BURNING BADGER’S VINYL – THE (NEARLY) A-Z OF INDIEPOP (Part 5, M and N)

 

M has been written by SWC, so you can expect the usual rubbish.

N, however, sees a very welcome return to the blog by Lorna.

M is for Mazzy Star

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You (Taken from So Tonight That I Might See)

You probably already know this song. We probably all know it. Its beautiful. Wonderful. One of the few songs that I could generally stick on repeat and listen to for a couple of hours without ever getting bored of, even one second of it. I’ve sort of done that today, I listened to it about six times back to back and each time I am transported back to different hazy memories.

I remember a friend of mine getting married about fifteen years and his bride to be walking down the aisle (well it was a path in a rose garden) to this song and the groom just standing a crying blubbing mess of a man as Hope’s vocals floated across the garden.

I remember another of friend of mine, seconds after this came on the stereo at a house party about five years ago, telling me about the time that he split with his long term girlfriend and him just walking down the road whilst this played on his Walkman. You could see the minute the song came on the stereo his mind had gone back to that exact moment.

I remember OPG playing this song after we’d had two bottles of strong cider and us just dancing slowly to it her bedroom her head perched on my shoulder and me holding her like she was the most precious thing in the world. Which she was, at the time I suppose. She used to say that the thing about Hope Sandoval was that she looked exactly like she sounded, and she was right.

It’s that kind of song. The sort of song that makes you half smile because it reminds you of another time when you might have been happier than you are right now or just associate it with a lovely moment in your life, but it’s also the sort of song that makes you half weep because it reminds you of a time when you felt fragile or lonely or that you missed someone or never got an opportunity to right a wrong.

There is a video out there on the internet, of ‘Fade Into You’ being performed by Mazzy Star on Later with Jools Holland (Jools is barely in it, so its ok). It is incredible, perfection personified. Everything about it is brilliant, from the stunning slide guitar that kind of holds the song together to Hope’s vocals, which are just insanely wonderful.

But the one thing that does it for me is the way Hope just stands there. She barely moves during the whole track, occasionally her right hand moves up and down, when you drag your eyes away from her face, you realise she is playing the tambourine, and even that, is bloody perfect. Frankly, watching Hope Sandoval in 1993 standing still gently tapping a tambourine is the sexiest thing I have seen on TV in about twenty years.

Loads of M records in the box, I’ll skirt over the Manics and the Massive Attacks and give you this…

Mega City 4 – Iron Sky

…..which I think was the band’s biggest ever hit and as close to a pop record as the transit rock pioneers got. In fact, I knew a lad called Danny who went to Kent University who painted the lyrics to this on his student digs wall when it came out and lost his deposit because of it.

Oh, go on then

Masses Against the Classes

Bumper Ball Dub (from ‘No Protection’ – Massive Attack vs Mad Professor)

N is for New Order

New Order – Everything’s Gone Green (Taken from ‘Substance’)

‘Substance’ is as you will know, an essential record. Another record that you should all own. This is the second version of ‘Substance’ that Badger owned. I know this because the first one got destroyed, and this version came from a record shop in Birmingham (it still has the sticker on it – he paid £12 for it). But here’s Lorna to tell the tale.

“In January 1997, Tim and I bought our first house. We’d been married about a year and had previously rented a one-bedroom flat overlooking Exeter Canal. The house was an old two bed Edwardian terrace in a nice part of Exeter. Within a week we’d painted it, taken up the revolting blue carpet (like you used to get in schools, the sort that gave you an electric shock) and replaced them with fancy new designer rugs straight out of the Habitat catalogue. We painted the kitchen a smashing shade of duck egg blue and stripped the stairs back to their original wooden state.

A week later, we went skiing in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee. We travelled up to Bristol airport in Tim’s VW Polo, which was sound tracked by a mixtape he had made the night before we left. I remember this was playing as we parked the car at the airport, I know this because Tim always ended his mixtapes with New Order and this must have been the last track as knowing him he would have planned it meticulously to finish at the airport.

Confusion (new version)

I learnt to ski. Tim, who could already ski, tried his hand at snowboarding. He bruised his arse colliding with an old Italian guy, who on learning we were British, swore at him brilliantly. It was like listening to Bruno Tonioli channelling his inner Danny Dyer. Apart from that we had a lovely time, after skiing we fell into the small après-ski bar next to our boot room and get slowly drunk on Gluwein and very strong vodka.

When we returned home, we got back quite late due to a slightly delayed flight and a pile up on the M5. It was about midnight when Tim put the key in the front door, which is when we realised that a pipe or pipes had burst in the bathroom. The pipe burst was behind the bath, and it had flooded out under the bottom of the bath into the rest of the bathroom, which then finally worked through the ceiling and was now cascading into the lounge and kitchen area. It was pitch black and we were lit only by a single light from our hallway (which was largely dry) and a lamppost from across the street.

I can still picture the sheer devastation it caused, all our hard work largely ruined. Our brand-new rugs ruined (I mean we were insured, so it wasn’t the end of the world), a lot of our furniture severely damaged, and work surfaces, cupboard doors and some electrical sockets were all dripping wet. I must have cried because I remember Tim hugging me and telling me it would be OK; he made a joke about the wanting to put a slide in from upstairs to downstairs anyway, which did make me laugh.

It was halfway through that hug that he swore really loudly, and I thought that was him just letting off a howl of frustration, but he broke off the hug and walked (or splashed really) slowly to the table where he had left a few records to gather dust before we left (i.e – he had forgot to put them away). They still sat there next to a small teddy (‘Herbert’) which had now seen better and drier days. The records were ruined:-

Substance by New Order
Dirk Wears White Sox by Adam and the Ants
Galore by Kirsty MacColl
Searching for the Young Soul Rebels by Dexys Midnight Runners

(and SWC will kindly pop a song from each in here I suspect, each one featured on the mixtape from the car, but it was 25 years ago, I really can’t remember all the tracks).

True Faith

Catholic Day

They Don’t Know

There, There My Dear

There’s only one other N in the box, and it’s this, but I don’t know anything about the band though.

Nirvana – Lithium

LORNA

40 YEARS AGO TODAY: FAC 33

It’s not 40 years since New Order‘s debut single was released, but it is 40 years to the day since it was recorded.

It’s times like this that I wish I had kept a diary with a log of all my purchases of singles and albums, as well as the gigs I went to.  I can’t recall when I bought my copy of Ceremony on 7″ vinyl, but I do know it was in the local record shop closest to my home in the east end of Glasgow.  I do know for certain that I didn’t get it on the day it was released……..

I was a regular browser in Tom Russell’s Record Shop on Shettleston Road, but I was more in the habit of picking up new singles from the city centre shops, or if it happened to be a 45 in the charts, I was likely to go to the local Woolworth’s as they could be a few pence cheaper in there.  I can’t ever recall seeing Ceremony anywhere until a copy found its way into the bargain bin at Tom Russell’s – even then I almost missed it as the bronze-coloured sleeve, with its difficult to read bronze coloured writing, was such that it didn’t automatically make me want to pick it up for a close glance (in my defence, at 17 years of age, all browsing was done at speed, and it was an era when I took my time over any non-picture sleeves so as to not miss out on something that I’d read about in one of the music papers that were the occasional reading material in the 6th Year common room at school.)

I’m sure it was down to 40 pence, which would have been less than half price.  I took it home with no great expectations. As with the Joy Division singles of previous years, there was only the very basic and minimal details on the sleeve.  The info on the label was, however, interesting, with each of FAC 33A and FAC33B being written by Joy Division which clearly meant Ian Curtis had been involved in some way.  I gave FAC33A a spin……and then another and another and maybe even one more, all the while wondering why the band had gone to the bother of changing its name.  Ceremony was an astonishing and moving piece of music, way better than I could ever have imagined, and it also sounded like a tribute to Ian, which is why my mind reckoned its writing had been attributed to the old band.  It sounded as if it had been written as a belated follow-up to Transmission, but with the tempo slowed down, possibly from Bernard not having the vocal capabilities of his late friend.

Flipping it over (eventually) and finding that In A Lonely Place sounded like a Joy Division out-take was one of those moments that froze me.  Singles, even their b-sides, aren’t supposed to be this morose and funereal, and I was sure on the second or third listen that I could make out Ian Curtis on backing vocals.   It was like a song that felt it should be used in conjunction with a Ouija Board, with the refrain of ‘How I Wish You Were Here With Me Now’  being genuinely terrifying to my teenage mind and imagination. I couldn’t have given an honest answer there and then if I had been asked ‘Do you like it?’

I took it to school the next day and gave it to a close friend whose musical tastes were more or less identical to mine.  He, too, was bemused by the sleeve, but I told him it would all make sense once he played it.  He brought it back the next day and when we spoke about his experience, it was clear his reaction to the A-side had been similar. But when it came to the b-side, he was quick to declare it a classic that wouldn’t have been out of place on Closer, offering the opinion that it was one which had maybe been recorded by the band but left off the final running order.  I think it’s fair to say that his initial view has stood the test of time.

