New Order were formed from the ashes of Joy Division. Ian Curtis’ death had a long-lasting effect on the band, making them withdraw from discussion of him: so much so that throughout the 80s they rarely gave interviews and performed short, encoreless sets. (My college, Oxford Brookes, or the Polytechnic as it was then, tried to book them for the Summer Ball in ’83 but were turned down. So we got Pigbag, who played a short, encoreless set. Go figure.) However, they became more sociable in the 90s, before going on an extended summer break between 1993-8 so that they could concentrate on solo projects like Electronic, and bounced back on the scene with a new album in 2001.
Things haven’t been rosy since then: first Gillian Gilbert hung up her keyboards in 2005 to become a full-time mum, and was replaced by Phil Cunningham, then Peter Hook this year got fed up with the band’s attitude and will no longer work with them. An ignominious end to the band that got me through a disastrous period working for the Civil Service with meaty, swirling dance tunes that you wished went on for ever. In this post I feature my favourite three tracks by them.
First up, their second single, Procession, FAC53 (FF 1981 #48, All-Time FF 1982 #30). I defy anyone not to be instantly captivated by this short yet spine-tingling keyboard-led masterpiece. Apparently, the 12 inch came in 9 different coloured sleeves (NO’s oeuvre was meant to be collectable). From the Taras Shevchenko video, here they are doing it live:
…a truly gorgeous fuzzy guitar love poem, of which some 400+ remixes are reputed to be available, as there was a remixing competition on Acid Planet. My post title comes from the lyrics, and the unforgettable video features everyone but the band themselves!!
£: New Order, Substance