I thought, for the fiftieth entry in this series in which a song is ripped direct from the vinyl and made available at a higher resolution than is normally the case, that I’d lean on FAC50.
Movement was the debut album by New Order, released in November 1981, a few months after it had been recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport. Martin Hannett, as he had been for both Joy Division albums, was behind the production desk.
I think it’s fair to say that the album received, at best, something of a mixed reception back in the day. Looking back, there was a ridiculous amount of expectation, and with it being neither wholly a clear and direct continuation of the former band, nor something moving in a new direction, it was inevitably going to disappoint. In saying that, it’s an album which has undergone a great deal of revision, from fans and music writers alike, especially as the legacy of New Order became increasingly apparent in later years.
But that was all for the future. Just a year after it’s release, the majority of band members were still far from convinced of its merits, as evidenced by an interview given at the time by Peter Hook:-
“We were happy with the songs, not all happy with the production. We were confused musically … Our songwriting wasn’t coming together. I don’t know how we pulled out of that one. I actually liked Movement, but I know why nobody else likes it.
A lot of the misgivings are around the final production. The band wanted to move increasingly into the field of electronic music, while Martin Hannett felt they were best suited by not deviating away from the sounds of Joy Division, and while synths had a place, it should still be primarily about guitars. It would prove to be the last record on which they worked together, and it’s fair to say that New Order never really looked back.
This is taken from a piece of vinyl which is now more than forty years old. It’s in better condition than most from those days, as I didn’t play it too often. But I did give it a full spin a few months back, shortly after I returned from a trip to Manchester, the main purpose of which has been to visit Use Hearing Protection, an exhibition dedicated to the early work of Factory Records, and specifically all the items in the FAC catalogue from 1-50. I was surprised that the cardboard sleeve on display for Movement was in a shabbier condition than my own.
The picture above is taken from the specially designed inner sleeve, and again my copy is in excellent condition….as indeed is the vinyl as you can hopefully tell:-
mp3: New Order – Truth
I came away from the exhibition with a gift to myself, a box set containing facsimile editions of the first 10 numbered Factory items – four records, three posters, an 8 mm film (now on DVD), some stationery and a design for an egg-timer! There was also a wonderfully produced 60-page book, complete with photos, together with two CDs containing a previously unreleased interview involving Joy Division, Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton, conducted in August 1979 by the journalist Mary Harron.
I’m intending to return to the contents of the box in the coming weeks, particularly the vinyl, so keep an eye out for those.