After school, we took a bus into town and to track down another copy, finding success at Listen on Renfield Street, albeit he had to pay full price as this was a shop which had the space and capacity to store singles for extended periods of time long after their initial release.  The ancient bloke behind the counter (who was likely aged about 21) also told us it was out on 12″ vinyl but that the shop was currently out of stock which led to the two of us heading round other record shops, finally coming good at 23rd Precinct on Bath Street, a location that is now home to one of the best beer and spirits shops in all of Scotland.

I’ve still got my copy of that 12″ but the 7″ was lost in the great debacle of 1986 when the midnight flit from the rented accommodation was done in such a hurry/panic that boxes of 7″ singles were stupidly left behind in a cupboard.  I have, however, long since picked up a second-hand copy, from which these two bits of music have recently been ripped at 320kpbs.

mp3: New Order – Ceremony
mp3: New Order – In A Lonely Place

JC

BONUS POST : HEAR THE DRUMMER GET WICKED

I’ve previously mentioned that I have a great number of music biographies in various nooks and crannies around Villain Towers, none of which I show any inclination to give away, although I will lend things out to various friends. I’ve just again added to the existing 20 or so books related to Factory Records/Joy Division/New Order/The Hacienda, with Fast Foward, the second volume of autobiography by Stephen Morris, who I must stop describing  simply as ‘the drummer.’

His first volume, Record Play Pause was a hugely enjoyable effort but it was kind of overshadowed by the fact that I read it at the same time as This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division – The Oral History , by Jon Savage, which very much has a place near the top of the best music bios.  Knowing, however, that volume two was on its way to me, having ordered an advance signed copy from Rough Trade, I gave volume one another read and found it every bit as enjoyable and entertaining as first time around, this setting me up perfectly to pick up where Stephen had left off, which was the death of Ian Curtis.

Fast Forward, therefore, is essentially the tale of New Order from 1980 to 2020, spread over 450 pages.  It is a well-known tale, one which as all music fans of a certain age knows, involves a lot of deaths, not least Martin Hannett, Rob Gretton, Anthony H Wilson and Factory Records.  The author does his very best to not go over the stories and incidents that have dominated previous books, but is still something of a shock that Wilson’s passing is covered in just one sentence, although there are very understandable reasons as to why given it occurred at a time when there were very difficult and challenging events taking place in Morris’s life and circumstances.  But the fact that something so significant in the wider story of Factory/New Order kind of passes by almost in the blink of an eye is the perfect illustration as to why Fast Forward is an essential read to anyone who is interested in trying to get a proper handle on why things have gone certain ways since New Order emerged blinking and bewildered on the back of what was, at the time, the suicide of a relatively little-known singer of a cult indie band on a cult indie label.

Stephen Morris, on the basis of these two volumes of autobiography, is a very self-deprecating person.  He knows he’s the quiet, almost unrecognisable bloke in the band, a situation brought home to him on countless occasions when he’s stopped from gaining access to gigs and events that he is very much central to.  He knows he’s regarded as the least interesting of the band, having little to say or do that makes headlines when talking to journalists, and the book plays on his perception as a geek by devoting countless paragraphs to descriptions of the equipment and technology advances New Order were investing in throughout the 80s in efforts to stay at the cutting edge of the way music was now being played and produced – spoiler alert, he ends up being less and less of a drummer and increasingly a programmer.

There’s a case to be made, however, that he was the most important member of the band.  He was the one who took the brave decision to go with the suggestion from Rob Gretton that his girlfriend, Gillian Gilbert, should become the fourth member of New Order given that he knew he would be exposing her to a world of sexism and misogyny, thus putting his own personal happiness at risk.  It’s no real secret that Peter Hook in particular never took to the idea of having a woman in the band, a position he never seems ever to have been at ease with, but it was surprising and disappointing to read how Bernard Sumner reacted to some suggestions about increasing Gillian’s responsibilities as time went on. But, in giving space to all of this, Stephen Morris doesn’t shy away from highlighting the occasions when he let his girlfriend down, and one particularly spectacular incident in Bangkok is revealed in all its gruesome detail, which leaves the reader in no doubt that the author could be a bit of a dick.

I have to say that for the first two-thirds of Fast Forward, I was of the view that it was an inferior read in comparison to Record Play Pause.  I think this was down to the fact that it was racing through at breakneck speed, with just a few pages devoted to each album or tour, but it was satisfying to read that Morris’ views and opinions on the releases more or less chimed with my own thoughts, and to have confirmation of my long held view that cocaine played such a big part in the way that Shellshock was given the kitchen sink approach as it evolved and developed, with nobody prepared to take anything out of the near ten minutes that the 12″ version ended up being.  Oh, and while I’ve somehow always thought the band spent about six months in Ibiza with the recording of Technique, it was only two months, albeit there was a lot of partying and relaxing rather than music playing – it turns out most of the sounds were put down in the Real World Studio complex, just outside of Bath in south-west England.

My mind, however, changed as the author began to switch increasingly away from the New Order story and to focus more on his own circumstances, including how The Other Two became an important part of his and Gillian’s story in the 90s.  He also returns to his relationship with his father, something that had been central to much of volume one, particularly at its beginning before Joy Division became the be-all and end-all for the author, and to see it come back so sharply into focus near the end of volume two, when New Order was becoming increasingly less important for the author was something of a surprise, albeit it becomes yet another instance when he has to deal with death and the issues it leaves him facing.

The sleeve jacket does offer a very decent summary of this book:-

Blending entertaining anecdote with profound reflection, Fast Forward strips back a lifetime of fame and fortune to tell, with raw honesty, how New Order threatened to implode time after time. And yet, despite everything, the legacy of their music continued to hold them together.

By the end of the 450 pages (which were read over the course of just two days), I wanted more, albeit the story seems to have come to its natural conclusion.  Stephen Morris does acknowledge that much more could have been written, and in particular, the role that Gillian played both as a band member and as the rock to which he clung when he was in danger of being washed away.  He also acknowledges that with the band still on the go, very much against expectations both internally and externally, the story is not complete, and he hints that a whole other book may well emerge at some point.  It certainly won’t be in the immediate future – at the age of 63, Stephen Morris, is having to slow down and 2021 is a year in which New Order will be taking to the road and so there’ll be no time to sit down and write up another volume of memoirs.  Perhaps it won’t be written until such a time as the music has finally come to a stop and he can look back at things, perhaps when he can really think and reflect more on the legacy rather than telling a series of chronological tales.  On the basis of the pages of Fast Forward, it’ll be worth the wait.

mp3: The Other Two – The Greatest Thing
mp3: The Other Two – Loved It (The Other Track)
mp3: New Order – Shellshock (12″ version)
mp3: New Order – The Perfect Kiss (12″ version)

The last is included as one in which there is nothing in the way of Stephen Morris playing the drums but his programming, including the musical frogs, is really what makes the tune.

JC

THE MAN WHO DIRECTLY LINKS R.E.M. AND NEW ORDER

I’ve spent some time recently cataloging all the vinyl and CDs sitting around Villain Towers, including those that belong to Rachel, and have used the ‘Collection’ function over at Discogs to create a database. It currently tallies at just under 4,400 separate entries with the number growing every few days as I buy new albums and seek out those bits of vinyl (and occasional CD) where there are holes requiring to be filled.   Oh, and now that I have a wee bit more disposable income for the time being as I eke away at my redundancy payment from a few months back, I’m buying some favourite vinyl to replace what had originally been purchased only on CD.

It was while adding some stuff to the collection function that I was reminded of Scott Litt, the producer best known from his extensive work with R.E.M. in the late 80s/early 90s, had also worked with New Order back in 1989 when he took on the task of re-mixing Run, one of the songs on the album Technique, for its release as a single in the UK.

Run 2, as it became known, featured previously on the blog in February 2018 as part of the series looking at all the New Order singles:-

“Run is one of the most outstanding songs on Technique and rather bravely the band went for an edited single release in due course in which about 45 seconds are chopped off and by editing down the dreamy instrumental finish to the song and replacing it with more of the re-recorded vocal with Barney’s voice given more prominence than the original mix. It’s a decent enough mix and does a job of giving us enough changes to think of it as a new song altogether but it’s not a patch on the original.

