John Peel seems to have been slightly obsessed with early Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and you can kind of see why. In a little over a year, the inventive Liverpudlian synthpop group had already recorded three Peel Sessions.
The third was recorded the same week that the brilliant Enola Gay had been released, and was first broadcast the following week. Shorter than most Peel Sessions, it opens with the new single’s b-side Annex, in a cut-down version. There’s a lot to be said for the raw, unproduced sound that you get here.
It never ceases to amaze me that groups would decide not to promote their singles on the Peel Sessions, but I suppose something like Enola Gay was getting more than enough radio play already, and anyway, they had already recorded an early version on the previous session. Instead, OMD opted for the first two tracks on Side B of their forthcoming second album Organisation: The Misunderstanding and The More I See You.
Seemingly time was at a premium that week – I imagine they had plenty of work to do promoting their soon-to-be huge hit Enola Gay – because all three tracks appear here in heavily edited form. The whole session, in fact, barely lasts nine minutes. But as always, it’s fascinating to hear what OMD sounded like when the production was simpler and more raw.
We previously covered the first and second sessions, and we’ll cover the remaining two sessions in future articles. You can read more about OMD‘s relationship with John Peel‘s radio show here. This session is available on the CD Peel Sessions 1979-83, available here.