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Navigation: The OMD B-Sides

Release Date: 05.14.01
Record label: Virgin
Genre(s): Rock


Flight of the Navigator
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent

As well as occupying the other side of the vinyl, they also lived in another world of the synthesiser spectrum, abandoning the terrain of the chart single for one of an experimental, atmospheric track. This collection of b-sides, packaged as an album called Navigation and aimed at loyal fans who have been crying out for these songs on CD, shows OMD in a totally different light to the one that shone on them during Top of the Pops appearances and radio play.

In fact, the band that first hit the headlines with their 1979 release Electricity, sound a lot more like Kraftwerk in these tracks than the techno-pop wizards that armchair fans have come to appreciate. But unlike Kraftwerk, a lot of their ideas are lacklustre and never take off before the tracks fade to close. As a result, Navigation suffers from being boring, uninspiring and heavily dated.

While this, their first collection of b-sides, may hit the spot with those who went out to buy the singles at the time and liked the alternative track that came with it, the rest of us will wonder why we paid out for it. Unless you’re a massive OMD fan, you’ll do well to navigate yourself well clear of this collection of also rans.