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Jon Johnson

Topic: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Architecture & Morality

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Architecture & Morality is the third album by British electronic group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, released in 1981. Hailed as a masterpiece and the band's seminal work, it has appeared in various "best albums" lists; The Morning News named it the finest record of 1981, and "the blueprint for synth-pop".The album also became a commercial success, selling over 4 million copies by 2007. The record spawned three international hit singles, which sold more than 8 million copies combined.

According to the album's credits, its title was suggested to the band by Martha Ladly, formerly of Martha and the Muffins, after the 1977 book Morality and Architecture by David Watkin. Musically, the album was notable for making liberal use of the mellotron, a mechanical tape-replay keyboard more commonly associated in Britain with progressive rock bands of the early 1970s than with the synthpop of the 1980s. The tenth through sixteenth tracks of the remastered album are bonus tracks and were B-sides from the album's three singles, except "Gravity Never Failed" which was an out-take from the album sessions, originally intended to have been a single A-side, but not released until 1988 as the B-side of "Dreaming".

Remixes of "The Romance of the Telescope (Unfinished)" and "Of All The Things We've Made" appeared on OMD's next album, Dazzle Ships, released in 1983. All of the album's songs were included in the first part of the setlist on OMD's 2007 comeback tour.

The artwork was produced by Peter Saville and Brett Wickens. Architecture & Morality was released several times with varying artwork, most notably in yellow, blue and grey but even green versions are available. The original cover from 1981 is light yellow/orange in a die-cut sleeve.

Architecture & Morality yielded three singles, all of which charted in the UK Top 5: "Souvenir" (#3), "Joan of Arc" (#5), and "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" (#4), a retitled "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)". The singles were also highly successful on international charts, with "Souvenir" and "Maid of Orleans" each charting at number one in various European countries; the latter became Germany's biggest-selling single of 1982. The three singles sold more than 8 million copies combined.

Architecture & Morality is included in the book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In recent years, publications like The Guardian, Mojo, the Tampa Bay Times and Phantom FM[30] have included it in "best albums" lists. In 2007, Andrew Womack in The Morning News named Architecture & Morality as the finest album of 1981, writing: "For the past 25 years, it's stood as the blueprint for synth-pop; few have approached an improvement upon its design." It was selected as BBC Radio 6 Music's "Classic Album of the Day" on 21 November 2012.] In a 2013 listener poll, Architecture & Morality was ranked the 13th best album of 1981, based on the opinions of almost 25,000 respondents.

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