Beginner’s guide to New Order

From the remains of Joy Division rose something of a phoenix in the shape of New Order. At times innovative songwriters and musicians, occasionally pretty awful, they have managed to create something entirely unique for over three decades.

Key moments

Their quite incredible list of hit singles – obviously Blue Monday, but also True Faith, Touched by the Hand of GodBizarre Love Triangle, Regret, and even World in Motion, among many others. And, in recent years, the continual bust-ups, splits, side projects, reunions, and general disagreements…

Where to start

The compilation Singles (2005) is an essential career retrospective which will help you understand which parts of New Order‘s career interest you the most.

What to buy

Take a little caution with their albums, as often the best tracks weren’t on them, while the albums could sometimes be a little swamped by filler instead.

You can’t really go wrong with Low-Life (1985) or Technique (1989), which are both among their best moments. Having digested those, you could do worse than explore Get Ready (2001) to hear how their later career has progressed.

Don’t bother with

Movement (1981), which while they were obviously going through an emotional period, is unfortunately largely unlistenable. Power, Corruption and Lies (1983) shows promise but is ultimately somewhat disappointing. You could safely skip the 2002 box set Retro without missing anything.

Also, don’t bother reading any of the recent interviews with Peter Hook. I hope it’s not a reflection on his character in real life, but he does come across as one of the bitterest men in the world of music.

Hidden treasure

Brutal from the soundtrack of the film The Beach is a surprisingly good exclusive, and on the subject of beaches, the b-side to Blue Monday was called The Beach, and is nearly as good as the original. I’ve always felt that New Order‘s weakest aspect was their production, and so a number of the remixes on (The Rest Of) and Best Remixes are surprisingly enjoyable.

For stowaways

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2 thoughts on “Beginner’s guide to New Order

  1. Pingback: The complete beginner’s guide | Music for stowaways

  2. Pingback: Begin again – revisiting the beginner’s guides | Music for stowaways

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