The remix was in fact worked on alongside Scott Litt who at that point in time was known for having worked on a couple of LPs by R.E.M. The fact that he would also work on the multi-million sellers Out Of Time and Automatic For The People albums in the 90s and become one of the most talked-about producers of that era was all in the future…..”

mp3: New Order – Run 2

There was also a nod to the fact that Hooky’s basslines could be a factor in making a single a hit or not, and the new mix also brings that more to the fore, as perhaps best be heard in the extended version:-

mp3: New Order – Run 2 (extended version)

Despite all this, the single stalled at #49, which was the worst-performing showing by a New Order 45 in three years. It wasn’t helped by Factory Records electing to only issue it on 12″ vinyl and not pressing and distributing that many copies, possibly as a result of the increasing cash-flow problems they were experiencing and which would later help bring about the demise of the label.

There’s also the issue that, as soon as the single was released, lawyers representing John Denver sued New Order and Factory, claiming that the instrumental section of Run 2 ripped off his composition, Leaving On A Jet Plane. The case was quickly settled out of court, but it did result in Factory never pressing anymore than those original 20,000 copies and never making Run 2 available until 2008 when a deluxe edition of Technique was released and which included the extended version (but not the single version).

JC

THE MONDAY MORNING HI-QUALITY VINYL RIP : Part Four : BLUE MONDAY

There are days when I have to accept that I really am something of an old saddo.

Like the day the other week when I realised I had three separate copies of Blue Monday on vinyl, all dating from 1983. But to be fair, they are three completely different pressings with different sleeves……

Copy #1: The original pressing that came in the die-cut sleeve with the vinyl being housed in a silver inner sleeve. The asking price on Discogs for a copy in the condition mine is in ranges from £40-70, although some sellers are looking for stupid money such as £185.

Copy #2: The second pressing that came in the die-cut sleeve but with the vinyl being housed in a glossy black inner sleeve. The asking price for this one, of which there actually seem to be fewer on Discogs, can be as low as £10 but up to £40. Mine actually has another quirk in that the labels have been placed on the wrong sides so that to listen to Blue Monday I have to play the side of vinyl which is listed as The Beach.

Copy #3: The third pressing that was plain black, but still with the code down the right-hand side of the sleeve, with the vinyl housed in a white paper sleeve. The Poundland/Dollar Store version of the single so to speak, but still capable of fetching as much as £20, although most retail on the second-hand market for under a tenner.

Copy#1 is the one that is alleged to have cost Factory Records money with each sale with the legend being that the die-cut sleeve and silver cardboard inner, along with the actual vinyl, cost more to manufacture than the selling price. It still proved to be a great return overall given that this was the single that brought New Order to the attention of the record-buying public and led to countless millions of sales of this 45, along with subsequent singles and albums, all over the planet.

mp3: New Order – Blue Monday
mp3: New Order – The Beach

Ripped from copy#1 of the original vinyl at 320kbps.

Remember folks, feel free to make suggestions as to what should appear here on Monday mornings. As long as I have a vinyl copy, I’ll make sure your requests are met.

JC

45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 28)

A GUEST SERIES

18 – Blue Monday (’88) – New Order (1988, Factory Records)

Released as a single in April 1988 (Reached Number 3)

“You should listen to this”. This is Martin, and he is talking to a 15 year old me outside our school gates one Wednesday evening as we stand waiting for Dubstar Chris who is ‘in the art room’ (he is actually spraying offensive graffiti about the French teacher Mr Ashton and his liking for cats in the teachers toilets, but I never told you that).

With this Martin hands me a CD. He brings it out of an inside pocket of a green army jacket, and for some reason I feel like a junkie as I shuffled the CD into my rucksack

The CD is called ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’ and it is obviously an album by New Order. It will be in about two hours time be the first thing I have ever listened to by New Order.

Martin was always ahead of the crowd. He is still involved in the music world, in fact, he is currently in The Charlamagnes who you should google and then check out and then immediately buy their back catalogue. Anyway, I take the CD and I go home and do my homework and then I slip into something more comfortable and decide to give the CD a listen. Now at the time my music likes were rapidly expanding. I discovered a new band that I loved pretty much every day. If it had guitars, I was ‘in to it’. I fully expected New Order to be my new favourite thing in the entire world.

So there I sat, on my dads sofa with some big comedy headphones plonked on my head and ‘Power Corruption and Lies’ on the stereo. I had for the past six months or so listened to Martin, Dubstar Chris and Richard chirp on about how brilliant New Order were. I’d been told how songs like ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘True Faith’ were amazing, and all I’d done was nod along. So I sat there and I waited, I have to say I was excited and I felt like I existed and that this was something. I waited for that thrill of listening to something incredible to kick in.

But.

I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get into it. I say this now, and I sort of shrink away from it in embarrassment but I much preferred ‘Street Fighting Years’ by Simple Minds which was the second album I had obtained that week (this one found in Woolworths on cassette for £1.99 – which on reflection, seems as over priced as it is overblown right now).

I didn’t listen to New Order again for a long time.

Five years in fact. By now – I am the inspiring music journalist that I was back then and I am sitting in the offices of Sony Records in London because I am picking up some music and interviewing a band called Reef, who have been on a Tv advert and are being tipped for ‘Great Success’. Whilst there I help myself to Sony’s free bar and Crisp Machine (this is true by the way, the promotions floor at Sony UK, used to include a bar full of Becks and Red Stripe and a machine that dispensed crisps) before interviewing Reef. As I was leaving, the promotions manager (Ben see Number 44) gave me a bag. It was full of CDs, mugs, promo toys, gig tickets and general shit. I loved visiting Sony, you never went away empty handed and as long as you said nice things about most of it, they kept giving you stuff.

I forget nearly everything that was in that bag, but I do remember that in there was a CD which contained New Order, it contained ‘Blue Monday ‘88’ and I couldn’t stop listening to it. In fact it was pretty much glued to the stereo for the next month or so, it was like I discovered a new band who had just released their debut single. The light had come on, the light I should have seen back in 1990 when at home in my Dad’s lounge but I was young and I’ll be honest I much preferred U2 back then.

And that is how I fell in love with New Order. I was 20. And New Order had at that point split up and I thought at the time that I had thoroughly missed the boat (which was true, I saw them live at Wembley Arena about ten years later and they were a bit rubbish to be honest), that didn’t stop me filling up the back catalogue as quick as I could though.

I, of course have form for this, I did the same thing with The Stone Roses, declaring that they ‘Were not as good as The Inspiral Carpets’ to my mate Jimmy on the way to the football in 1990. It took me three years and a serious conversation with OPG to realise my mistake – “I can’t sleep with someone who doesn’t like The Stone Roses’ was pretty much was she said one night in the pub, before I was, you know, actually sleeping with her. I re-listened to that debut album quite a lot for the next month or so.

Fools Gold (9.53) – Stone Roses (1989, Silvertone Records Number 22)

But the record for me failing to realise the greatness of a band is reserved for The Fall

Mr Pharmacist – The Fall (1986, Beggars Banquet, Number 75)

Genuinely the first time I heard The Fall I swore loudly at the stereo in disgust, that’s how appalled I was. I was 16. It took me, ahem, 25 years before I realised their brilliance.

When I was writing my first blog WYCRA we did this series called ‘One Song A Day’ and we invited fellow bloggers to stick their iPods on Random and send us a review of the very first song that came on. JC was the first to offer and the song that came on first to his iPod was something by ‘The Fall’. I swore inwardly, and regretted my brilliant idea – but then I listened to what he sent through and again, that little light came on.

SWC

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (22/22)

Album : Power, Corruption & Lies – New Order
Review : Rolling Stone, 18 August 1983
Author : Steve Pond

Few rock bands have had as daunting a past to live up to, and overcome, as New Order. But Power Corruption & Lies is a remarkable declaration of independence; for the first time since lead singer Ian Curtis hanged himself three years ago, the survivors of Joy Division have shrugged off the legacy of that band’s grim, deathly majesty and produced an album that owes as much to the currents of 1983 as to the ghosts of 1980. This record is a quantum leap over Movement, the band’s first album, and over most of the music coming out of Britain lately.

Leap is the appropriate word, because on the surface, this is largely a stirring, jumpy dance record. Forget about New Order’s reputation as gloom mongers or avatars of postpunk iciness; forget about the artiness and mystique that envelop them. Just put this stuff on the radio, in clubs or on American Bandstand: you can dance to it, it deserves a ninety-eight, and a song like “Age of Consent” merits heavy rotation, not reverence.

That’s not to say New Order have turned into A Flock of Vultures or anything. But there’s a newfound boldness on Power that was sorely missing from Movement. On that LP, New Order were tentatively trying to break free of Joy Division’s style, if not their tone; too often, the result was turgid and solemn and sprinkled with the kind of whistles, whooshes and beeps that suggest novices halfheartedly tinkering with dance-oriented rock.

Working on subsequent singles toward a surer control of the studio and a more ambiguous emotional stance, the band hit its stride with the epiphanic “Temptation.” A tenacious, gripping, rock-hard dance tune, it was also the first New Order song to suggest that maybe love doesn’t always tear us apart – that, in fact, it just might bind us together, though at great risk. (That song and four others make up the highly recommended EP New Order: 1981-1982.)

