The Questions & Answers section of the Official OMD Website proved to be a popular feature in which queries about OMD’s record releases and career could be answered directly by Andy McCluskey or by site administrator and OMD archivist Paul Browne.
The context for many of the queries and replies featured on these pages has obviously changed over time but have been preserved here intact as a window on a particular period in OMD’s history.
I have been searching the origins of the intro to ‘Walking on the Milky Way’. Is it a new composition or is it classical music ?
“It’s similar to many “classical” rock song chord sequences that take their inspiration from ‘Air On A G String’ by Bach. For example, ‘Whiter Shade Of Pale’ by Procul Harum and ‘Roll Away The Stone’ by Mott The Hoople”. – Andy
Hi guys, can anyone tell me what the girls are singing in the background in the second half of ‘The Dead Girls’, I’ve tried everywhere and it is driving me and my Grandson insane.
Gary J Rowlands and Jordy
“Essentially it’s the chorus repeated in French and also the intro of the song is the chorus in French time-stretched. Aliss Terrell (who was an American girl living in France at the time) translated the lyrics. She also sang it”. – Andy
Was just wondering who the song ‘Pandora’s Box’ was about?
‘Pandora’s Box’ was inspired by the silent film star Louise Brooks and the song is named after her most famous film – Pandora’s Box (1929) which was directed by the German film-maker GW Pabst. The plot revolves around a femme fatale played by Louise Brooks and actually incorporates two stories originally written for the stage, Pandora’s Box and The Earth Spirit.
Who is singing lead on the Moby remixes of ‘Souvenir’? It’s most definitely not the original vocal track.
“It’s not the original vocal but it is Paul Humphreys singing. The original vocal on ‘Souvenir’ was triple-tracked to improve on Paul’s singing. Unfortunately, for some reason, Moby only used one of the 3-tracks and it sounded weak so Paul recorded a new vocal for this version”. – Andy
I wanted to know what the song ’88 Seconds in Greensboro’ was about. Is it referring to an actual event that took place? It’s my favourite OMD song.
“A killing of 5 anti-KKK protestors in Greensboro, North Carolina – nobody was ever prosecuted.” – Andy
I had a question regarding the song ‘Universal’. What is the message (meaning) that Andy is trying to say (?) It sounds as if he is saying that this life is all that is here and that whatever we do means nothing. Please correct this misunderstanding…please…Thank you.
“Sort of. I don’t believe in God so there is no purpose to life other than what each individual makes of it.” – Andy
For a long time now I have tried to find the title music for the BBC programme For The Greater Good, written by Andy, screened in 1991. Any ideas where I can get it?
“Sorry. I can’t even find a copy” – Andy
I’ve been trying to find a single I’m sure was out around ’82 or ’83, and I just want to find it so I can buy the album it’s on. It had a kind of ‘count’ to it, and went something like this: “One…look at what we’ve done…Two… (something) through and through…. Together…. Together…. Together….”. The ending was some kind of amazing drawn out synthesizer thing… Can you tell me which song it was, and from which album?
The song you’re after is ‘Georgia’ and features on OMD’s 1982 album Architecture And Morality.
Does anyone know the line in the new ‘Enola Gay’ Remix at the end: “Now i am the ??? the destroyer of worlds” what is the complete line and where is it from?
The line is actually an attributed quote to Robert Oppenheimer after the first atomic bomb detonation. Oppenheimer had a keen interest in Sanskrit literature and when he saw the awesome effect of an atomic blast he recalled a line from the Baghvad Gita: “Now I am become death – the destroyer of worlds”.
I remember reading once that your favourite song was ‘2nd Thought’. Not heard much mention of what is by far my favourite. Do you still have a soft spot for this excellent piece of music?
"I still have a soft spot for that song. I think lyrically it takes me back to a particularly strong period in my life when I put certain feelings into songs which I can still remember. I suppose now it’s a question of nostalgia – I remember the person I was when I wrote that song. I’m different now and I think differently and write different songs but it transports me back there and I still love to listen to it. " – Andy
I very much appreciate and enjoy your music. It has been a friend and companion on many special occasions. My question is this: ‘Never Turn Away’ is my favourite song of all. Going back a ways into the past, could you please tell me a little about how the song came about? Was it written for/about anyone?
"The only part of that song that I had any influence over was the title. It was my title, Paul wrote everything else so you’d have to ask Paul Humphreys what that song’s about. I honestly don’t know what Never Turn Away’s about. " – Andy
Where did you get the inspiration for the ‘Bloc Bloc Bloc’ song?
Carmen Vazquez, La Coruna, Spain
"Lyrically it’s just a train of thought. I don’t even to this day know what I was supposed to be trying to say. It was just words that came out. A bit like ‘Sailing On The Seven Seas’. " – Andy
Can you please tell me more about ‘The Dark Sea’ song? It’s one of my favourites in Universal, I think it captures the emotion, intensity and ambience of your songs.
Carmen Vazquez, La Coruna, Spain
"Presumably you mean ‘The Black Sea’. Stuart wrote the oboe riff for that song and I thought that it sounded like the swell of the sea so that’s where the idea for the aquatic content came from. " – Andy
In ‘Tesla Girls’ you sing of "electric chairs and dynamos", what does this mean in the context of the song? I have always wondered, as I use an electric chair because of my disability and would love to know. Thanks for the immense listening pleasure that you have given us over the years and long may it continue.
"The title was lifted from Martha Ladly who used to be in Martha And The Muffins who was at the time the girlfriend of Peter Saville. Nikola Tesla was basically the father of modern electricity/alternating current. The references to electric chairs and dynamos is actually a reference to dynamos which was essential for the use of the alternating current and anything electrical basically and electric chairs is actually a reference to the fact that his main competitor for the development of modern electricity was Thomas Edison who, to discredit Tesla’s alternating current, suggested to the US authorities that a nice new way of killing people might be the electric chair using Tesla’s new AC. So it was actually Edison who invented the electric chair using Tesla’s AC as a way to discredit AC – Look it kills people! So it’s not a reference to an electric chair that would be useful for a disabled person, quite the opposite in fact! But thanks for a very interesting question." – Andy
I didn’t see the song ‘Motion and Heart’ in your discography. What can you tell me about that song?
It is in the discography – as a B-side to ‘Souvenir’ and also as a track on the Organisation album.
Is the song ‘Christine’ based on a real person?
"No, it’s a purely imagined character " – Andy
How did you get the idea of writing a song about the ‘Enola Gay’? Were you particularly interested in WWII history? For example, as far as I know, ‘conditions normal, coming home’ was from the end of the original message the bomber sent when returning from the mission.
E.T., Lappeenranta, Finland
"I was fascinated with the simple (by today’s standards) of technology that was able to be so painful. The story of ‘Enola Gay’ was fascinating – the “conditions normal” line in the song is from their radio transmission. Also “Is mother proud of little boy today” is a reference to the bomb – codenamed Little Boy and the pilot Colonel Tibbetts who named the plane after his mother. " – Andy
The original Q&A pages first appeared on the Official OMD Website in 1998
Revised text 4th February 2014