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Posted by on Nov 4, 2010 in Featured, Greg, Music | 1 comment

Lyrically Speaking: OMD–“88 Seconds in Greensboro”

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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) circa 1980   (l – r) Dave Hughes, Paul Humphreys, Malcolm Holmes, Andy McCluskey

88 Seconds in Greensboro

I’ve been listening to a lot of 80s British synth-pop and electronica recently – stuff like early Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, the Human League, New Order. And Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – OMD. A lot of the music from that era is pure pop fizz, but beyond the radio-friendly pop singles there are a number of much deeper themes and pieces. It definitely pays to listen to the whole album.

Mode address global warming on The Landscape is Changing. Numan covers deviant sexuality on Friends. New Order and Frankie Goes to Hollywood touched on the futility of war in Love Vigilantes and War respectively. Jimmy Sommerville and the Communards were hitting out at anti-gay sentiment on Small Town Boy (and others!)

OMD too covered a couple of sombre topics, including the bombing of Hiroshima on the classic Enola Gay and the Greensboro Massacre, which occurred yesterday, 31 years ago. (See my post from yesterday to read more about this event.)

Here’s a video clip of the band performing their song 88 Seconds in Greensboro. The clip is from the video ‘Crush: The Movie’ which was one of the first “Making of…” style rockumentary videos produced, and includes some clips taken on the day of the shootings. The track appears on the OMD album ‘Crush’.

In red and blue
In black and white
Under crystal skies
In full daylight

You know it
God you know it

They’re heading for
A shallow grave
With a big black cross
By a tall white house
To a place down south
We won’t forget
To be stabbed in the back
By a man they met

In 88 seconds
In Greensboro
88 seconds
In Greensboro

(Oh, and as a total aside – notice the ratio of synthesiser to traditional instruments in the band? Synth-pop? Hmmm.)

1 Comment

  1. Love this album. Thanks for posting this article. I must have listened to 88 seconds hundreds of times over the years and never knew about the connection to the Greensboro shootings.

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