Monday, November 30, 2015

Close the Fridge!

I wanted to thank those of you who took a moment to remember our family in the comments section of my last post. Mrs. LTL and I were touched. A fine bunch you are.

Our trip to Illinois for my mother-in-law's funeral got off to a rocky start. We had a terrible storm here in the Pacific Northwest the afternoon before our flight, and our power was knocked out. So, our family of four packed for the 10-day excursion, complete with suits and dress shoes, in darkness. Mrs. LTL was scurrying about the house with something like a miner's light attached to the top of her head while the rest of us used flashlights and candles. Meanwhile, the temperatures were plummeting. When we woke at four in the morning for the ride to the airport, the power was still out and the thermostat in the house read 48 degrees Fahrenheit. We later learned from a neighbor via text the electricity had been out for 35 hours. So, upon our return last night, we had the privilege of spending our first hours emptying a smelly refrigerator and two freezers of hundreds of dollars worth of food. Welcome home.

That brings us to "Electricity," the first single from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. There are at least four versions out there, but this is the one produced by Martin Zero, (make that Martin Hannett) in 1979. This may not be the take you are used to hearing, and I don't claim it to be the best of the lot (OMD seems to agree), but I do like how Andy McCluskey's bass has been brought to the fore. You can find this one as a bonus track on the 2003 reissue of the band's self-titled debut. Still sounds great 36 years later.

"Electricity" (Hannett/Cargo Studios Version)


The Swede said...

Welcome back Brian. I'm sorry to hear of all your extra hassles on top of the sad news of your family bereavement.
To add insult to injury, I'm afraid the file for 'Electricity' isn't there - I get a 'File Does Not Exist' message. Is it the original Factory 7" version? Still the original and best as far as I'm concerned, though to be honest I didn't realise that there were 4 versions out there altogether. I saw OMD (complete with the reel to reel) supporting Gary Numan at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1979 - they blew him off the stage!

Brian said...

Hi Swede. I reloaded the file. Hopefully OK now. That show you saw is legendary. Even today when I was grabbing this photo I came across several ticket stubs online from that one. I'm a huge OMD fan... green with envy.

The Swede said...

Got it now. Such a great song, though not a version I'm familiar with I think.
I had no idea that the gig was so well thought of. I went with a chum who was heavily into Tubeway Army (who I quite liked too), though I was mainly there to see OMD. They definitely had the better tunes. I've still got the Factory 7" of 'Electricity' - amazing really, considering the number of great records I've let slip through my fingers over the years.

Brian said...

I have nearly every OMD single on vinyl either as a 7", 10" or 12", but I do not have the Factory 7". So, I'm green again. One of these days I'll go to discogs and plunk down the cash for it.

drew said...

Is that the same gig that is recorded for posterity on the Living Ornaments box set Swede? I was a big Numan fan, still got that box set

Echorich said...

I love this version. Hannett really respected the space that music was recorded in. Silence is paid the same respect and sound.
I've also always thought that although this a song about -"electricity" - it's always sounded as though it may have been recorded in the dark. We equate electricity with light and this song almost sound as though it's a song of longing for light rather than celebrating it.

George said...

This is, as Echorich says, a fine fine version of the song. Our power cut lasted only an hour. And it was a nice warm (75-80 Fahrenheit) day. And it's great to read a new posting, Brian.

kevinpat said...

Welcome back. I'm sorry for your troubles. Sometimes life throws some curve balls, don't it??

Hope this is okay to offer here but in my mad search for 2015Christmas songs I came across this sweet little thing and every time I hear it I think you folks at the LTL community. Check this out and see if I'm wrong. I often am so it's okay.

Stereosparks ~ "Unwrapping You"

Brian said...

Kevinpat, I enjoyed that one very much. I just recently learned our British pals don't always share our love for holiday albums. Perhaps, though, they will like this one song.

Echorich, I know your love for OMD and Hannett runs deep. I thought we might get your thoughts on this one. Thanks for that.

George, Great to be back, my friend. I would gladly take a 75-80 degree day right now. Been frigid here in the Pacific Northwest for a while now.

Ian Balentine said...

HI Brian. Very sorry for your recent troubles.

Great song, and a version I like, for pretty much the same reasons stated so eloquently by Echorich. The space, man! I have that cd reissue you speak of, pretty cool that it reproduces the die cut original by Saville.

OMD should be remembered for the early work, and bringing attention to songs like this will do just that. They were a terrific band for at least 4 albums (5 if you're me...I happen to like Junk Culture!).

Thanks Brian.