OMD Albums
SLEEVE DESIGN Peter Saville Associates. Photography by Richard Haughton
JUNK CULTURE OMD Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat
TESLA GIRLS OMD Brian Tench & OMD The Chapel, Lincolnshire
LOCOMOTION OMD/Troeller Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat
APOLLO OMD Brian Tench & OMD ICP Studios, Brussels
NEVER TURN AWAY OMD Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat
LOVE AND VIOLENCE OMD Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat
HARD DAY OMD Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat
ALL WRAPPED UP OMD Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat
WHITE TRASH OMD Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat
TALKING LOUD AND CLEAR OMD Brian Tench & OMD Air Studios, Montserrat


The songs for Junk Culture had been written across several months and at several studios, beginning in 1983 at Highland Studios in Inverness. From there, the band moved to The Chapel in Lincolnshire, Mayfair Studios in London, Air Studios in Montserrat, ICP Studios in Brussels and finally Wisseloord Studios in Holland.

One of the first tracks to emerge was an instrumental that had been written on the Emulator I using a sample from the keyboard's library titled 'Mexican Radio'. Inspired by this piece, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys added Mellotron voices to the track which was later titled 'Junk Culture'.

'Tesla Girls' was one of the earliest songs written for Junk Culture dating back to the Inverness sessions. It was also the third single released from the album. The title had been suggested by Martha Ladly (best known for being part of fellow DinDisc band Martha And The Muffins) who had previously suggested Architecture And Morality as a title for OMD's third album.

'Locomotion' was released as the first single from the album. The song was written and recorded in the last week of the Montserrat sessions and later had overdubbed drums recorded in Brussels as well as a brass arrangement provided by Tony Visconti.

'Apollo' was the last song written for the album. After a late night disco in Brussels on New Years Eve, Andy began recording the backing track for some lyrics he'd written about a woman he'd met in Montserrat.

'Never Turn Away' was the fourth single release from the album. It was the last song to actually get a title (which had been suggested by Andy). The song was not originally going to be a single, but Virgin convinced the band to release it.

'Love And Violence' was, at one time, considered as the title for the album due to the balance between love songs and the more aggressive tracks on the album. 'Love And Violence' had emerged from an earlier song titled '1O To 1'

'Hard Day' was another of the early songs initially written during the pre-Montserrat sessions. It had been shelved at the time, but subsequently revived during the recording sessions in Montserrat.

'All Wrapped Up' was originally written in demo form in Inverness in August 1983. It was first aired during a low-key tour that OMD embarked on in September 1983 and in its original guise revealed a much more industrial structure with machine-like percussion. The song also boasted an additional verse which was one the elements that were dropped when the song was reworked during the Montserrat sessions.

By this stage, the song had been retitled 'Wrapp Up' and featured steel drum sounds and had much more of a groove to it. The song also gained a brass arrangement courtesy of Tony Visconti and subsequently regained its original title, while one of its earlier incarnations was titled 'Wrappup' and released as the B-side to 'Never Turn Away'.

'White Trash' had originally been an up-tempo number featuring a continuous emulator loop of a vocal effect sample by Andy. It was later transformed with the reggae-influenced elements that mark out the finished track on the album. Lyrically, 'White Trash' is about an ex-friend of Andy's.

'Talking Loud And Clear' was the first track written on the Fairlight and was originally written as a test piece. It was also the second single taken from the album.



"The idea behind the album's title is quite a simple one, really" said Andy in an interview in 1984 "We began to appreciate that it wasn't enough to simply dismiss popular culture as being worthless, that there is some merit in almost everything; video, computer games, junk food, pop music and so on. The lyrics reflect a sort of loss of inhibitions - the idea that you don't have to think something is artistically right in order to enjoy it".

During an interview with music paper Melody Maker at the time, Paul commented on the material written for Junk Culture: "We had so much fun writing these new songs that our manager had to ban us from writing any more. Every time he thought we'd finished the album we'd write a new song that just had to go on it - in the end we had about 15 songs left over".

One of these early tracks was 'Heaven Is', a song that had been trialled during OMD's September 1983 tour but that was dropped from the final track listing for Junk Culture. The song received some praise in the press at the time and is considered by many OMD fans to be a lost classic. A re-recorded version of 'Heaven Is' later featured on OMD's 1993 album Liberator. The original studio version was released in 2015 as part of the Deluxe Edition release of Junk Culture

Other previously unreleased tracks to feature on the Deluxe Edition included an early demo version of 'Tesla Girls', the original version of 'White Trash', '10 To 1' and 'All Or Nothing' - a song that features a Paul Humphreys vocal.

The 'Mexican Radio' sample used on the track 'Junk Culture' is taken from the Emulator I library. The same sample was also used by Vangelis in the soundtrack to the film Bladerunner

Initial releases of the album came with a sticker that sealed the album and also featured a one-sided 7" single containing a bonus track titled '(The Angels Keep Turning) The Wheels Of The Universe'.

In the UK, Virgin produced a run of special Junk Culture carrier bags which were issued to record shops as a promotional item.

For the first time the band provided lyrics to the songs on the album by reprinting them on the inner sleeve.