[16] Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, ‘Maid Of Orleans’

The 31st biggest selling single of the year starts off with some industrial noises, still more tuneful than Japan’s squeaks and whirs, before a kind of military waltz tempo fades in. It’s hypnotic and addictive, but still alienating until the melody comes in. These elements build and build, constructing OMD’s best song. It’s effortless.

It’s also their second single about Joan of Arc. What was the fascination? I know Jane Wiedlin looked quite cute in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but this was years earlier. Junior and I have no answers. We prefer to stand rooted to the spot by the metronomic rhythm, musing on OMD’s position in the hierarchy of great synth duos.

6th, we reckon.

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