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By rights, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark should be in semi-retirement, performing classics like Enola Gay and Maid Of Orleans on the nostalgia festival circuit like so many peers.

Instead, they’ve created a landmark album worthy of their finest work. Having made one of their most universally acclaimed albums last time out, when 2017’s The Punishment Of Luxury returned Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys to the Top Five for the first time since 1991’s Sugar Tax, the duo have somehow managed to better it. Welcome to Bauhaus Staircase, both OMD’s most explicitly political record and the crowning achievement of their desire to be both Stockhausen and Abba.

The universal love shown for The Punishment Of Luxury meant there were doubts about making a new album at all. “The fans and the critics said: ‘You can put The Punishment Of Luxury up against their best work’ and rated it next to Architecture And Morality or Dazzle Ships,” notes Paul Humphreys. “The reception was so good, we thought: ‘Maybe we should stop now, at the top,’ so the idea of making a new record had some trepidation for us.”

McCluskey agrees, explaining: “We’ve worked hard to rebuild ourselves since reforming, and we’re in a wonderful position where we’re cooler than we’ve been for a long time. We wouldn’t forgive ourselves if we released an album where fans said: ‘Oh no, this is the one where they’re a pastiche of themselves.’ If Bauhaus Staircase is to be our last album, we’re going out with a strong statement.”