technique_posterThere is someone I know who thinks New Order should have disbanded in around 1985 as the music they have made since then has betrayed everything that Joy Division stood for.  Despite holding such strident and unacceptable views, he remains a dear friend…and besides it gives us one more thing to fight over when we are drunk.

Me?  I’ve never hidden from the view that it took until 1989 for their masterpiece to emerge….and while there has been the occasional nugget of gold since then, I’d have been happy if this had been their last ever record.

It’s worth recalling that the release of Brotherhood in 1986 had disappointed many fans. It was, in the main, a lacklustre affair and indeed was shown up as such when the compilation LP Substance was issued the following year. The one hope was that the Greatest Hits package featured two amazing new songs – True Faith and 1963, the former a wonderful dance track driven largely by Steve & Hooky and the latter a gorgeous pop number with Barney at last penning lyrics which made sense and had a semblance of a story line.

But post-Substance, the band seemingly disappeared off the radar and some folk (including your humble scribe) thought we’d seen the last of them.

In the days before t’internet, you had to rely on the music papers for news/info on your favourite bands. One week, I read a snippet that New Order had gone to Ibiza to record a new LP. Months passed. Nothing. More months passed. Still nothing. and I assumed that somehow I had missed the news that the band had broken up.

Then, out of the blue in late 1988, a single was released. It was called Fine Time and it was really quite different from anything else they had ever previously released being, for the most part an instrumental, and which was very clearly aimed at the dance market. And I loved it.

The album kind of sneaked out in January 1989. Little did we know that the low-key release was down to Factory Records lack of cash to give it the usual big marketing/advertising push. It came out when Britain is at its most cold, miserable and wet. But this album made you forget all that.

It was everything that fulfilled the promise of True Faith/1963. There were immense dance numbers, there were songs of love, joy and happiness, and there were songs about having your heart broken into many pieces. Every song could have been a single. No that’s not true. Every song could have been a #1 single.

Thankfully, the album did sell in reasonable quantities, but not enough to arrest Factory’s eventual decline into receivership/administration. It did however lead to New Order being asked to take the sound of Technique into the football world when they penned the England Squad’s 1990 World Cup Anthem, World In Motion, which finally gave the band the #1 hit they had been chasing for a few years.

Here’s three of the lesser known songs from the album:-

mp3 : New Order – Love Less
mp3 : New Order – Mr Disco
mp3 : New Order – Vanishing Point



  1. totally agree, this is so good! i’m among the few (?) that also have republic high on my NO list, but this is top notch all the way through. and mr disco is one pf my all time faves.

  2. Nice to read so much love for this one. Taken as a whole I would say it is my favorite as well. Unfortunately, it marked the end of the road for me.

  3. Cracking post JC! I moved to Manchester in late 1988, drawn by the City’s previous decade’s musical output, so this album soundtracked my first year discovering the night life on offer. Not sure whether it’s my favourite NO LP though, time to revisit them all..

  4. Well, this was certainly the last point in their career where I bought everything that came out. I still can’t pick a favorite of theirs, but I do know that “Republic’s” singles that I bought/heard made me stop listening. As if “World In A Day” hadn’t done it first. As I grew fond of saying many years later, Cold Cave made my favorite New Order album in 2012 with “Cherish The Light Years.” It was the album that I had waited for following “PC+L.”

  5. I can’t give Technique quite the elevation that it so easily receives. It is certainly the sound of New Order in full effect – newly reinvigorated by their surroundings and the changing landscape of music. But it isn’t without its duff moments – Run being the leading example for my ears. All The Way is New Order doing The Cure (which is just desserts I suppose since Robert Smith spent much of his career reinterpreting Joy Division and New Order). Dream Attack leaves me a bit deflated as an album closer.
    It’s not all bad by any means. Vanishing Point, Fine Time and Round + Round are stellar moments. Mr. Disco brings back memories of my favorite moments from Low-Life (far and away my favorite New Order album). In the end Technique ebbs and flows the way it’s programmed. The highs are very high, but some of the lows are quite low.

  6. I can’t help but think you’re doing Brotherhood a massive disservice, just look at this tracklist 1. Paradise, 2. Weirdo, 3. As It Is When It Was, 4. Broken Promise, 5. Way Of Life, 6. Bizarre Love Triangle, 7. All Day Long, 8. Angel Dust, 9. Every Little Counts – most of these songs would sit comfortably on any NO release – try it again, play it on random, see what I mean

  7. Sorry THOC, I’ll need to beg to differ. I’m of the view that Brotherhood, on the back of PCL and Low-Life was a massive let down. Not saying it doesn’t have the occasional good moment, but I’m no fan of it overall.

  8. Technique is a stunning LP
    I go to Ibiza most summers and it’s the album I always listen to first, either on the plane or on my first walk along the White isle’s beaches.
    That Balearic beat, the sound of summer

    New Order had another great single prior to this, Touched by the hand of god (from a film I believe)
    To this point I always believed they were a singles band, but Technique proved they could do albums.

  9. Great blog. I’d have to take issue though with your recollection that “Technique” was released quietly in January 1989 with no advertising. Quite the opposite. Previously Factory didn’t do advertising preferring to let the record advertise itself. Go figure. It got to the point that the distributors Pinnacle ended up paying for press adverts for Substance themselves in order to get the record out there. So with Technique, Tony Wilson for the first time agreed to advertise the album. And there were billboards, press ads, etc admittedly done in that unique reluctant Factory way.
    (See here: )
    It was a different world back then. It was only 12 months between “Touched By The Hand Of God” and “Fine Time” being released. We wouldn’t think anything of that now but back then it seemed like eons.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.