Though not as forceful as “Temptation,” the songs on Power glow with confidence – musical confidence, mostly. While Steve Morris‘ drums weave patterns around the unrelenting kick of an electronic drum machine, the band masterfully interlaces layer after layer of sound: Bernard Albrecht‘s alternately slashing and alluring guitar lines, Peter Hook‘s melodic bass playing, broad washes of keyboard color from Gillian Gilbert and such percussive effects as chimes. It’s a bracing, exhilarating sound, equally suited to feverish dance workouts like “Age of Consent” and “586” as to such murkier, more impressionistic outings as “Your Silent Face.”

Lyrically, New Order still rely too readily on emotional vagueness and stock portentous images. Having partially abandoned the frigid, nocturnal chill that permeated Curtis’ work, the band’s current viewpoint is closer to simple pessimism than outright despair. Still, the group likes to draw the drapes and usher in a little darkness at the end of its songs. Power has some of the most foreboding lines in rock: “I’ve lost you.” “Their love died three years ago/Spoken words that cannot show.” “For these last few days/Leave me alone.” And then there’s the jarring conclusion of “Your Silent Face,” a glorious, understated reverie that rails against passivity (and, perhaps, against Curtis) with lines like, “A thought that never changes/Remains a stupid lie.” As the tune closes, Albrecht turns contemptuously dismissive: “You caught me at a bad time/So why don’t you piss off.”

With spiritual anguish and failed redemption no longer an obsessive theme, it’s now easier to focus on New Order simply as a rock band as strong as any in British pop. And as has been pointed out before, once you get past the romantically murky stance, New Order are (just as Joy Division were) a terrific singles band–not a consistent one, but one whose best singles, “Ceremony” and “Temptation,” have been transcendent.

“Blue Monday” isn’t in that class, but in its own way, it’s a breakthrough, getting the band heard on radio stations and in dance clubs. Neither New Order’s boldest song nor their most telling, it is instead their best sounding. The drum machine pounds away with an appropriately inhuman thunk, the band pumps hard to keep up, and after seven searing minutes, it soars to a close with layers of lush keyboards.

That song is included on the cassette version of Power Corruption & Lies; by itself on the twelve-inch single, though, it’s backed by “The Beach,” its dub remake and a tougher, better version of the tune. The point of “Blue Monday” is sound, after all, and the second version takes more sonic chances and shows just what sure-handed producers and assured musicians New Order have become. For the members of a band once known for one man’s sensibility, that’s the last thing many of us expected and, in a way, the best thing they could have become.

mp3 : New Order – Age of Consent
mp3 : New Order – Your Silent Face
mp3 : New Order – Leave Me Alone

JC adds : Possibly the most important record that I’ve ever purchased.  It certainly contains, in the album opener, my favourite song of time.  It felt like the right way to close off this series.  Things return to normal from tomorrow.

 

 

THE GREAT TRANSITION…A THREE PART MINI-SERIES (3)

A GUEST SERIES by DAVE GLICKMANN

PART 3

The final part of our series on the Joy Division/New Order transition will tell the story of the, previously mentioned, Western Works session.

As I said in Part 1, I would be stealing quite liberally from the previous work of Analog Loyalist (A.L.); that is even more so the case here. For those interested in exploring A.L.’s work further, let me refer you to two older blogs – New Order Archive and The Power Of Independent Trucking. Regrettably, his work with the Recycle Project no longer resides on the web, though perhaps you might be able to rescue some of it with the Wayback Machine.

A.L., himself, did the mastering of the tracks from the tape reel pictured above, first in 2009, and then again in 2012. Here is his version of the story:

As Joy Division, they were close with Sheffield’s Cabaret Voltaire, having shared several gigs and compilation records with the Cabs. At some point, JD was going to work with the Cabs in the Cabs’ own Western Works Studio in Sheffield, but this opportunity had not yet come to pass at the time of Ian’s death.

Suddenly with no lead singer and a wide-open new beginning, the survivors (now known as New Order) took the Cabs up on their offer and decamped to Western Works on 7 September 1980, just two days after their third gig post-Ian. Safely away from the spotlight, and with no Martin Hannett to impose his will on the session, the band laid down several tracks with the Cabs’ Chris Watson engineering.

These tracks show the band’s emotions – both musical and lyrical – laid out to bare themselves to the world. Hesitant yet brave, restrained yet oddly forward-looking, New Order find themselves seeking the path at this very early stage – a path that would not be truly explored publicly for at least another 12 months – that would lead them out of the Joy Division shadow into completely new realms of song craft.

This material has been circulating amongst New Order fans since the early 1980s but never before heard by the general public in this release-ready quality.

Kind souls, who wish to remain anonymous rescued this material from a 1/4″ reel of tape that was up for auction on eBay, advertised as something else, and it was only in the reel transfer that it was discovered what this reel actually contained. It’s been theorized that if this is not the master reel itself from the studio mixdown sessions, it’s at the very least a direct, professional copy of it.

The reel was advertised as being rescued in a Chorlton charity shop, and was described as containing “unreleased” Joy Division mixes, specifically “She’s Lost Control” and “Atmosphere”. Alas, neither are unreleased mixes – the reel contained test pressing vinyl captures of the FACUS2 “She’s Lost Control” b/w “Atmosphere” 12″ single, and a transfer of the Sordide Sentimental 7″ “Atmosphere”, presumably for comparison sake. Nothing JD on the reel was unreleased, and in fact both were of fairly poor quality for a vinyl transfer to reel. Not listed on the reel, and not mentioned in the auction description, was the New Order material.

So what New Order material was on the reel?

1. Dreams Never End (mix 1)
2. Dreams Never End (mix 2)
3. Homage
4. Ceremony
5. Truth
6. Are You Ready Are You Ready Are You Ready For This?

We’ve already taken a look at Homage and Ceremony in previous installments of this series. A.L. will take you through the rest:

New Order – Dreams Never End (Western Works mix 1)
New Order – Dreams Never End (Western Works mix 2)

First we have two different mixes – but the same base recording – of “Dreams Never End”. The first version is the common version that had already circulated – albeit in much poorer quality – amongst the fans. The second version, however, is a heretofore-unknown alternate mix featuring much louder guitars than the original take – but besides that, it’s identical to the first take. Both takes slower than the version eventually recorded for the debut LP in 1981, this track even more so sounds like bassist (and singer on this track) Peter Hook’s own little memorial to Ian. “A long farewell to your love and soul” indeed.

New Order – Truth (Western Works)

Steve Morris is on lead vocals for this version of “Truth” which, even at this early stage, is remarkably similar to what they’d end up doing with the track when recording it for their debut LP in 1981 (except with Bernard on vocals). I particularly like this version though, it’s much more poignant, fragile and spacious – as it should be – than the released variant.

New Order – Are You Ready Are You Ready Are You Ready For This? (Western Works)

The biggest revelation of the reel: A heretofore-unknown new New Order track, or rather, a collaboration with the Cabs and New Order, featuring none other than NO manager Rob Gretton on lead vocals! What is special about “Are You Ready…” though is that, Rob’s vocals aside, musically it shows the band taking great liberties with the established Joy Division sound – and the early New Order sound – and is very much so a signpost to the musical path the band would further explore starting with fall 1981’s “Everything’s Gone Green”.

Those who have had doubts about New Order’s involvement in the NO/Cabs jam “Are You Ready Are You Ready Are You Ready For This?” – doubt no further. A member of New Order – who was, of course, there at the time, he was in the band! – was the direct, to me, source of this information, not secondhand or third hand.

When the reel was obtained, this track was completely unknown and it was just pure speculation at the time that it was a Cabs/NO jam. I had this New Order member identify it for me – it was he who revealed its title to me – and this same member also confirmed the instrumentation:

Hooky – bass
Bernard – guitar (and “whooping” in the background)
Steve – Simmons drums, and the same Dr Rhythm drum machine used on Truth
Rob Gretton – vocals
various Cabs – sonic alterations

Many of you may already be familiar with this material, but for those of you who are not, I will wait just a minute for you to pick up your jaws off the floor.

DG

THE GREAT TRANSITION…A THREE PART MINI-SERIES (2)

A GUEST SERIES by DAVE GLICKMANN

PART 2

Continuing our exploration of the Joy Division/New Order transition, today we ask the question “What is the ultimate transitional track?”

Of course, it is hard to even know how to approach this topic without defining what we mean by this.

* Is it a Joy Division track where we can see the first signs of musical ideas that became the basis for New Order’s sound?

* Or, perhaps a New Order composition that looks back at Joy Division one more time?

* Maybe a song with its feet firmly planted in both the past and the future at the same time?

* Or, that moment where the past was fully shed and the survivors broke through completely into their new identity?

