Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are a British new wave group formed in 1978, whose founding members, Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys(keyboards, vocals), are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, England. The band rose to fame with their fourth single "Enola Gay", which became a major hit throughout Europe in 1980, and achieved worldwide popularity the following year with their third album Architecture & Morality. Regarded as the band's seminal work, it spawned three international hit singles and propelled McCluskey and Humphreys to pop star status, despite their fervent rejection of any such label. OMD, whose music frequently eschewed traditional pop music arrangements in favour of experimentation, cultivated a style dubbed "intelligent pop"; the group were described by critic Ned Raggett in Allmusic as having been "in the enviable position of at once being creative innovators and radio-friendly pop giants."
Record sales incurred a decline in the UK in the mid-to-late 1980s – initiated by sonically challenging, and retrospectively acclaimed, 1983 album Dazzle Ships – but the group remained popular and tended towards more traditional songwriting as the decade wore on. Concurrently, they reached their US peak and had a series of hits, the most notable being 1986's "If You Leave", written for the film Pretty in Pink. Humphreys departed in 1989 with Malcolm Holmes (drums) and Martin Cooper (various instruments) to form The Listening Pool, leaving McCluskey to lead the band. The 1991 album Sugar Tax and its initial singles were hits, particularly in the UK, where OMD experienced a commercial renaissance. By 1996, however, electronic music had become unfashionable amid the mainstream breakthrough of indie rock, and McCluskey disbanded the group due to dwindling popularity, months after their final chart hit, the Britpop-tinged "Walking on the Milky Way".
McCluskey founded successful pop group Atomic Kitten in 1998, and served as songwriter on the majority of their recorded output from 1999 to 2002, including their biggest hit, "Whole Again". McCluskey, Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper reformed OMD in 2006 and continue recording and performing, with over 40 million records sold worldwide to date. Although their unconventional hit singles have not garnered significant mainstream attention in recent years, the group have been cited as an influence by modern acts such as The Killers, La Roux, Robyn, Glasvegas, Death Cab for Cutie, The xx, Hurts and LCD Soundsystem; and critics have observed their influence on artists like Radiohead, Pet Shop Boys and Nine Inch Nails. McCluskey in 2010 dubbed OMD "the forgotten band" and opined, "By the very nature of the band, because we weren't trying to be pop stars and weren't terribly interested in presenting ourselves as sexy or colourful, when people think back to 30 years ago, we're often forgotten. Because we were just about the music."