New Order’s Biggest Hits In Australia

New Order’s Biggest Hits In Australia

bernard sumner
Bernard Sumner of New Order, 1987. Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

Following the 1980 suicide of frontman Ian Curtis, the remaining three members of Joy Division – Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris – moved on as New Order, with Bernard stepping into the position of lead vocalist and Gillian Gilbert soon added to the line-up. And while their music was initially a continuation of their former band’s brooding rock sound, New Order increasingly brought synthesizers and dance music elements into the mix, going on to become one of the decade’s most influential electronic bands.

In Australia, their biggest hits mostly came from the '80s, although regular comebacks and reunions in the decades since have also spawned success.

10. "60 Miles An Hour"

Released: 2001

Peak: #37

Taken from Get Ready, the band’s first album after reassembling in 1998, second single "60 Miles An Hour" was typical of the more guitar-oriented sound of the album, which also yielded comeback single "Crystal" (a song that narrowly missed the top 50).

9. "Regret"

Released: 1993

Peak: #26

The band’s first new song in three years, "Regret" kicked off sixth album Republic, and, as well as returning them to the Australian top 30, gave them their biggest hit in the US. When promotion for the album wrapped up, the band splintered into various side-projects, Electronic, Monaco and The Other Two, with New Order on hold for five years.

8. "Shellshock"

Released: 1986

Peak: #23

Included on the soundtrack to John Hughes’ Pretty In Pink, "Shellshock" became New Order’s second hit in Australia and was based on 1983 electronic track "One More Shot" by C-Bank. Like the majority of New Order’s early singles, it was a stand-alone release, not appearing on any of the band’s studio albums.

7. "World In Motion"

Released: 1990

Peak: #21

A stand-alone single of a very different kind, "World In Motion" was New Order’s contribution to England’s efforts in the 1990 World Cup – in one stroke revitalising the concept of football songs. Incorporating classic commentary snippets and a rap by player John Barnes, the single topped the British chart and almost made the top 20 in Australia, a long way from En-ger-land.

6. "Fine Time"

Released: 1988

Peak: #20

Just making the top 20 in 1988, was the lead single from New Order’s Technique album, the band’s first LP to be mined for more than two singles. Incorporating elements from the thriving acid house scene, the track stood apart from follow-ups "Round And Round" (a more traditional synthpop tune) and the guitar-based "Run 2."

5. "Touched By The Hand Of God"

Released: 1987

Peak: #15

Another soundtrack release, "Touched By The Hand Of God" featured in Salvation!, an American comedy about TV evangelists starring Viggo Mortensen. While that film made little impact, the single was another hit for New Order in Australia and was accompanied by a Kathryn Bigelow-directed music video in which the band parodied hair metal groups of the time.

4. "Blue Monday"

Released: 1983

Peak: #13

The song that really established New Order in their own right, "Blue Monday" remains the highest-selling 12" single of all time in the UK and did pretty well in Australia as well, spending half a year in the top 100. Much remixed, sampled and covered in the years since, the seven-and-a-half minute original of "Blue Monday" was a pivotal step in the evolution of dance music from ’70s disco to ’80s house, and remains one of the most influential dance records of all time.

3. "True Faith"

Released: 1987

Peak: #8

Featuring one of the most iconic music videos of the ’80s, thanks to director and choreographer, Philippe Decouflé (who was also responsible for Fine Young Cannibals’ similarly bouncy clip for "She Drives Me Crazy"), "True Faith" was one of two new songs recorded for New Order’s first career retrospective, Substance. By reaching number 8 in Australia, it gave the band back-to-back top 10 hits locally for the only time in their career.

2. "Bizarre Love Triangle"

Released: 1986

Peak: #5

Despite being the other song in New Order’s late '80s one-two punch on the ARIA chart, "Bizarre Love Triangle" didn’t actually make the UK top 50 - a surprising flop there. Australia’s love for the song, New Order’s most commercial offering up until that point, was reconfirmed eight years later when frente!’s acoustic ballad version also reached the ARIA top 10.

1. "Blue Monday 88"

Released: 1988

Peak: #4

Five years after the original release of "Blue Monday," a new version of the track provided New Order with their highest chart position on the Australian singles chart. Remixed by Quincy Jones, the song was also available for the first time in a 7" version and came with an actual music video. One of two stand-alone re-releases of the track – the other was a techno remix by Hardfloor in 1995 – "Blue Monday 88" helped the song shift more than three million copies worldwide.

Last month, New Order released the definitive collection of their 1983 studio album Power, Corruption & Lies, accompanied by individual releases of the four 12” vinyl singles from 1983/1984 that didn’t appear on the original album, beginning with the best-selling 12” of all time, "Blue Monday", followed by "Confusion", "Thieves Like Us" and "Murder". 


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