As is the custom in this series, no answers, just music.

Looking Forward

In preparing to write this post, I tried as hard as I could to convince myself that Love Will Tear Us Apart contained hints of what was to come, but, I just couldn’t get there. Sure, the music is much more upbeat and happier than the rest of the Joy Division catalog (the lyrics, not so much). Perhaps it points in a direction that the band might have explored further if Ian hadn’t died. However, at least to me, that direction is not towards the sound that New Order ultimately explored.

On the other hand, there is this little ditty that was buried on the b-side of the free Komakino flexi-disc.

Joy Division – As You Said

Here are the thoughts of 50 Pound Note from The Recycle Project:

To me, As You Said is a clear “eff off” to the deniers who say Joy Division would never have gotten into all that synthy disco bullshit. The signs were there.

Looking Back

Naturally, the two songs we looked at last time,  the Joy Division compositions released as the first New Order single, are candidates for this category. This seems particularly true of In A Lonely Place which strikes me as a Joy Division track through and through. Of course, Part 1 already explored this territory in great detail. So, instead, let’s take a look at something much more obscure.

At the Western Works session (yes, I still promise that we will get to the Western Works story before we are done), Bernard tried out his homage to Ian. At least, that’s how I read lyrics like “This is the only time that I; Thought I had seen the signs; Well, I did… I’ll never know.” It sure sounds like a Joy Division composition to me. Given its raw, emotional content, perhaps it is none too surprising that this song was not pursued further by the band.

New Order – Homage (Western Works)

A.L. was kind enough to transcribe the lyrics while remastering the session in 2012:

This smile the unborn child reaction’s taken, forsaken
These scenes pervaded me in a way that
People seldom see

This is the only time that I thought I had
Seen the signs and I wait, I’ll never know

In this room
The blind pass through
In this room
I think of you
In this room

In this room

Darkness will vanish soon
I awake, always in this room
All days will fall and rise
Helplessly, I watch these figures cry

This sense of needless rejection
Always the sense of reason
Carelessly lead me astray

In this room
The blind pass through
In this room
I think of you
In this room
Father, please don’t forsake me now
In this room
Father, please don’t forsake me now
In this room

People always ask for dreams
Revelation in a dream

A life that is so scared

This is the only time that I
Thought I had seen the signs
Well, I did… I’ll never know

Standing In The Middle

It is hardly a controversial view to suggest that New Order’s debut album, Movement, was a transitional work, standing squarely between Joy Division and the New Order that was to come. It’s clear that they were moving forward, albeit not very far.

Peter Hook’s view of the album is both insightful and entertaining:

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. It was good for the first two-and-a-half minutes, then it dipped.

While Movement wasn’t a critical success, I can certainly admit to enjoying it both then and now. Of course, it doesn’t hold a candle to PC&L, but I’m still willing to give it a spin on occasion. In any case, for our purposes today, any song off the album will demonstrate this idea of standing between the past and the future. How about this one?

New Order – ICB

Breaking Through

Although they are, in general, better than the album material, the other two singles from the Movement period – Procession and Everything’s Gone Green – along with the two b-sides, strike me as being cut from largely the same cloth, another small step forward perhaps. So I conclude, rather unoriginally, that New Order’s breakthrough moment came with the next single, Temptation. JC says as much in his November 12th post without saying it at all.

While one of my goals in this series has been to avoid posting tracks that were already shared during the singles review, in this case, it simply is not possible. So, here’s a repeat of the original 12” version. Why that one? Because, as everyone knows, it is the longest and the best!

New Order – Temptation (12” version)

Oh, and just because you asked, I have steel blue (or are they grey) eyes.

DG

THE GREAT TRANSITION…A THREE PART MINI-SERIES (1)

A GUEST SERIES by DAVE GLICKMANN

PART 1

As JC has recently completed his review of the New Order singles, I thought it might be an opportune time to go back to the beginning and explore the Joy Division-New Order transition period. Like my previous post on Joy Division, I’ll be stealing liberally from the work of Analog Loyalist (A.L.) from both the wonderful New Order-Joy Division Recycle project, as well as his own The Power of Independent Trucking blog.

“No band ever survives the death of their lead singer”

– Steve Coogan, as Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, in 24 Hour Party People

Of course, many bands have gone through transitions before – members have left or died and been replaced, groups have split and started new bands or gone solo (and then reformed again), bands have renamed themselves (and then reclaimed their original names years later), and on and on. Yet, to my knowledge […and here’s the point where you click on the comment link and explain to me how little I know], the Joy Division-New Order transition seems fairly unique, as suggested by the quote above, and insomuch as the former band gained such cult status and the later one had such critical/commercial success and longevity.

Any number of interesting questions have been raised about the period after Ian Curtis’ death, including:

* Had he not committed suicide, would Joy Division have reached the same level of popularity as New Order eventually achieved?

* Would Joy Division’s sound have evolved along similar lines to New Order?

* Was Barney actually the best choice as the new lead singer?

* … and many more.

In this three part series, I plan to provide answers to none of these questions. I mean, honestly, who can ever really know what happened in an alternative universe they didn’t live in. So instead, we’ll just enjoy the music.

Let’s start in the same place as JC’s series – the Ceremony single – the only two songs for which we have recordings by both bands. As such, there really isn’t any debate that both Ceremony and In A Lonely Place were Joy Division compositions, at least musically. As far as the lyrics go, well, we’ll get to that shortly.

The 1981 compilation album, Still, includes a live version of Ceremony from Joy Division’s last show at Birmingham University on May 2, 1980. Regrettably, the recording engineer failed to capture the vocals in any level of intelligibility for the first 90 seconds of the track.

Joy Division – Ceremony (High Hall, Birmingham 2 May 1980)

There is also an audience bootleg recording of the same song from the sound check prior to the High Hall show which you can find on a ubiquitous internet video site. Not surprisingly, it suffers from all the fidelity issues inherent in the phrase “audience bootleg recording.”

Fast forwarding to 1997, the Heart And Soul box set contained two rehearsal recordings – Ceremony, from a May 14, 1980 session at Graveyard Studios, Prestwich (at least, that’s what the box says. Other sources say the recording is from T.J. Davidson’s studio in Manchester) and a partial recording of In A Lonely Place, from a cassette tape that Peter Hook “found.” The Ceremony recording showed the effects of the surviving band members’ attempts to improve the clarity of Ian’s vocals, as the lyrics were otherwise unavailable to them, while In A Lonely Place, was, of course, incomplete. These tracks represented the end of the Joy Division story regarding these two songs until, some 14 years later, something magical happened.

Here’s A.L.’s telling of the story (with some tasteful editing by me):

1997’s Heart And Soul box set featured two never-released rehearsal recordings (supposedly found on a tape by Peter Hook, whilst rummaging behind his couch or some similar story), those of “Ceremony” and an edited “In A Lonely Place”. Leaping forward 14 years, new sources were located for both Joy Division tracks, essentially from a rehearsal room recording reel-to-reel tape.

“Ceremony” from the reel was the same take as on the box set, but in a bit higher fidelity.

“In A Lonely Place” – as all serious fans know – abruptly ends at roughly 2:30 [on Heart And Soul], or shortly before Ian Curtis would begin singing the third verse. Allegedly this was the only version that existed on Hooky’s tape, so it was what got used. On the reel was more than one take of “In A Lonely Place” – the full, unedited version of the take used on the box set  (which was the last one on the reel, sequentially, and therefore surmised to be the last one they recorded), and the take – the last-but-one on the reel – used by Rhino on [the 2011] Record Store Day 12″. The box set featured a collapsed-to-mono “In A Lonely Place”. “In A Lonely Place” is in full-stereo on the reel, and presented in true stereo on the Record Store Day 12″.

It was discovered that – roughly speaking – the versions on the reel had been (technoweenie talk ahead) “futzed with” by (presumably) the survivors, trying to pull out Ian’s lyrics for their own versions of the songs. The box set featured the futzed-with “Ceremony”. Without getting too detailed, “Ceremony” on the box set is a modified, compromised stereo that’s not true, while on the Record Store Day 12″ it has been restored to real, as captured by rehearsal room microphones, stereo.

A fair amount of work was needed to goose the recordings into quality listening material; mainly EQ and, surprisingly, mid/side decoding due to the supplied source coming to us mid/side encoded. A touch of gentle noise reduction, tasteful limiting, and done.

So, on Record Store Day in 2011, the following Joy Division tracks were released:

Joy Division – Ceremony (rehearsal tape)

Joy Division – In A Lonely Place (RSD 12” take)

Well, sort of. Here’s an important note from A.L.:

These Joy Division recordings are not captured from vinyl, but are the exact sources given to the label for the 12″ release (compressed for Recycle, that is – the label was not provided with lossy AAC/MP3 masters!). We’ve auditioned the actual 12″ and determined that the mastering is very faithful to the source given to the label.

