Remembering New Order’s Cutting-Edge Top of the Pop Appearances in 1983 & 1984

Remembering New Order’s Cutting-Edge Top of the Pop Appearances in 1983 & 1984

new order, top of the pops
Image via YouTube. 

Post-punk/New Wave pioneers, New Order introduced electronica to the mainstream when they performed “Blue Monday” and “Thieves Like Us” on Top of the Pops in 1983. In the lead up to their Power, Corruption & Lies remastered reissue, arriving later this week, the band have shared these two videos that were recorded in 1983 and 1984. 

The band's brand of melancholic synth-pop electronica was the vanguard of New Wave when they made these recordings – 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, becoming the country’s best-selling 12-inch single of all time; and it was a success that reverberated around the world.

(Interesting side note: Due to the singles excellent but very expensive artwork, Factory Records’ first pressing actually lost money on every copy sold which, thanks to its runaway success, is said to run into the six figures. But, considering the songs forever status in the annals of music history – it’s fair to say it was a worthy investment!)

Here are New Order performing “Blue Monday” live on Top of the Pops, weeks after its release in March of 1983. At the band’s insistence, it was a live recording, including Sumner’s vocals. Peter Hook later reflected that it didn’t make for a stellar sounding version, but we always prefer to hear the real thing. 

New Order | “Blue Monday” on BBC's Top of the Pops [1983]  

A year later, the band returned for this live performance of “Thieves Like Us” on the show. Hooky’s organic, distorted bass leads the song, supported by a bed of mechanical synthesizers and Sumner’s unapologetically emotive lyrics – in 1983, this was surely one of the most cutting-edge performances Top of the Pops had seen. 

New Order | “Thieves Like Us” on BBC's Top of the Pops [1984]

These videos have been shared in celebration of the upcoming 2020 Definitive Edition: Power, Corruption & Lies remastered box set. The remastered edition of the album comes with a stack of bonus material and rarities – across an LP, two CDs, two DVDs and a book. In addition, New Order are reissuing four non-album 12-inch singles from the era, including “Blue Monday,” “Confusion,” “Thieves Like Us” and “Murder” which will be available both individually and as apart of the box set. The collection is due out this Friday, October 2nd. 

Pre-order the 2020 Definitive Edition: Power, Corruption & Lies here.

Listen to New Order on Spotify:

Listen to New Order on Apple Music: 

Related Posts