The single after Touched By The Hand of God was in fact Blue Monday 88, but I featured that in an earlier posting.
New Order had closed off 1987 with a sold-out gig at the 12,500 capacity Wembley Arena, supported by a then little-known Primal Scream whose debut LP had been released to huge indifference. The following year, New Order seemed to drop completely out of view, with no new songs or live gigs to speak of. It later transpired that they had spent the best part of seven months working on their latest album, initially in Ibiza and then in Bath.
Technique should have been in the shops in time for Xmas 88 but it ended up being delayed until January 1989. All the talk was that the new record would be quite different from anything they had done before, with more a club feel to it with one eye on what was beginning to pack out The Hacienda.
In December 1988, the new single was released. The sleeve for Fine Time, with its depiction of drug capsules, was a clear indication that the club market was where the band were aiming. The contents of the vinyl remain, to this day, the one recording by New Order that gave a huge jolt to my system.
mp3 : New Order – Fine Time (12″ version)
The Barry White-esque vocal cut is Barney slowed right down via electronic trickery. I’ve long thought it was him taking the piss out of Hooky’s rock god persona with the lyric:-
Hey, you know
I’ve met a lot of cool chicks
But I’ve never met a girl with all her own teeth
That’s why I love you babe
That’s why we could be
But you’re too young
Too young for me
Turns out it was supposedly about Barney’s first wife…which makes it as mundane and stupid as it gets.
But in this one, it’s best to put the lyric to one side and concentrate on the music. Which is why the instrumental b-side on the 12″ is the one for me…
mp3 : New Order – Fine Line
In a crowded Christmas market, the single managed to reach #15 and led to a very bizarre Top of the Pops appearance, which is saying something given how weird previous appearances had proved to be:
The following week….it climbed to #11 which I’m sure was the first time a New Order TOTP appearance had seen a single rise up the charts afterwards!
Oh, and I almost forgot that there was a more conventional instrumental made available as the standard b-side:-
mp3 : New Order – Don’t Do It
As it turned out, this was the sound that would provide much of the template for the resultant album…which regular readers will know is my favourite by the band, so expect some gushing praise for the next few singles.