Enola Gay is a pop song by the British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), and addresses one of the darkest events in history – the Hiroshima bombing. It was written by Andy McCluskey, the band’s lead singer, and was released in 1980, as the only single from the album Organisation.
Enola Gay can be interpreted as an anti-war or anti-nuclear protest song, nonetheless, the most crucial underlying message is that such atrocious events should not be forgotten in our past – “Enola Gay, it shouldn’t fade in our dreams away”.
Andy McCluskey (vocals and bass) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards) were only after one thing when they started Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark in 1978: to change the world. Punk was exploding in London, but on the outskirts of Liverpool, far from safety pins and tartan, the duo found their own way of rebelling, by swapping out guitars for sythensizers, travelling the motorway paved by Kraftwerk.
They didn’t trust success, but found it without looking with hits like ‘Enola Gay’ off their second album, ‘Organisation’ (1980) and ‘Souvenir’ and ‘Joan of Arc (Maid of Oreleans)’ from their third effort, ‘Architecture & Morality’ (1981). The experimental ‘Dazzle Ships’ (1983) was a commercial harakiri, and industry pressure pushed them to mass-produced pop. A half a dozen duds went out until the mid-90s when they disbanded. Back together in the mid-2000s, OMD now present their third LP from the band’s second era, ‘The Punishment of Luxury’ (2017).