For all those more familiar with the pop appeal that OMD oozed on the 1980s and early 90s, this collection of b-sides to those well-loved singles may come as a slight shock. While the synth-pop lure of the classic "Enola Gay," "Tesla Girls" and the bands mini-revival with "Sailing On The Seven Seas" may be obvious, the b-side tracks that accompanied them were less straight forward.
As well as occupying the other side of the vinyl, they also lived in another world of the synthesiser spectrum, abandoning the terrain of the chart single for one of an experimental, atmospheric track. This collection of b-sides, packaged as an album called Navigation and aimed at loyal fans who have been crying out for these songs on CD, shows OMD in a totally different light to the one that shone on them during Top of the Pops appearances and radio play.
In fact, the band that first hit the headlines with their 1979 release Electricity, sound a lot more like Kraftwerk in these tracks than the techno-pop wizards that armchair fans have come to appreciate. But unlike Kraftwerk, a lot of their ideas are lacklustre and never take off before the tracks fade to close. As a result, Navigation suffers from being boring, uninspiring and heavily dated.
While this, their first collection of b-sides, may hit the spot with those who went out to buy the singles at the time and liked the alternative track that came with it, the rest of us will wonder why we paid out for it. Unless youre a massive OMD fan, youll do well to navigate yourself well clear of this collection of also rans.
If you liked Navigation...
2. I Betray My Friends
3. Waiting for the Man / Taking Sides Again
5. Sacred Heart
6. Romance of the Telescope (Unfinished)
9. 66 and Fading
10. Her Body in My Soul
12. Garden City
13. Concrete Hands
15. This Town
16. Gravity Never Failed
18. Sugar Tax
19. (Angels Keep Turning) The Wheels of the Universe