The fact that John Robie had made such a pig’s ear out of the Sub-Culture remix didn’t stop New Order teaming up with him for the next single which hit the shops less than six months later in March 1986:-

mp3 : New Order – Shellshock (7″ version)

The song was put together for inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Pretty in Pink and indeed that was where you could first pick it, about four weeks prior to Factory issuing it as a single.  As a poorly-paid admin worker at the time when choices had to be made about paying rent/buying food/going out for vodka/purchasing vinyl, I skipped buying the album and waited instead to ensure my collection of 12″ singles remained intact:-

mp3 : New Order – Shellshock (12″ version)

Indeed, I didn’t pick up the 7″ until many years later, inspired to find vinyl again after starting this blog.  Its b-side was an instrumental of Thieves Like Us, as featured previously in this series.

The 12″ on the other hand, had a dub mix of the new song as its b-side:-

mp3 : New Order – Shellcock

Also worth mentioning that the 12″ version came in at not far short of ten minutes, and has the distinction of being the longest single they committed to vinyl.  It was some almost four minutes longer than the version that was made available via the Pretty In Pink soundtrack and it was also edited down substantially for inclusion on the subsequent Substance compilation, omitting one of the verses.

mp3 : New Order – Shellshock (Substance version)

The collaboration with John Robie was crucial in this instance as Shellshock was inspired in the studio by a club hit from 1983 that Robie had produced and indeed performed on:-

mp3 : C-Bank (feat Jenny Burton) – One More Shot

Shellshock reached #28 in the UK singles chart but hit #1 in the indie singles chart.

I think its fair to say it has proven to be one of their most enduring singles….it’s certainly one that I don’t get bored with.



8 thoughts on “THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 11)

  1. Okay, I’m sorry, but these were the most vapid, grade school lyrics by a major band until Oasis came along. I have to sign off on this series as New Order were (for me) already deep into the lost it side of the had it/lost it spectrum. Nice cover photo, I guess.

  2. I have no great love for Shellshock.

    I remember hearing Shellshock on the radio for the first time and thinking that is great and rushing out and buying it right away. However a couple of spins later, and the single was put away, never really to be played again.

    The problem for me is in the production. While on first listen, it sounds like New Order, closer inspection shows that the essential New Order DNA had been modified, turned into something bombastic by their standards to suit the movie and get airplay in the States. Unfortunately this is to the detriment of the track. Bombastic does not suit New Order.

    The Psychedelic Furs re-recorded the title track of the film and it lost its charm, albeit it became a huge hit on FM radio. Shellshock also had a “souped up” for the movie feel.

    Not quite the atrocities of the Breakfast Club but for me a tricky period for New Order.

  3. Not a favourite here either. I much prefer the John Robie remix of “Sub-culture” featured last week!

    By the way, if memory serves, the instrumental mix of Thieves Like Us on this single is different to the previous one.

  4. Just catching up on your recent blogs and was just wondering if you have heard “The Berlin mix” of Subculture ? It’s a great version and worth tracking down.

  5. Shellshock is most certainly inspired by C-Bank’s One More Shot which was a nightly fave at the Funhouse and other dance floors in NYC. It does take a lot of the ideas from Sub-Culture and edits them down into a more strict song style. This was the period of New Order growing in the studio and messing around with sounds and dynamics which would mark the next phase of their sound.

  6. Not my favorite, but I wasn’t done with them yet. A whole mess of great singles between this one and 1989. Then I’m jumping on JTFL’s side. Merry Christmas, JC.

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