On November 8th, 1981, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released their highly influential third album, Architecture and Morality a record that sees electronic music pioneers at their peak of creativity.
The songs on Architecture and Morality still carries a lot of the grit many of OMD previously released tracks displayed, but nevertheless, the brilliantly composed album contained three tracks that became hugely successful singles: “Maid of Orleans (The Waltz of Joan of Arc)”, “Joan of Arc” and “Souvenir”, and “She’s Leaving”, which was a Factory Benelux only release.
Andy McClusky’s vocal style influenced many singers that would follow, and the catchy and sometimes dramatic yet minimalistic arrangements of the band displayed a good understanding of efficiency and dynamics within a track to make it catchy and engaging.
One thing for sure, Architecture and Morality is one of the most important albums ever released in the history of Synth Pop, and yet is not limited by the conventions of the genre, such as the very post-punk driven opening track “The New Stone Age”, which demonstrates OMD’s wide range of compositional styles.
For the single “Souvenir”, Keyboard player Paul Humphreys provided lead vocals and had co-written the song with Martin Cooper who had played live with OMD and was becoming part of the group.
Frontman and co-founder Andy McCluskey was not a fan of the track and has stated:
“I think you can always make a better case for a song you’ve written on your own…But everyone seems to think I hated ‘Souvenir’ just because it was Paul’s song – not so. I genuinely thought it was a bit soppy, and since I hadn’t written it, I found it hard to relate to.”
The song’s promo video was filmed on the grounds of Stowe House, which is used as Stowe School, in Buckinghamshire, England.
In the video, Andy McCluskey spends the entire video driving around in a classic red, convertible Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, while Paul Humphreys is standing on the Palladian Bridge while singing and leaning against the pillars of the bridge.