What has yet to be officially released is the complete, unedited, stereo version of In A Lonely Place from Heart And Soul (though, you can listen to it by clicking on the line below….)

Joy Division – In A Lonely Place (“Heart And Soul” full take, stereo)

Moving forward to the New Order period, there is a fascinating version of Ceremony that was recorded on September 7, 1980 at Cabaret Voltaire’s Western Works Studio in Sheffield (the story of the Western Works session will be covered in a later part of this series). Less than four months after Ian’s death, this take provides some interesting insight into the evolution of the song’s lyrics, as well as the band’s experiments in choosing a new lead singer.

New Order – Ceremony (Western Works)

Here’s A.L. again:

[This] is drummer Steve Morris’ turn on lead vocals with a very interesting take on “Ceremony”, one of the last two Joy Division tracks written just prior to Ian’s death. Famously having no written lyrics they could use (if Ian wrote them down, they weren’t available to the survivors at the time), New Order had to run the Joy Division rehearsal recording of this track through an equalizer to attempt to pick out Ian’s lyrics. Considering that even with modern audio software it’s nearly impossible to extract Ian’s vocals, or at least make them clearer, it’s impressive what they were able to pull out of it. Steve sings lead on the verses, with Hooky taking over a chorus as well. Interestingly enough, when the time came three weeks later to record this track “officially” in New Jersey’s Eastern Artists Recording Studio with producer Martin Hannett, the lyrics Bernard Sumner sang started off markedly different – which makes one wonder if they were rewritten by New Order.

So finally, we reach the officially released New Order Ceremony single in all of its variants, for which I will refer you to JC’s original post.

Yet even here, there is a bit more to be discovered. Through all the various releases and re-pressings of the original and re-recorded versions of Ceremony, it turns out that two different mixes of the 12” In A Lonely Place were used, one with a loud thunderclap at 0:33 and one without (there are probably other differences as well, but I’ll leave that to someone with more time and better ears). Which one you have, all depends on which version/pressing of the 12” single you purchased at the time. In his post, JC shared the thunderclap version; here’s the other one.

New Order – In A Lonely Place (12” mix without thunderclap)

For the record, the official 7” edit is an early fade of this non-thunderclap mix.

DG

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Parts 32-34)

From wiki:-

Music Complete is the tenth studio album by the English rock band New Order. It was released on 25 September 2015 by Mute Records, their debut on the label. The album features guest vocals from Elly Jackson of La Roux, Iggy Pop and Brandon Flowers.

During summer 2015, New Order promoted the album through online media, at Lollapalooza Chile with “Singularity” and “Plastic”, and half-minute snippets directly on their YouTube account. It was announced that Gillian Gilbert returned to the band, but with Tom Chapman taking Peter Hook’s bassist role.

Musically, the album is more electronic-focused than its two predecessors, and New Order’s first of new material in a decade. The cover art was designed by long-time collaborator Peter Saville and comprises a montage of lines with four colour schemes: red, yellow, green, and blue, which varies depending on packaging.

Music Complete was released on CD, both clear and black vinyl LP, and digital download on 25 September 2015, with an 8LP deluxe box set released on 20 November. The album received generally favourable reviews. A tour in support of the album ran from 4 November 2015 through 20 December 2015.

All of the above might be true….I didn’t pay attention to the release at the time and for the first time ever, I didn’t seek out tickets for the live shows in Glasgow. Some folk tell me I’m missing out, others say that the material was fairly bog-standard and not a patch on the band’s glorious era of the 80s and early 90s. It seems three singles were also released. As I download them, it will be the first time I’ve ever heard them:-

mp3 : New Order – Restless
mp3 : New Order – Tutti Frutti
mp3 : New Order – Singularity

First one is New Order by numbers…..nice and comfy and unchallenging.

Second one starts off a bit more interesting with a tune that is reminiscent of the Technique era. The chorus, however, is a total turn-off….as dull as the Waiting For The Sirens’ Call material.

Third one is Barney singing…..the others seemingly are playing on it……………but it’s not New Order.

Sorry folks for dragging out the series to such a sad conclusion. The legacy is being tainted by this sub-standard rubbish.

Tune in next Sunday and see what nonsense I’ve come up with for a new series.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Parts 29-31)

Waiting for the Sirens’ Call is the eighth studio album by New Order. It was released on 28 March 2005 and was preceded by the single “Krafty” in February. Two additional singles from the album were released: “Jetstream”, which features vocals by Ana Matronic from Scissor Sisters, and the title track of the album.

Waiting for the Sirens’ Call marks Phil Cunningham’s recording and co-writing debut with New Order; although he had been playing live with the band since the Get Ready tour of 2001–2002. It is the first New Order album recorded without Gillian Gilbert who left the band in 2001 to look after her family. During the sessions the band also recorded seven songs intended for their next album, which was never completed as planned. These songs were shelved when Peter Hook quit the group in 2007. One song, “Hellbent”, was eventually released in 2011 and all seven (plus a remix of “I Told You So”) were released as the album Lost Sirens in 2013.

The Japanese release includes several alternate versions of “Krafty” as bonus tracks, including one sung in Japanese. This was the first time that lead singer Bernard Sumner performed in a language other than English on record.

Here goes:-

mp3 : New Order – Krafty (single version)
mp3 : New Order – Jetstream (album version)
mp3 : New Order – Waiting For The Sirens’ Call (album version)

Krafty marked the first new release for Warner Bros. Records and was produced by John Leckie, a real veteran of the scene who had worked with Magazine back in the late 70s. Truth be told….it’s a bit of a disappointment given the pedigree of all involved. It did make #8 in the charts; the only songs made available as b-sides were remixes, none of which improved the singles.

Still, no matter how bad the remixes were, they were still a million miles ahead of the truly dreadful Jetstream, without any question the worst of all their 45s. And again, no b-sides other than remixes to redeem things. Somehow, this reached #20 in the charts

The third single saw the record company at its money-grabbing best. Here’s wiki:-

Rather than the typical maxi CD and DVD configuration for the single, “Waiting for the Sirens’ Call” was initially released as three separate 7″ singles. Each 7″ contained a different mix of the single as an A-side. On the B-side, each 7″ contained a brand new remix of a classic New Order single. A CD single for “Waiting for the Sirens’ Call” followed the three 7″ singles, and was released on October 3, 2005. The two-track CD featured full-length remixes of the song.

Just fuck off will you?

The three classic singles chosen for the remix treatment were Everything’s Gone Green, Temptation and Bizarre Love Triangle. The bottom of the barrel really was getting scraped. But it fooled enough folk to part with their cash that it reached #21, the last time New Order made the singles chart.

Here’s something referred to earlier in the post:-

mp3 : New Order – Krafty (Japanese version)

Despite the date of this posting, the above mp3 is not a joke……

Tune in next week for the final installment of the series.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Parts 28 and 28a)

Here to Stay is a song by New Order and produced by The Chemical Brothers. It was released as a single in April 2002.

It was the closing track from the movie 24 Hour Party People, and was the only new song composed specifically for the film.  The track was released without major marketing, but still reached #15 in the UK chart.

The single was B-sided with the track “Player in the League”, New Order’s failed entry for ITV’s football highlights programme The Premiership. The track was originally slated for inclusion on Get Ready, but was dropped.

The version offered up today is the full-length edit, as made available on the soundtrack to 24 Hour Party People, which I still believe is a very fine and often very funny movie.  Here To Stay isn’t the worst thing New Order ever released…in fact it’s one I quite like but I do always associate it with the closing titles of the movie and remembering how much I was smiling at, and inwardly applauding, Steve Coogan‘s portayal of Anthony H Wilson.

mp3 : New Order – Here To Stay

I’ve gone digging deep for the b-side:-

mp3 : New Order – Player In The League

I’m guessing the original version for the TV programme was an instrumental and it was revisited after it was rejected with the lyrics added……it makes for a more than decent b-side.

Part 28a??  Well, the thing is, a couple of months after Here To Stay, a rather wonderful mash-up was made available as a b-side to Love At First Sight, the latest single by Kylie Minogue:-

mp3 : KylieNewOrder – Can’t Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head

Poptastic stuff.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 25-27)

Yup….it is the cover of Get Ready, the album released by New Order in 2001.

Three singles were lifted from it.

mp3 : New Order – Crystal (radio edit)

The ‘comeback’ single was released in August 2001; the first new song in eight years and sort of fitting that it went to #8 in the singles chart.  The critics went wild for it but to this fan of such long-standing it was distinctly ordinary.  Never had New Order sounded so much like an average white rock band.  It was released on 2 x CD singles and, as had happened ever since the move away from Factory a number of remixes were offered up as the b-sides, although CD1 also had one other otherwise unavailable track:-

mp3 : New Order – Behind Closed Doors

If only it had been a cover of the Charlie Rich country hit from the 70s…..but to be fair it did turn out to be more  unusual songs in the discography of the band – one that if played in isolation with no hints might catch out a few folk with the vocal not quite sounding fully like Barney till about 2mins in.  It still doesn’t disguise the fact that for a band who were so adept with b-sides for much of their career that this is far from stellar.

