outside a Memphis hotel.