Souvenir is the title of a song recorded and released by British new wave group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). The song was the first to be written jointly by band members Paul Humphreys and Martin Cooper. It was produced by Mike Howlett and released as a single on Dindisc on 04 August 1981, the lead single or the Architecture & Morality album, released on 08 November.
Souvenir was the group's first new material since the previous year's Organisation album and the follow-up to hit single Enola Gay which had charted in the UK almost a year earlier. The release of a new song was therefore highly anticipated and did not disappoint, as the single reached no.3 in the UK on its third week in the Top 30. The track was premiered on Radio One on 24 August 1981. It was the group's first single not to have been written by Andy McCluskey and the first to feature Paul Humphreys as lead singer.
The 7" release features a 3:37 version of the song while the 10" single featured a longer version entitled 'extended Souvenir' which includes an extra verse. The timing of the latter is not stated on the release although later digital versions give a timing of 4:17. This was the first time that the group had released an 'extended' version of a single, although still avoided the 12" singel format which was becoming fashionable at the time.
The single featured two tracks as a B-side on both the 7" and 10" releases. The first, Motion & Heart (Amazon version) was a re-recording of a track from the Organisation album, recorded at Amazon Studios in Liverpool. The second, Sacred Heart, was brand new track and was a taster of the group's new musical style and fascination with religious subject matter. The single label states a total overall timing of 6:34. Both tracks were written by Humphreys/McCluskey and produced by OMD. Neither appeared on the original Architecture & Morality album remaining exclusive to this release for many years. Both tracks featured on the 2003 CD re-release of the album, while Sacred Heart also featured on the Navigation: the OMD B-Sides album (2001).
Sleeve and artwork
Lile previous singles and albums, the sleev for Souvenir was designed Peter Saville together with Brett Wickens. The 7" front sleeve bears the fictitious company name Zincografica S.p.A (the acronym denotes an Italian company). The 7" again uses the die-cut technique leaving a central hole in the front of the black sleeve to show the disc label which features a period photograph of Düsseldorf, Germany. The 10" sleeve is solid cardboard but features a larger version of the same photograph printed on the front, and on the back credits the photo 'Stil von Düsseldorf D/R Institut'. (Düsseldorf is the home city of OMD idols Kraftwerk).
A video for the single featuring band members Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey was filmed on location at Stowe House in Buckinghamshire, UK.
- 7" Dindisc DIN 24
Sceneside A: Souvenir (3:37)
Typeside B: Motion & Heart (Amazon version) - Sacred Heart (6:34)
- 10" Dindisc DIN 24-10
ASide: Extended Souvenir
BSide: Motion & Heart (Amazon version) - Sacred Heart (6:34)
Top of the Pops and UK charts
OMD appeared to perform the song on Top of the Pops for the first time on 03 September 1981 as it had entered the charts at no.23, moving up from no.41. The line-up on the show of five group members was unique and unprecedented with Mike Douglas appearing with the band for the first and last time. The same performance was repeated on 17 September 1981, when it was at its peak no.3 placing, kept off the top spot by no.1 Adam & the Ants' Prince Charming and former no.1 Tainted Love by Soft Cell. The no.1 and no.2 singles maintained their positions the week after although Souvenir was pushed down to no.4 by Ottawan's Hands Up (Give Me Your Heart).
The group (now without Douglas) also performed the song on the Christmas Day 'best of the year' Top of the Pops, when Paul Humphreys was also briefly interviewed. (The year's no.1 singles had been reviewed on the Christmas Eve show which fell on the regular Thursday spot).
Remix single release (1998)
Souvenir was among the songs selected to be remixed for a second bonus disc to be included with the 1998 retrospective compilation album The OMD Singles. A total of four remixes were released spread over the various formats of a single release entitled The OMD Remixes. A remix by Moby (a fan of the song) was included on the regular CD single. The bonus CD was eventually released in France only (and later on digital platforms) and included all four remixes.
The song was performed live by OMD from 1981 onwards, although naturally dropped when Humphreys was no longer a part of the group during the 1990s. Humphreys did however perform the song as part of the live setlist with his group OneTwo over that period. The song has since been performed at all major live concerts since the band's reformation in 2007. Live recordings are available on all the group's live albums and DVDs (except Access All Areas).
Andy McCluskey has sung the lead vocal for the song only once, at the Rewind festival in Scone, Scotland on 26 July 2015 when Humphreys had been unable to take part in the concert due to "an emergency surgical operation".