Moving forward to November 2001 and what proved to be a #29 hit, which is about right for such a plodding effort:-

mp3 : New Order – 60 Miles An Hour

It’s b-sides consisted of a remix of the single, three remixes of album track Someone Like You and one new track:-

mp3 : New Order – Sabotage

Nope, it’s not a cover of the Beastie Boys song. In fact, it’s a far better song than many which found their way onto  the parent album. It’s something of a throwback in some ways to the Low-Life/Brotherhood era with some great bass licks from Hooky midway through.

And just one month later, the song given the remixes as b-sides to 60 Miles An Hour was issued as a 45 in its own right….albeit one with a difference Here’s wiki:-

Someone Like You is a single released by New Order in December 2001. The single is unusual in New Order’s back catalogue in the respect that it was issued primarily as a club DJ vinyl release. “Someone Like You” was remixed by Futureshock, Gabriel & Dresden, James Holden and Funk D’void. The Gabriel & Dresden 911 Vocal Mix was recorded on September 11 and all releases with its inclusion has these sleeve notes: “Recorded September 11th, 2001 and is dedicated to the men, women and children who senselessly lost their lives that day”.

mp3 : New Order – Someone Like You (Gabriel & Dresden 911 Vocal Mix)

Methinks this 12 minute explosion of sound is one for Swiss Adam and ctel.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 24)

The b-side to True Faith, the 14th single by New Order which was released in July 1987, was 1963. It was, and remains a magnificent b-side – a pop song with a lyric that wasn’t mundane and was also open to a number of interpretations – with both tracks being composed specifically for inclusion on the Substance compilation which, more than 30 years on is the album I’d recommend most to anyone who was new to the band and looking for a decent introduction.

All that was back in the Factory days when the release of a new single really was something to look forward to, even if on occasion the contents were a wee bit of a letdown. London Records had already shown how cynical they were prepared to be by lifting four 45s from Republic in 1993, but worse was to come when the label realised the band weren’t intending to get back in the studio anytime soon.

In November 1994, (the best of) NewOrder was put into the shops just in time for the Xmas market. A ridiculously lazy effort, it was mostly the 7″ versions of singles from 1985 onwards with four tracks given the remix treatment. I’ve already featured the abysmal True Faith 94 and it was released as a companion single to promote the ‘best of’ album. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the post-Xmas effort came via the release of another single….

mp3 : New Order – 1963-95

The thing is…..this was different from the mix that had been put on the ‘best of’ compilation. The new single was a remix by Arthur Baker and in itself was a really decent effort in that the song was stripped back a fair bit and was reminiscent in many ways of Regret. But it all seemed so pointless and greedy, especially when anyone wanting to get the full set would need to buy a least 2 x Cd singles and a the 12″ vinyl.

CD1 came with a slightly edited version of the Baker mix, together with the really appalling version that had been put on the ‘best of’ LP

mp3 : New Order – 1963-94

and two further mixes that really had fuck all to do with the original song:-

mp3 : New Order – 1963 (Lionrock Full Throttle Mix)
mp3 : New Order – 1963 (Joe T. Vanelli Dubby Mix)

CD 2 offered the full length Baker remix, a vocal version of Let’s Go (which had originally appeared as an instrumental on the soundtrack to a long forgotten movie called Salvation, released in 1987), another pointless remix of Spooky and another outing for the Shep Pettibone remix of True Faith.

The 12″ single consisted of four mixes of 1963, these being the two non-Baker efforts on CD1 and two further variations on them.

All of which sold in sufficient numbers to take the single to #21 in the UK charts.

This is where I really began to get disenchanted with New Order.  I did, and still do, have time for what Arthur Baker did to 1963, but the other mixes were a disgrace.  Years later, I did get one of the other b-sides courtesy of its inclusion in the Retro boxset.

mp3 : New Order – Let’s Go

What happened next almost beggared belief.  With still no material coming from the foursome, London decided that a further compilation was required and in August 1995, the tills bulged as fans parted cash for (the rest of New Order)…..here’s wiki:-

…the compilers brought together a selection of older remixes alongside new specially-commissioned remixes. The remixes of “Blue Monday”, “Confusion”, “Touched by the Hand of God”, “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “Age of Consent”, “Temptation” and “Everything’s Gone Green” were all new radical reinterpretations. The four singles from Republic are represented with remixes that had previously appeared as B-sides. The oldest mix included was Shep Pettibone’s take on “True Faith” from 1987.

The compilation was released on Compact Disc, cassette and double LP. Each version has a different track listing. Cassette editions include an additional mix of “Temptation”, while limited editions of the CD and cassette came with an additional bonus disc/cassette of “Blue Monday” remixes. To promote the album, “Blue Monday” was once again re-released. The single was backed with remixes that appear on the bonus disc of the limited edition CD. The version of “Blue Monday” released was the Hardfloor Mix, dubbed “Blue Monday-95”, and reached #17 in the UK

It was all beyond a joke now…

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Parts 21-23)

For a band that had long taken pride in the quality of its 45s, from ensuring as few as possible were on LPs to the high quality designs of the sleeves to making more than decent and different b-sides, New Order really seemed to give up the ghost once they found themselves on London Records.

Regret had been well received and the reviews for parent album Republic were universally positive, so much so that it went in at #1 on the album charts. Job done for all concerned at the new label.

But it proved to be an album, for this long-time fan anyway, that seemed to offer little in the way of substance (pardon the pun) and it didn’t really stand up to repeat listens. The reviews were almost as if the critics were using up all the goodwill from previous years, delighted to see the band back after four years in the wilderness offering proof that, post-Factory, there was much to look forward to.

I’ve dug out a review from NME – one in which the critic awarded the album 8/10. With phrases like these, that mark is perhaps understandable:-

New Order return near-triumphant after four years in the superstar wilderness, still sculpting and creating music as dizzyingly pretty as an azure chemical sunset over Los Angeles. The oceanscapes, landscapes and cityscapes of the world might have changed almost beyond recognition in the interim, but this Mancunian quartet have managed to retain their poignant, indefinable essence while voyaging tentatively into new waters.

It can’t be the easiest task in Christendom to sculpt an album that marries the machine-dreams of the purest Euro techno with Funk percussiveness and absolutely haywire melodies – these musical cul-de-sacs are usually mutually exclusive – and string wayward, frothy, accusing and tender poetry on top, but more often than not they’ve pulled it off.

But later on, the reviewer, Dele Fadele, points out something rather obvious about the record and why it was of huge bother to many fans:-

‘Republic’ has been produced and co-written with Stephen Hague with, for the most part, positive results. The only gnawing bone of contention is that he doesn’t seem to realise that Peter Hook’s melancholic, melodic bass-playing is the soul of New Order, the point from which all the other emotions start to make sense. Hook seems to have been confined to playing bit-parts on his own LP and the effect is that the tracks take some getting used to, such is their unfamiliarity, although when they finally sink in they just keep on growing. The single ‘Regret’ is not symptomatic of what follows, being classically hummable, guitar-led New Order, but at least you can hear Hooky.

If the reviewer really does think that Peter Hook’s bass was the soul of the band, how can you be so fawning over an album in which he seems to hardly feature?

Regret opened up Side A of Republic – it was followed in order by World, Ruined In Day and Spooky, all of which were released as 45s (but not in that particular sequence).

