Home Think Tank How Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark made “Enola Gay”

How Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark made “Enola Gay”

From The Guardian:

People couldn’t comprehend how this strange song about a plane that drops a bomb could be a hit, but it became an absolute monster, selling five million copies across Europe. It seems ridiculous in this age of the X Factor and manufactured pop stars that anybody could, almost by accident, get a song to the top of the charts that they considered to be art – but that’s where we were coming from. We still close our gigs with Enola Gay, leaving the stage with the drum machine playing. I never understand bands who tire of playing their biggest hit, the song that’s been the key to their entire life.

I was always uneasy about the fact that Enola Gay was a bright, perky pop song about a nuclear holocaust, but it was insanely catchy. We’d intended the song to go on our eponymously titled first album, but hadn’t quite got it right. When we signed to Virgin, they put us with producer Mike Howlett, ex-bass player with space rockers Gong, and he helped us improve it. He took us to this lovely studio, at Ridge Farm in Dorking, our first venture into proper recording. In those days, you didn’t have sequencers, where you can just chuck something in and edit it; it all had to be done manually. So, as I was a much better keyboardist than Andy at the time, I programmed the synths and played everything on the keyboards.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Guardian