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orchestral manoeuvres, "navigation: the omd b-sides"

While CD singles can be interpreted as collectable, tradable fun littlethings, they arguably killed the art of the b-side in the late 1980s.After much pressure, Virgin finally honors OMD with a collection oftracks from the other side of the hits. With two-sided singles, groupsoften went wild since their albums were scrutinized by the press undera microscope and their singles had to grab enough public attention tosell. Some of OMD's finer moments can be heard within the earliergrooves, now collected for the first time on compact digital audio. I'mthrilled mainly because I had all of these songs on crummy-qualityvinyl, and now can listen to a beautifully restored mastering job.Thankfully for people who were never impressed by the watery pop phasesof OMD, this comp is heavy on the early classics. Vocal songs like"Sacred Heart" and "I Betray My Friends" showcase an undeniable masteryof songcraft, while instrumentals like "66 & Fading" and theuber-anthemic "Wheels of the Universe" are emotionally chargedmasterpieces, years ahead of their time. The group pays tribute toinfluencors Velvet Underground with their cover of "Waiting for theMan" and Neu! (in title alone as far as I can hear) with "4-Neu" whilethe inclusion of early alternate versions of "Almost" from the firstalbum and "The Romance of the Telescope" from Dazzle Ships are certainto please the completist fans. If you avoid the expensive chainretailers by buying direct from,you'll get an autographed booklet and additional booklet of moreextensive liner notes. My only beef with this and the web site is theincomprehensive 'Brit-centric' qualities of each, which ignore the factmost people only know OMD by "If You Leave" outside of their tinylittle island, omitting it from the booklet discography.