They were #20 in the series back in June 2015 and I went with these tracks:-
Age Of Consent
The Perfect Kiss (12″)
Leave Me Alone
Just six weeks later, a second New Order ICA was offered up as #28 in the series, courtesy of a guest posting by Martin Elliot from Sweden, that had been a work in progress when my own offering appeared:-
Round & Round (KS club mix)
Regret (Sabres Slow n Low)
Age Of Consent
Someone Like You (GD Vocotech dub)
World (Brothers in Rhythm)
The Perfect Kiss (12″)
I happened to put New Order on shuffle on the i-pod the other week and was quickly reminded just how many great bits of music they had put out, particularly in the early part of their career, so much so I thought a record-breaking third ICA would go down well. The only rule being all ten songs this time can’t have been featured at all in any shape in either of my own or Martin’s postings from 2015. Let’s Go……
1. Love Vigilantes (from Low-Life, 1985)
If it wasn’t for the fact that Age of Consent is such a stunning opening to Power, Corruption & Lies than I would reckon many of us would argue that this is as fine an opening, not to just to any New Order LP, but to any LP as there has been. It’s a tremendous bit of pop music and one of the finest ghost stories that anyone could ever sway their hips to.
2. Confusion (rough mix) (single, 1983)
Let’s stay up there on the dance floor with the song that paid tribute to the changing face and sound of NYC nightclubs and hatched the idea for The Hacienda. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, it wouldn’t have happened without the production work and values of Arthur Baker as clearly demonstrated by its similarities to the earlier hit single I.O.U. by Freez, but it was a sound and a technique which New Order were already exploring, the conquering of which would make them as important as any band that has ever emerged from the UK.
3. Thieves Like Us (single, 1984)
I had the b-side to this on the original ICA and while I stand by my claim that Lonesome Tonight is the better song there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a hugely under-appreciated single which in many ways ticks all the boxes – great bass line, unusual and catchy drum beat, the one-fingered keyboard solo and a nonsensical lyric that, by somehow hanging brilliantly together, makes perfect sense. And as an added bonus it has Barney singing in and out of tune….
4. Shame Of The Nation (7″ version) (b-side 1986)
While he’s no Weller or Bragg, I’ll doff my cap to Barney for having a go at writing a political protest song at the height of Thatcherism. It was a single that was widely ridiculed upon its release and which, to be honest, hasn’t date all that well , but the additional work on the b-side, for which producer John Robie is attributed a credit, means it is more than salvageable thirty years on. As far as I know this particular version has never been made available in any other format than the original 7″ vinyl. It’s clearly been edited down from the full-length format with some unwieldy edits but it’s included here given that any Volume 3 of a release needs some sort of rarity to make it appeal….
5. Dreams Never End (from Movement, 1981)
This is inspired by Martin who, in his New Order ICA, pointed out that a brilliant LP opener – Age Of Consent – can also work just as effectively as a closer to a side and make you want to flip the vinyl over without any hesitation. The one where Hooky had a go at being lead vocalist and the one that you know would have made a great Joy Division single.
1. Your Silent Face (from Power, Corruption & Lies, 1983)
This was the one track that I just couldn’t find the room for back in June 2015 which was painful as it is one of my all-time favourite NO songs, but my rule of thumb for an ICA is that it has to hang together as an album and not merely be a collection of tunes. It opens up Side B of PC&L and this is perfectly place right here.
2. Bizarre Love Triangle 94 (from Best Of, 1994)
The rapid advances in production techniques were such that Stephen Hague could take what was one of the band’s most recognisable numbers and make it even more New Order-sounding than the band had managed back in 1986. It was one of four tracks that he worked on for this particular release and helped make it something worth purchasing with the nice little fade out at the end allows a nice lead-in to….
3. Paradise (from Brotherhood, 1986)
The band’s fourth album was something of a disappointment in comparison to the other work that came immediately before and shortly afterwards. It certainly suffered from the decision to put five guitar-based songs back-to-back on side A with the flip side being the more electronic based numbers. I’m not going to argue that all ten tracks are essential but it certainly isn’t as duff a record as I first thought.
4. Vanishing Point (from Technique, 1989)
I’ll long argue that Technique is the band’s finest LP, It’s strange because it came out at a time when I was missing out on so much music and I wasn’t buying much, but as a long-standing fan and having just about everything in the collection I made sure I picked it up when it was released. It came across as such a happy and triumphant record that I fell for its charms on first listen – it seemed to have everything I wanted the band to do with its mix of guitar and electronica with so many that you just wanted to dance to…and yet the tracks that really seemed to stand out early on was this resigned sounding mid(ish)-tempo number. Maybe it was that I was feeling my own life was no holiday and I had personally reached the point of no return. Imagine that…a New Order lyric that proved to be philosophical.
5. Ruined In A Day (from Republic, 1993)
I’m closing things off with a track that I’ve come to love and appreciate only in recent years. I was never fond of much of the parent album and thought it was a sad ending (as it appeared at the time) to the band’s career. I also hated the promo video that accompanied the release of Ruined In A Day as a single and struggled to disassociate the two. But a few years ago, this came up via shuffle while I was lazing out in the garden on one of the few sunny days we get in Glasgow and it just sounded quite lovely through the headphones. It would probably have made a superb Electronic record….just imagine Johnny Marr adding a guitar solo in the middle of it and it would be damn near perfect.
So there you have it. A third volume, and while it is easy to bemoan the lack of some classics, I think it hangs together pretty well.
Bonus track today. It’s featured before on the blog in video form. If you do like this, then I urge you to go and purchase it along with the other four versions that are available:-
Just when you thought Your Silent Face couldn’t be bettered. Buy here.