Following the untimely death of Joy Division frontman Ian Cutis in 1980, the three surviving band members, joined by keyboardist Gillian Gilbert, channelled their post-punk vision into driving synth-pop tunes under the name of New Order. Drawing as much from their indie origins as from the burgeoning club scene, the band pioneered emotive electronica – dripping in substance and catchy as hell.
Despite an aversion to publicity and some lengthy hiatuses over the years, New Order’s impact on British music and beyond music is undeniable. Tracks like Thieves Like Us and Blue Monday exploded on mainstream media and secured their place in the archives of pop culture forevermore.
Revisit some greatest hits from the legendary Mancunians below!
1. New Order | 'True Faith'
This music video is a prime example of the type of ruminative lyrics and surreal imagery that make you want to both dance and cry all at once. The incredible music video was directed and choreographed by Philippe Decouflé and won the British Music Video of the Year award in 1988.
2. New Order | 'Bizarre Love Triangle'
It’s fair to say that Bizarre Love Triangle is a New Wave masterpiece! The sparkling synths and pummeling drum machine imitate the internal circuitry overload of love, panic, hope, confusion, and pain; all before the vocals even come in. And, as a testament to its genius, even if you strip away the slick electronic production, you’re left with a perfect pop song that cuts straight to the heart – as Australia’s own Frente! did so successfully in 1992 (see below).
Frente! | 'Bizarre Love Triangle'
3. New Order | 'Crystal'
The pinnacle of indie rock meets dance! This track breathed new life into the UK indie scene, and surely inspired a stack of early 00s alternative rock bands, like the Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, and The Killers who have previously said they actually got their name off the kick drum in the clip.
4. New Order | 'Temptation'
Bernard Sumner told Mojo in a 2015 interview that this is probably his favourite New Order song, saying: "It's got a spirituality to it. It's really uplifting without actually getting a specific message across. It was interesting to see that you could do that while, at the time, being fairly abstract. I struggled with the literalness of my lyrics in the early days. I didn't want to expose my inner feelings to the general public.”
Words aside – this one’s all feels!
5. New Order | 'Blue Monday 88'
The band's melancholic synth-pop was the vanguard of New Wave in the late 80s. The synthesizers used to record Blue Monday had only been released weeks earlier. In spite of their technical naivety, or perhaps because of it, the original single release struck a chord with mainstream Britain, and remains one of Britain’s best-selling 12-inch singles of all time.
New Order has an expansive reissue of their third studio album 1985's Low Life arriving in January next year. The 'Definition Edition' of Low Life will uncover 12 previously unreleased mixes and alternative versions of tracks from the album and includes two DVDs of rarely-seen live performances, plus a hardcover book designed by legendary Factory Records artist, Peter Seville.
The vinyl album and CD are both wrapped in the original tracing-paper sleeve – not available since the very first pressing. Check out the bundle options and pre-order, here.
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