OMD feiern 40. Jubiläum ihres Hits „Enola Gay“ mit limitierter 12-Inch-Vinyl

Vier Jahrzehnte Enola Gay: Aus diesem Anlass veröffentlichen die Elektropop-Pioniere Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) ihren Hit in einer ganz speziellen Edition.

Omd – Enola Gay Lyrics

OmdMiscellaneousEnola GayEnola Gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday Oho it can’t describe the feeling and the way you lied These games you play, they’re gonna end it all in tears someday Oho Enola Gay, it shouldn’t ever have to end this way It’s 8:15, that’s the time that it’s always been We got your message on the radio, condition’s normal and you’re coming home Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today Oho, this kiss you give, it’s never ever gonna fade away Enola Gay, it shouldn’t ever have to end this way Oho Enola Gay, it should’ve faded our dreams away It’s 8:15, oh that’s the time that it’s always been We got your message on the radio, condition’s normal and you’re coming home Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today Oho, this you give, it’s never ever gonna fade away

Omd - Enola Gay Lyrics

Übersetzung kommentieren

„Enola Gay“ ist der Name des B-29-Bombers (Superfortress) der United States Army Air Forces, der die erste Atombombe („Little Boy“), die je in einem Konflikt eingesetzt wurde, am 6. August 1945 auf die japanische Stadt Hiroshima 08:15 Uhr Ortszeit klinkte der Bombenschütze der Enola Gay die Bombe aus.(Wikipedia)

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The Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named for Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, who selected the aircraft while it was still on the assembly line. On 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb. The bomb, code-named „Little Boy“, was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused unprecedented destruction.(Wiki)The bomb was unlocked from the aircraft at 8:15 a.m. local time.

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OMD’s “Enola Gay” Given Coats Of Remix Paint For 40th

We last visited this topic a month ago when the record was preordered but had not yet arrived. Lots has happened since then [including an attempted insurrection of the United States government], but the record finally arrived and I have subsequently bought the second DL remix, so we’re finally ready to dispense thoughts on OMD’s remixes of “Enola Gay.” For a song that had famously been released in 1980 without the then-trendy second remix version on 12″ or even 10″ single, this represents a bit of having cake and eating it too for the band. Technically, that means that these will all be Post-Modern Remixes; the topic of which has been a scourge for PPM with their 1998 attempts in this field of endeavor being among the very worst remixes I’ve ever had the displeasure to hear. But the band’s own 12″ mix is reputed to be an “old school” style extended version. Can they avoid the guillotine 22 years later?

The band’s Extended Version began with the distinctive drum machine toms and the bass synth isolated for a classic 12″ buildup lasting almost a full minute as one by one, the rest of the song’s elements join in on the crescendo. It sounds exactly like what we were all expecting in 1980 when we bought the 12″ single but didn’t get. All of the elements here were from the master tape and there aren’t any modern elements that stick out like a sore thumb. If they cheated then they did a great job of it.

The only part where it rankled me is in the drop before the middle eight. First of all, The Drop was not an established part of the remix vernacular at that time. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was something that came much later in dance music. And the sound fo the song putting on the brakes like that to stop cold was jarring. The middle eight itself was less convincing than the original was with the chilling bomb blast drums of the original dissipated into less monolithic force. I did like the winsome synth leads at the end of the middle eight, though. And McCluskey’s vocals were doubled with chorus on the coda for a different feel. Overall the mix and EQ didn’t vary drastically, which meant that this “Enola Gay” still had the DNA of what we all know and love.

The “Slow Mix” was as its name implied, a radical Post-Modern Remix of the song by the band as someone else would do it today; basically re-constructing the song with a different arrangement, tempo, and even lead vocal. The slow, stately pace was very OMD, but the vocal was vocoded throughout. It might even be a new vocal by Andy given the treatment. The glockenspiel was a delicate touch. I would not be surprised. The melody was constructed here as a methodical rondo which was pretty catchy. The bomb blast drums and the drum machine toms made a re-appearance in the middle eight here, for the only call back to the original mix.

