"Souvenir" is a song written by Paul Humphreys and Martin Cooper of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and released as the first single from their 1981 album Architecture & Morality. It is sung by Humphreys, who ordinarily functions as keyboard player and backing vocalist. The percussion-heavy song has minimal lyrical content and is characterised by wordless, slowed-down choir effects offset by pulsing piano chords. It revisits an earlier concept of replacing a vocal chorus with a synthesizer melody. Despite being an unconventional choice for a single, it became – along with 1991's "Sailing on the Seven Seas" – the group's highest-charting UK hit to date, reaching #3. The single was also a #6 hit in Canada, as well as a Top 10 hit in several European territories, reaching #1 in Spain and Portugal.
Given its arrangement, the song was rarely heard on radio after it left the charts. It has been described as a lost classic of the 1980s.
AllMusic journalist Dave Thompson described the song as "exquisite", and concluded, "OMD at their most luminescent, 'Souvenir' was a permanent memento of the group's early power." Colleague Ned Raggett characterised the track as "haunting"; he lauded Humphreys' vocal as "beautiful", and the mid-song instrumental break as "especially inspired."
Famous quotes containing the word souvenir:
“Mark Van Doren,
a poem of remembrance, a gift, a souvenir for you.”
—Robert Earl Hayden (19131980)