Ruined In A Day was released in June 1991 on 2 x CDs, 12″ vinyl and cassette. All told there were eight(!!!) mixes of the single. World, one of the other tracks on Republic (and a future single although we didn’t know it yet) was given a dub version on the 12″ while a new song, Vicious Circle, was released in two versions – the New Order Mix on the cassette and the Mike Haas mix on CD1. I thought it was the worst single they had ever released (up to this point) and I didn’t buy any of the versions…I wasn’t alone as it limped to #22 despite all the formats. I may not have bought it at the time and still don’t own a copy, but one of the remixes was given away on a compilation CD with a magazine around the same time:-

mp3 : New Order – Ruined In A Day (Reunited In A Day)

I’ve also done a bit of villainy for your previously unreleased track which is more like an Electronic outtake than anything else:-

mp3 : New Order – Vicious Circle (New Order Mix)

Moving on two months and the newly titled World (The Price of Love) became the third 45 to be lifted from the album. This time it was on 2 x CDs, 7″ and 12″ vinyl with, yet again, eight mixes of the single featuring the work of Paul Oakenfold/Steve Osborne, Brothers in Rhythm and K-Klass. There were no new songs on offer. It reached #13.

mp3 : New Order – World (Price of Love) (perfecto edit)

Finally, the dead horse was truly flogged in December 1993 when Spooky was issued as a single, To show you how ridiculous things were getting, I’m going to list all nine variations:-

CD #1
1. “Spooky” (Minimix) (Remixed by Fluke)
2. “Spooky” (Magimix) (Remixed by Fluke)
3. “Spooky” (Moulimix) (Remixed by Fluke)
4. “Spooky” (album version)

CD #2:
1. “Spooky” (Out of Order Mix) (Temixed by Paul van Dyk)
2. “Spooky” (Stadium Mix) (Remixed by Tony Garcia)
3. “Spooky” (New Order in Heaven) (Remixed by Paul van Dyk)
4. “Spooky” (Boo! Dub Mix) (Remixed by Tony Garcia)
5. “Spooky” (Stadium Instrumental) (Remixed by Tony Garcia)

There was also a 12″ single but it didn’t offer anything not available on the 2 x CDs.

mp3 : New Order – Spooky (Magimix)

Tune in next week to hear the bottom of the barrel really being scraped by the record company.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 20)

I was very tempted to call an end to this series after World In Motion given that we are now onto the London era with the band signing to the label after the sad and bitter collapse of Factory.

It took nearly three years for the follow-up to the #1 hit to be released. By this time, the music scene in the UK and the US had gone through a number of major changes and there was a feeling that perhaps there was no longer a need for New Order. But doubts were banished when the first few notes of the comeback single were first heard:-

mp3 : New Order – Regret (7″ mix)

OK….it’s not exactly dance hall New Order, it’s not exactly electro New Order and it’s not exactly guitar-led New Order. But it is a rather lovely mid-tempo pop song in which the vocal comes through nice and clear over some polished and professional playing. There was no doubting that Stephen Hague‘s fingerprints were all over it as it sounded sublime coming out of a radio.

It was ‘new’ New Order, so to speak – one that seemed to promise much, albeit it was the sound of a band perhaps accepting their halcyon and wild days were over and it was time to settle down and make music for grown-ups and the baby boomers. They would no longer be a truly essential part of anyone’s aural landscape, but as long as there were enough songs of the distinction and quality of Regret, we’d have nothing much to worry about.

Except of course it didn’t happen that way.

Which is why this is the last 45 to be given a feature on its own, with all the b-sides brought together for your enjoyment. From here on in, the 45s will be lumped in on the basis of the albums they were lifted from.

Regret was released in 7″, 12″ and CD format. All of the b-sides were variations on the hit, which reached #4 in the UK, the last time the band enjoyed a Top 5 achievement:-

mp3 : New Order – Regret (New Order Mix)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Fire Island Mix)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Junior Dub Mix)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Sabres Slow ‘n’ Lo)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Sabres Fast ‘n’ Throb)

Fire Island and Junior Dub are the work of Terry Farley and Pete Heller. Sabres are that man Weatherall again…and both come in at more than 12 minutes in length. Here was the band showing that they could, indeed, still be relevant to dance halls. But you’d be hard pushed to recognise either of them as being related much to the original.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 19)

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.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 18)

I’m being lazy this week and re-hashing an old post from January 2016 which I entitled

‘When John Denver went to Ibiza.’

My effort come up with an ICA for New Order in June 2015 placed Run as the final track on Side A when I said:-

Run is one of the most outstanding songs on the album and rather bravely the band went for an edited single release in due course in which about 45 seconds are chopped off and by editing down the dreamy instrumental finish to the song and replacing it with more of the re-recorded vocal with Barney’s voice given more prominence than the original mix. It’s a decent enough mix and does a job of giving us enough changes to think of it as a new song altogether but it’s not a patch on the original.

The remix was in fact worked on alongside Scott Litt who at tht point in time was known for having worked on couple of LPs by R.E.M. The fact that he would also work on the multi-million sellers Out Of Time and Automatic For The People albums in the 90s and become one of the most talked about producers of that era was all in the future…..

Run 2 is really quite a different version. To expand on what I said in the ICA piece, the long instrumental section at the end of the original is replaced by a repeat of the chorus while there’s also greater prominence given to Bernard’s vocal and guitar and Hooky’s bass lines in an effort to make it more appealing to radio stations. Despite this, Factory Records didn’t press up all that many copies and it wasn’t the easiest thing to find in the shops.

The record, which was released only on 12″ vinyl which played at 33 1/3 rpm, stalled at #49 in the UK charts which was the poorest showing by a New Order single in a long while. But this where the fun really started…..

After the release, John Denver (or more accurately John Denver’s lawyers) sued the group, claiming that Run 2, in particular the instrumental part, sounded too similar to his hit Leaving On A Jet Plane. The case was settled out of court, and as a result the single in it’s remixed form was, for a very long time, out of print save the original few thousand copies made available in 1989.

As a result, Run 2 was a bit of music much sought after by fans, especially outside the UK (it was never made available at all overseas). There was much anticipation when Run 2 was listed on the track lists of compilation LPs released in 1994 and 2005, but in fact it was always the original version from Technique that was included.

But finally in 2008, a deluxe edition of Technique was released that included the extended mixes of Run 2 and the track MTO that had been on the b-side of the 12″. But even now, the regular mix of Run 2 and minus mix of MTO a are otherwise unavailable.

Unless someone rips them from vinyl:-

mp3 : New Order – Run 2
mp3 : New Order – Run 2 (extended mix)
mp3 : New Order – MTO
mp3 : New Order – MTO (minus mix)

Oh and nowadays, the credits for all newly released versions of Run are attributed to Sumner, Hook, Morris, Gilbert and Denver.

PS: Here’s the album version.

mp3 : New Order – Run

JC

THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 17)

The second single lifted from Technique.

Round & Round is a magnificent offering. It was much adored by Tony Wilson who pushed hard for it be issued as a 45 when the band were asking for it to be Vanishing Point. Legend has it that Wilson struck a bet with Rob Gretton, the manager of New Order, that it would be at least a Top 5 hit in the charts, and if not he would resign as chair of Factory Records. It only reached #21 and to his word, he did resign, albeit for a day. And in typical Factory behaviour, the event was deemed significant enough for it be given its own catalogue number, FAC253.*

The single did take the piss somewhat in respect of formats in the UK, with two different 12″ releases, one 7″ release and 2x CD singles, all with variations in the sleeves and some offering different b-sides. I bought the standard 12″ with the catalogue number FAC263:-

mp3 : New Order – Round & Round (12″)
mp3 : New Order – Best & Marsh (12″)

The single has a different mix from the album version; the b-side was the theme tune to a television show in which legendary footballers George Best and Rodney Marsh talked nostalgically about the good old glory days.

I’ll feature the music via the other formats, beginning with FAC263/7:-

mp3 : New Order – Round & Round (7″)
mp3 : New Order – Best & Marsh (7″)

FAC263r was the remix single.

mp3 : New Order – Round & Round (Club Mix)
mp3 : New Order – Round & Round (Detroit Mix)

FACD 263 was the CD single. It contained the 7″ and 12″ mixes of the single, the 7″ Best & Marsh and this:-

mp3 : New Order – Vanishing Point (Instrumental Making Out Mix)

This came from an otherwise unreleased soundtrack work that Steven and Gillian had done for a BBC drama series called Making Out, one of whose stars was Keith Allen to who we will return later in this series. It’s a fantastic variation on one of the stand-out tracks from Technique (and the one the band were keen to issue as a 45).

FACD 263r was a 3″ CD single that featured the club, Detroit and 12″ mixes of the single.

Oh and for completeness sake, here’s the LP version.

mp3 : New Order – Round & Round

And a lousy remix that was made for the release of The Best of New Order by London Records in 1994:-

mp3 : New Order – Round & Round 94

Just wish that I had danced to Round & Round in a club back in 89/90.

JC

*yup, I also think it is bizarre, but I suppose typically Factory, that the resignation of the chairman (FAC 253) comes in the catalogue in advance of FAC 263, which was the number given to Round and Round….all New Order singles did have a ‘3’ at the end

FAC 33 NEW ORDER Ceremony
FAC 53 NEW ORDER Procession
FAC 63 NEW ORDER Temptation
FAC 73 NEW ORDER Blue Monday
FAC 93 NEW ORDER Confusion
FAC 103 NEW ORDER Thieves Like Us
FAC 123 NEW ORDER The Perfect Kiss
FAC 133 NEW ORDER Subculture
FAC 143 NEW ORDER Shellshock
FAC 153 NEW ORDER State of the Nation
FAC 163 NEW ORDER Bizarre Love Triangle
FAC 183 NEW ORDER True Faith
FAC 193 NEW ORDER Touched by the Hand of God
FAC 223 NEW ORDER Fine Time
FAC 263 NEW ORDER Round & Round
(more to come)