My Top 1000 Songs #272: Enola Gay

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark's 1980 single "Enola Gay" (from the album Organisation) is another new wave-era track that always transports me back to a particular moment in time. Back in high school, as I was pivoting from my ongoing fixation with classic rock and prog into newer music, catching the 1982 concert film Urgh! A Music War on late-night cable (TBS's Night Flight, if I remember correctly) was a huge revelation for me. As noted elsewhere in these parts, it served up a large helping of punk, new wave, and experimental acts that, a few more mainstream exceptions aside (The Police, The Go-Go's), were largely absent from MTV and my local radio stations. The movie filled me with tremendous hope that there was a huge supply of amazing new music out there, unknown in my little suburban bubble, awaiting discovery.

I was more a guitar than synth guy, but this keyboard-driven track in particular captured my imagination, and I've loved it ever since. The dark WWII-themed lyrics aside, it's a buoyant bit of upbeat if spooky minor-key pop, an infectious synth hook and that ridiculously perky electronic percussion under-current.

That live clip from Urgh!: