The final 45 that New Order would ever release on Factory Records – not that anybody realised that at the time – and it provided the band and the label with a first ever #1 single.
Prior to World In Motion, there is a general consensus that all football-related songs, (especially those on which players take part), were shit. Post-WIM, there is a general consensus that all football-related songs (especially those etc.), are shit.
World In Motion, as a New Order song, isn’t all that great. As an Englandneworder song, it works well enough.
I’m sure just about everybody knows the back story, but just in case…..
The Football Association of England, at the tail end of the 80s, had a press officer who was quite upon his music. He thought it would be a great idea if New Order would consider penning something that would become the official team song for the World Cup Finals taking place in Italy in 1990. The press officer approached Tony Wilson who immediately said yes.
Knowing full well that the band had little or no interest in football, Wilson drafted in comedian/actor Keith Allen to pen the main lyric. It was also felt the involvement of Stephen Hague, following his success on the production side of True Faith, would pay dividends in terms of making the record a cut above the norm. There was also a slice of luck in that a fraction of the squad – just 6 players in all – came along to the studio to add their vocals in the background, but that one of them was John Barnes, who proved willing and adept enough to chance his arm on a rap section that Allen wanted to incorporate, albeit he came through a contest in the studio with the other players.
Two other things helped the song – the video that was less than serious (no surprise given the involvement of Allen) and also that England put up a good showing, eventually, in the tournament, reaching the semi-finals and thus the song became the backdrop to their progress.
mp3 : Englandneworder – World In Motion
The flip side doesn’t have the Hague production, nor any input from the players, outside of the rap . It still has the football related lyric in the verses and a backing vocal from Allen, but put these to one side and you can appreciate just how good a tune it is while the ‘Love’s Got The World In Motion’ chorus is not only catchy, but open to interpretation – it’s easy to see why Allen originally wanted to call it E for England only to have the FA just say no…..
mp3 : New Order – The B-side
World In Motion, like many of the more recent New Order 45s, was given the remix treatment, with four versions put on a 12″ single housed in a gold sleeve in which the letter ‘e’ was a bold yellow colour.
mp3 : New Order – World In Motion (Subbuteo Mix)
mp3 : New Order – World In Motion (Subbuteo Dub)
mp3 : New Order – World In Motion (Carabinieri Mix)
mp3 : New Order – World In Motion (No Alla Violenza Mix)
The first two are the work of Graeme Park and Mike Pickering; the latter are by Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley. The world was not only in motion, but it was truly loved up. This was not a novelty song, but something that the band and all involved with had every right to be proud of – it was a continuation of what had made Technique such a great listen. Not everyone gets to have #1 hits.