Hot Chip have been one of “those bands” who I’ve heard their name bandied about for 10-15 years without actually hearing. The mix was superficially closest to the original, at least at first, but with a really obnoxious, super busy drum loop loosed in the mix; making it fight the original rhythm box for supremacy. While the droning hum of perhaps a bomber engine assumed the front and center spotlight. it sounded like the mix was fighting itself. And that busy drum loop at a much higher BPM than anything else in the song was flat out wrong. Worse, the drum loop itself sounded dangerously close to the “bongo feet” sound used to indicate running in Scooby Doo cartoons!

At least Andy McCluskey was still in the mix, but his vocal sounded like it may have been a re-recording. Once Andy started singing in the mix, there were new shimmery tremolo synths that sounded as if they were playing the melody from the middle eight of “Good Vibrations” dropped into this hot mess. This mix was pulling in several different ways simultaneously and I can’t listen to it and hear anything worth recommending. It only sounded good as compared to the sheer atrocity of the 1998 Micronauts remix of “Electricity.”

The Theo Kottis remix was just the thing… if you needed to hear “Enola Gay” brought to its knees in a House Mix that flashed me back to 1994. The song featured an echoey Andy McCluskey amid the heavy 808 and I swear that all but the band’s own “Extended Version” used a new vocal track as this one sounded somewhat different to the performance from 1980. It’s not uncommon for “remixes” to be new from the ground up, including vocal, and this one sounded like just that. The accelerated crescendoes of drum machine fills were particularly galling. But not so much as the notion that McCluskey and Humphreys signed off on this mix! Then again, those guys also green-lit Micronauts, so there’s that.

All of these mixes were available in the usual download stores, but my copy of the OMD mixes were from the oxblood 12″ single that I pre-ordered from the UMG web store and was released on November 27th. European copies from the OMD web store in the UK came with a DL voucher and I thought that they all would. But no WAV files was the price I paid for saving a bundle on postage from the US UMG web store. Postage was free in The States. The other upside was that unlike the CZ pressed “Roxy Music” Steven Wilson 2.0 remix LP I got in August, this German [Optimal Media GmbH] pressing sounded perfect! If they have to make me buy vinyl, at least let it sound this good. Since I am interested in buying modern OMD on physical single format I was thrilled that I did not dawdle. This record is now shifting hands at around $50 a pop.

Overall, these mixes run the gamut from almost good to negligible. The band’s mixes are best, and if push came to shove, I’d recommend the band’s “Extended Version” as the one to get as a DL since it almost did the neat trick of sounding like an unheard 12″ mix that got caught in a wormhole and leapt forward in time for 40 years. The rest? Missable, though your mileage may vary.

OMD’s “Enola Gay” Given Coats Of Remix Paint For 40th

Looking back at a synthpop classic…

With the 75th Anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, it seems like a timely opportunity to explore the history of the song that was inspired by the tragedy.

It’s one of OMD’s most iconic songs and gained them their first UK Top Ten – as well as their first international hit single. ‘Enola Gay’ remains a classic OMD song, yet its evolution has taken it through some turbulent skies.

The release of OMD’s second album Organisation in 1980 had seen a shift in OMD’s sound. From the ‘garage punk’ aesthetics that had dominated their debut album, Organisation instead featured gothic, broody tones and soundscapes. The album owes some of its inspiration, in part, to Joy Division’s second album Closer – an album that Peter Saville had played constantly and which had subsequently seeped into the writing of OMD’s darker album. The death of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis earlier that year had also overshadowed the songwriting process at the time – which had lent inspiration to the funereal tones of ‘Statues’.

Yet, in the midst of all this solemnity, was a pop song which seemed curiously out of place with its broody neighbours. ‘Enola Gay’ actually dated back to the era of OMITD, in particular a period where Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys were penning new material (much of OMITD’s content actually dates back to the days of The Id). ‘Enola Gay’ (along with ‘Motion And Heart’) had been written by Andy in the back room at Paul’s mum’s house in the week before the first album had been released. Paul’s mum was at work at the time, while Paul was involved in the rebuilding of Hoylake outdoor swimming pool in order to claim his dole money.

