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.



  1. Design for an egg timer ? How very odd.

    Many thanks for this, I think I started paying attention to non pop electronic synthy sounds in 81 too. Unlike Hannett, I welcomed them as they felt like the sound of the future. New Order were a huge part of that.

    That drum track sounds like a Roland Compu Rhythm but im far from an expert.

    Looking forward to the other box set contents…

    Thanks as ever.

  2. Movement has its moments- Dreams Never End is one of the best songs they recorded in the those early years. A couple of others are decent but it sounds like a band not quite sure of themselves. Sadly for Hannett after New Order abandoned him ACR and Vini Reilly did too. He pushed them all away in one way or another. The exhibition was fantastic. I didn’t get the boxset, looing forward to more posts about it. The egg timer was a menstrual egg timer, FAC 8, and was Linder Sterling’s work if I remember rightly

  3. I was quite excited about Movement, hoping for more like the Ceremony/In A Lonely Place and Procession/Everything’s Gone Green singles from earlier in the year. For some reason I only picked up my copy a month after its release, by which time I’d already absorbed the Peel Session versions and thus found Movement to have a very dull energy in comparison. Yes, Dreams Never End is one of their best and the recording for Peel far superior to the LP.

    I was fortunate to see them play the Tower Cinema in Hull just a few months after the album came out, but that wasn’t the greatest experience either… they played a bleak 30 minute set (Peter Hook with his back to everyone pretty much the entire time), then the band walked off the stage, came back on for an extended early version of Ultraviolence, during which one by one they all left the stage again with no apparent change in the music. Audience somewhat bemused and not sure what to make of the distinct shift into electronica. Don’t think NO liked us very much either.

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