THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 6)

The collaboration that took everyone by surprise. New Order chose to follow up Blue Monday by heading over to New York and collaborating with DJ/mixer/producer Arthur Baker. The result was a 12″ single (Factory 93) containing four versions of the tune:-

mp3 : New Order – Confusion (8:13)
mp3 : New Order – Confused Beats (6:30)
mp3 : New Order – Confusion Instrumental (7:33)
mp3 : New Order – Confusion (Rough Mix) (8:04)

It reached #12 in the UK singles chart which was quite extraordinary given that the band were still very much a cult and the single had little daytime radio exposure. One of my abiding memories of it was that the promo was on what was then a new thing in the bar of the students union – a videobox as opposed to a jukebox. It was much more expensive and so some of us would club together to ensure, much to the annoyance of the beer-swilling rockers who studied engineering, that Confusion was on heavy rotation.

It’s perfectly of its time, and remains a huge influence on club/dance music almost 35 years on.

The song was completely revamped for inclusion on the Substance compilation :-

mp3 : New Order – Confusion 87 (4:43)

And then, in 1995, there was acid techno remix by Pump Panel, which was later used in 1998 as part of the soundtrack for the film Blade:-

mp3 : New Order – Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix) (10:11)

JC

9 thoughts on “THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 6)

  1. A collaboration that created a perfect expression of Post Punk pathos with underground street rhythms. It is one of my absolute favorite New Order songs! Electro was just coming into its own, thanks to the brilliance of DJ/Producers like Arthur Baker, Jellybean and John Robie. New Order obviously had their ear to the ground. Working with Baker would lead to some amazing music from here on out.
    In the summer of 83, on what to this day may be the hottest I’ve ever felt a club get, my friends and I danced and partied at The Paradise Garage until almost 2:30am when New Order finally made it to the stage. The live version of Confusion was angular and urgent and gloriously messy.

  2. Like Echorich, I too was at the Paradise Garage show. Some of the memories if I have from that night are the endless loop of Mad Max at the back of the club, flyers on the wall advertising a singer named Madonna who had recently released her second single and was appearing at the club shortly, the impressiveness of the opening act, Quando Quango, and mostly that everyone there that night was witnessing something incredible. 34 years later, still one of my favorite shows ever.

  3. Ed B is right! It was a perfect slice of how club culture was gaining import at the time. And yes, Quando Quango did an amazing job of priming the audience. We all knew we were going to get a “club set” from New Order, and I think they did only do about 10 songs. But it was all about the totality of the night, the atmosphere, the bands, the music, the venue, the audience. They played what would be come Thieves Like Us and it was mostly an instrumental – we all thought Barney was making up lyrics as he went along. It would come out in less than a year and floor me.

  4. What I remember most about that night is how outright hostile Hook was to the crowd. Totally forgot about QQ and the heat, but I do remember sitting with Ed B. watching Mad Max. Yet another time Echorich and I hung out together without knowing it.

  5. It galls me that I bought the US edition on Streetwise instead of the import with one of Saville’s finest covers, but the Import didn’t turn up locally where I was until the influx of import cutouts happened six months later. I should have bought one anyway! US dealers on Discogs would set me back ~$30 now; 10x what I could have bought it for in the Record City import cutout bins had I been impractical enough to buy a record I already had for a cover variation in 1983! It would take a few more years for that ship to sail, but by 1990 it was the way I rolled in the 90s.

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