By rights, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark should be in semi-retirement, performing classics like Enola Gay and Joan Of Arc (Maid Of Orleans) on the nostalgia festival circuit like so many peers.
Instead, they’ve created a landmark album worthy of their finest work. Having made one of their most universally acclaimed albums last time out, when 2017’s The Punishment of Luxury returned Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys to the Top Five for the first time since 1991’s Sugar Tax, the duo have somehow managed to better it. Welcome to Bauhaus Staircase, both OMD’s most explicitly political record and the crowning achievement of their desire to be both Karlheinz Stockhausen and ABBA.
The love shown for the last record meant there were doubts about making a new album at all. “The fans and the critics said: ‘You can put Punishment up against their best work’ and rated it next to Architecture And Morality or Dazzle Ships,” notes Paul Humphreys.
McCluskey explains: “We’ve worked hard to rebuild ourselves since reforming, and we’re in a wonderful position. We wouldn’t forgive ourselves if we released an album where fans said: ‘Oh no, this is the one where they’re a pastiche of themselves.’ ”
“We might be seen as ‘heritage’, but we’re not going to make a new album just so we can have a new logo on our T-shirts,” insists McCluskey. “I’m very happy with what we’ve done on this record. I’m comfortable if this is OMD’s last statement.”