640. Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark being one of those outfits that would be very easy to ridicule (hate even) for their name alone, except they rather lived it up to it. For the first few albums anyway. Architecture & Morality (their third) hit big in the UK, and deserved it, working a cool mix of pop and noise and ambient options, with Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans) managing to do it all in four minutes and change.

OMD-1981

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799. radio waves

1983’s Dazzle Ships was the last Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark album that felt necessary. Smart pop that wasn’t afraid to get experimental, and it worked (for the most part anyway – it actually rated as a commercial disaster at the time). “Radio Waves stood out because I was just getting started on my own radio adventures at the time. From the transmitter to the receiver. Sounds simple until you get profoundly high and suddenly you realize, it’s not just the machines that are transmitting and receiving, it’s human beings, human hearts, human souls. It’s all one big cosmic pop extravaganza, and you can dance to it.” (Philip Random)

OMD-1983

The 12 MixTapes of Christmas

chrs-bopsolid-master

The Twelve Mixtapes of Christmas have got nothing to do with Christmas (beyond being a gift to you) and they’re not actually mix tapes, or CDs for that matter – just mixes, each 49-minutes long, one posted to Randophonic’s Mixcloud for each day of Twelvetide (aka the Twelve Days of Christmas).

The mixes are in fact remnants of an unfinished project from a few years back that had something to do with compiling a playlist for an alternative to Alternative Rock (or whatever) radio station. To be honest, we’re not one hundred percent clear about any of it because somebody spilled (what we hope is) red wine on the official transcript, thus rendering key parts illegible.

Bottom line: it’s five hundred eighty-eight minutes of music covering all manner of ground, from David Bowie to Bow Wow Wow to Tuxedomoon to Claudine Longet, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Captain Beefheart, Aphrodite’s Child, Tom Jones, Marilyn Manson, Ike + Tina Turner, anything and everything, as long as it’s good.