Single #12 appeared in September 1986.

As usual, I bought the 12″ version.  Took it home and played it and found myself a tad underwhelmed.  It seemed a tad flimsy and basic compared to some of the most recent work.  There were bits of it sounded OK but it just didn’t hang together all that well.  It also sounded strange to hear New Order try to make something of a political statement:-

mp3 : New Order – State of the Nation (12″ version)

Flipped it over to the b-side, and judging by its title was anticipating a remix, which is exactly what it proved to be:-

mp3 : New Order – Shame of the Nation (12″ version)

I actually got more out of the slightly longer b-side with its more clubby production and the addition of female backing vocals – something that hadn’t worked with Sub-Culture a short time previously now seemed to make sense.

It was only a few years later when playing both sides of the single again to see if I was now any more fond of the a-side that I spotted something about the credits.  State of the Nation is attributed to New Order while Shame of the Nation is the work of New Order and John Robie.

I still think the b-side would have made a better a-side if that makes sense, and would probably have gotten higher than #30 in the singles chart….it was a big drop in sales from Blue Monday, Confusion and Thieves Like Us, and while everyone at Factory would say they weren’t all that bothered, it must have irked the band and their entourage somewhat that they were beginning to be written off by some of the music press.

I picked up the 7″ not too long afterwards as it was one that ended up quickly in the bargain bins.  These are heavily edited versions of those found on the 12″:-

mp3 : New Order – State of the Nation (7″ version)
mp3 : New Order – Shame of the Nation (7″ version)

According to wiki, the 7″ version of Shame is only available via this piece of plastic or as the b-side to a subseqent Australian single.

Not one that I return to all that often….it’s not their finest moment.


6 thoughts on “THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 12)

  1. New Order are far from ok firing on all cylinders with this rather pedestrian, lacklustre effort. It’s not the production for me, just that th song itself is weak.

    Some people criticise Bernard Sumner’s lyrics but I think a lot of that comes from some of his own self deprecating comments about how he writes them. To me he is being modest as I believe hie has written some cracking song lyrics over the years. That said, this is definitely not one of his finer efforts and there are definitely grounds for criticism .

  2. Yup, State Of The Nation was underwhelming for me. I also agree that Shame Of The Nation – a way better title to begin with – was the better side and it’s John Robie that brings it back from the brink. I’ve always thought that it justified my love for Sub-Culture’s Remix.
    Shame’s bass lines are wonderfully rubbery, Barney’s vocals are way less po-faced than the original and synths have a great club vibe with some stabs of Latin Freestyle which was reigning across The City at the time.
    Shame Of The Nation is a muscular dance floor workout that out shines it’s parent single.

  3. I now love the song , and it’s due to a fantastic mix that I heard in Ibiza in the early 2000’s , I came back and revisited the original (and shame) and it became one of my favourite NO tracks.
    Never manage to track down the remix though

  4. A while ago, I was listening to a compilation of (reasonably) obscure US singles from the 1960s, when my ears pricked up, as one track sounded very similar in parts to State of the Nation. The track is Candy Apple, Cotton Candy by Pat Shannon, take a listen at the YouTube link below, especially at 0:11 and 0:50.

  5. Remember this underwhelming me as well when it came out , felt all a bit of a stitched together mess. Hardly everv played it since. Listening again it remains an off day in a remarkable run

  6. Two weeks in a row I have to say not my favorite, but I do share your feelings on the B-side. The streak will end next Sunday. Happy New Year, JC.

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