Happy Birthday to George Andrew “Andy” McCluskey – born June 24,1959!
George Andrew “Andy” McCluskey in Heswall, Cheshire) is an English musician, songwriter and record producer who is best known as the singer, bass guitarist and co-founder of synthpop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). Within OMD, McCluskey is noted for his baritone voice, manic onstage dancing, multi-instrumentation, and unconventional lyrical subjects.
McCluskey also founded girl group Atomic Kitten, for whom he served as a principal songwriter, and has collaborated with various popular acts. A pioneer of electronic music in the United Kingdom, McCluskey is an Ivor Novello Award-nominated songwriter whose work has topped charts in the UK and internationally.
McCluskey met Paul Humphreys at Great Meols Primary School, in Elwyn Road, and played with him in several bands, including Hitlerz Underpantz, VCL XI and the Id. McCluskey then attended Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby. McCluskey briefly joined Dalek I Love You as their lead singer, but left because he wanted to sing his own songs. McCluskey teamed up with Humphreys again to form OMD in 1978, achieving global success.
Humphreys and the rest of the band split with McCluskey in 1989, with McCluskey retaining the OMD name: he disbanded the group in 1996. McCluskey single-handedly wrote the OMD hits “Enola Gay”, “Joan of Arc” and “Maid of Orleans”, and co-wrote the successful singles “Locomotion”, “Talking Loud and Clear”, “If You Leave” and “Sailing on the Seven Seas”.
McCluskey developed a popular and distinctive onstage dance routine, dubbed by the BBC’s Stuart Maconie as the “Trainee Teacher Dance”. Rock group ZZ Top, who shared a studio with OMD on a 1980 edition of BBC2 show The Old Grey Whistle Test, adopted the routine as part of their live set (and also played OMD’s self-titled debut album over the PA prior to concerts). Maconie wrote that the “jerky, leg-snapping” dance became “the dance-floor routine of choice” for teaching students in the early-to-mid 1980s.