OMD had already toyed with inspirations that had sprung from a curious interest in war themes. ‘Bunker Soldiers’ is one such track, while ‘The Messerschmitt Twins’ is another. While researching the history of the Messerschmitt aircraft in the process of writing that particular song, Andy had chanced upon an article discussing the Enola Gay.

It remains a controversial episode of the Second World War and debate still continues today on the moral issues that revolve around the decision to drop an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. Andy had already developed a fascination with military aircraft and the morbid decision by the mission pilot to name the plane after his mother was an aspect that struck his imagination.

“The idea that a Superfortress, which wasn’t really a fantastic plane by modern standards – it was all riveted together and pretty poky – could drop an atomic bomb and kill so many people, was intriguing” commented Andy in the OMD biography Messages. “I wasn’t interested in the politics of it or the morals of it. It isn’t an anti-nuclear song, nor is it a celebration… and certainly, the way the lyrics are delivered, it isn’t at all positive: ‘You should have stayed ay home yesterday/This kiss will never fade away’”.

“They’d been telling me about ‘Enola Gay’ for months!” commented Carol Wilson in Messages, “and then when they brought it in, I loved it! But just to wind me up, they said they didn’t want to release it. They could never decide between credibility and commerciality… we always said they didn’t know whether they wanted to be Joy Division or Abba!”. Not everyone was so positive at the time however. Paul Collister (then OMD’s manager), on hearing Andy playing the tune in the studio, described it as “pop crap”.

‘Enola Gay’ had originally been composed on the trusty Korg Micro-Preset, which had become OMD’s particular workhorse of choice. The bass accompaniment of the song is supplied by a Roland SHO9. In its original incarnation, ‘Enola Gay’ had lacked the distinctive drum machine rhythms that give the song its unique identity. In fact the drum elements, culled from a Roland CR-78 drum machine, were the last parts to be added to the song.

Early versions of ‘Enola Gay’ featured a slightly different drum machine intro along with a more laid back vocal from Andy. At the time, the band were confident enough in the new song to introduce it into their live performances. In April, OMD had also recorded a version of ‘Enola Gay’ for John Peel’s show based on this arrangement.

Andy and Paul had subsequently spent June and July 1980 penning the material that would form the greater part of Organisation. With backing tracks for the new album laid down at OMD’s own studio The Gramophone Suite, the band then moved to Ridge Farm studios in Dorking where they teamed up with Mike Howlett on production duties.

Howlett, formerly a member of Gong, had previously worked his magic on ‘Messages’. The primitive electro-trash of the original had been transformed into a much more polished synthpop song under Howlett’s hand. This bolder, pop-orientated approach had elevated OMD from an obscure cult band to a household name.

Despite recognising Howlett’s importance in shaping ‘Messages’, Andy had waxed hot and cold over developments with ‘Enola Gay’. After completing the initial recordings at Ridge Farm, Andy and Paul relocated to Advision Studios to begin mixing the album with Mike Howlett. The first week in Advision was spent listing to the various mixes of ‘Enola Gay’, but no one was completely won over by any of them. To add to the pressures, DinDisc wanted a single released before the album was completed.

A version based on the original arrangement was committed to tape and DinDisc had even begun pressing the single – before Andy had a crisis of confidence and ordered the pressings to be scrapped. Taking time to reassess things, Howlett managed to get a new, much improved vocal from Andy by encouraging him to just relax and sing along to the speakers.

Despite the new approach, the final recorded version of ‘Enola Gay’ was actually assembled from a composition of the various vocal takes from both the Ridge Farm and Advision sessions.

Despite Andy’s concerns over the song, ‘Enola Gay’ surprised everyone when it was released in September 1980 and reached no. 8 in the UK charts. Although OMD had made an impression on the public with the success of ‘Messages’ in May the same year, something about ‘Enola Gay’ struck a much stronger resonance in the record-buying public.

