The only single from, and the opening track on, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
’s album Organisation
, Enola Gay
is an electronic classic. The lyrics question whether the atomic bombing of Japan at the end of the Second World War was necessary. The line “Is mother proud of little boy today?”, refers to both the American aircraft and the bomb used in the attack on Hiroshima: the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, named the bomber after his mother (Enola Gay Tibbets) and the bomb itself was code-named Little Boy. The exact time of the detonation of the weapon is also given in the song’s lyrics: “It’s 8:15, and that’s the time that it’s always been,” Andy McCluskey sings, as famously timepieces around the area of the explosion were found frozen at that time in the weeks after.
After the war, the Enola Gay remained in service for a few years but spent much of the 1950s stationed at various air bases until it was eventually placed into permanent storage. In the 1980s, veterans groups called for it to be put on display, a controversial request given its past and the public’s attitude towards nuclear weapons. The last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew involved in the Hiroshima bombing, navigator Theodore Van Kirk, died last year.
NEW SINGLES on sale from Sep. 26
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK Enola Gay (Dindisc DIN22)
The TOURISTS (Annie Lennox) Don’t Say I Told You So (RCA TOUR2)
CHINA CRISIS Working With Fire And Steel (Virgin VS620)
BOY GEORGE Don’t Cry (Virgin BOY107)
The HUMAN LEAGUE Love Is All That Matters (Virgin VS1025)