OMD returned to film an appearance on classic UK music show Top Of The Pops for ‘Enola Gay’, which probably helped give the song its high chart placing. It wasn’t all plain sailing however. Some critics questioned the perceived political message – with the Sounds review flippantly describing the lyrics as “naïve”. Meanwhile, there’s also a suggestion that children’s TV show Swap Shop had vetoed an appearance of the band on the over a mistaken belief that the song harboured homosexual sympathies due to its title!

This had little bearing on the domestic success of ‘Enola Gay’, but it was internationally that OMD made their mark with the release. The single took the No. 1 spot in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. Even today, the song remains popular in many of these countries.

Today, ‘Enola Gay’ remains as one of the most potent weapons in OMD’s live arsenal and has rightly established itself as a classic example of synthpop perfection.

Thanks to Andy McCluskey for additional article originally appeared on the Messages website.

Enola Gay

„Enola Gay“ ist der Name des B-29-Bombers (Superfortress) der United States Army Air Forces, der die erste Atombombe („Little Boy“), die je in einem Konflikt eingesetzt wurde, am 6. August 1945 auf die japanische Stadt Hiroshima 08:15 Uhr Ortszeit klinkte der Bombenschütze der Enola Gay die Bombe aus.(Wikipedia)

2 Responses to OMD’s “Enola Gay” Given Coats Of Remix Paint For 40th

I haven’t needed an extended Enola Gay for 40 years and nothing presented has changed my mind in that direction. In fact I don’t think anyone needed remixes of the perfection that is Enola Gay.

Echorich – Due to the drop and the middle eight in the one halfway decent thing here, I’m probably inclined to join you. One hopes that no other singles of their get this sort of attention on their 40th anniversary going forward. What was done in 1998 was still traumatic. And you’re right. When I first heard “Enola Gay” on the US OMITS compilation [I thought he was singing “it’s all a game…] it was an immediate stunner. A huge leap forward from “Electricity.”

Zwei Versionen von Enola Gay

Dafür haben sich Andy McCluskey und Paul Humphreys ihren Hit Enola Gay auf zweifache Weise nochmal vorgeknöpft. Ein Extended Mix wurde vom originalen Multitrack-Masterband erstellt und hört sich so an, als käme er direkt aus den 1980er-Jahren. Bei der zweiten Version bewegten sich OMD weit weg vom Original und machten aus dem Stück ein entschleunigtes Chill-Out-Stück.

Remix von Hot Chip

Aber OMD haben nicht nur selbst Hand an dem Song angelegt, sondern auch Kollegen zur Arbeit gebeten. Erhältlich ist nämlich auch din Remix von Al Doyle von Hot Chip. Der hatte extremen Spaß wie auch eine gehörige Portion Ehrfurcht bei der Arbeit, wie er erzählt: „Das Rohmaterial von ‚Enola Gay’ in die Hände zu bekommen, fühlt sich an, als würde man sich in heilige Hallen einschleichen. Es ist bereits ein perfektes Lied, also ist dies nur eine Hommage und eine Huldigung, die durch das Ereignis des 75. Jahrestages der Atombombenangriffe auf Japan in diesem Jahr noch bedeutungsvoller wird. OMD für immer.“

Writers & Publishers

You should have stayed at home yesterdayAh-ha words can’t describeThe feeling and the way you lied

These games you playThey’re going to end in more than tears some dayAh-ha Enola GayIt shouldn’t ever have to end this way

It’s eight fifteenAnd that’s the time that it’s always beenWe got your message on the radioConditions normal and you’re coming home

Is mother proud of little boy todayAh-ha this kiss you giveIt’s never ever going to fade away

It shouldn’t ever have to end this wayAh-ha Enola GayIt shouldn’t fade in our dreams away

von Markus Brandstetter

„Enola Gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday / We got your message on the radio, conditions normal and you’re coming home“ – Mit diesem legendären wie eingängigen Anti-Kriegslied landeten Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) vor 40 Jahren einen ihrer größten Hits. Das feiert die Band mit einem besonderen Release, mit dem sie auch anlässlich des 75. Jahrestag des Atombombenabwurfs der USA auf Hiroshima mit dem Bomber Enola Gay der Opfer gedenken.