The period after the release of Technique in 1989 was a strange time for New Order. Factory Records and the Hacienda had major financial problems that unsettled the band. Barney was enjoying himself far more alongside Johnny Marr in Electronic, while Hooky was living his dreams of all-out leather-clad rock-star in Revenge. Gillian & Steven would even go onto record stuff on their own as the tongue-in cheek named The Other Two.
Some of the results of the spin-off projects would not have been out-of-place in any New Order discography. Well, maybe not too much of the Revenge output – but this, taken from the appallingly named Gun World Porn EP was better than OK.
mp3 : Revenge – Cloud Nine
I know from reading other blogs over the years that Electronic has long divided fans of New Order and The Smiths alike. For what it’s worth, I thought the early singles and 1st album were magnificent and that some of the later stuff was more than reasonable, if a bit patchy. Electronic might not have toured very much, but I’m happy to say that I did get to see them at the Glasgow Barrowlands in late 1991 and it is a concert that remains a very happy memory. To be able to watch two of my favourite musicians perform on stage together at close quarters was a real treat. I also think that Johnny’s influence led to Barney becoming a more outgoing performer in the 90s with New Order…..but then again, other influences (ahem) may have also played a part.
A particular favourite track of mine is an instrumental which in places reminds me of the Low Life era and also makes me wonder just what direction Johnny would have tried to taken his original band had they either not split up or indeed Morrissey had come crawling back asking them to reform (which wasn’t entirely out of the question on the early 90s)/ I don’t think however, that Morrissey would have come up with any decent lyrics for the funk/disco style his former best pal was turning out.
mp3 : Electronic – Freewill
But of all the records the band members released in other guises, there is one almost flawless piece of electronic pop that should have been snapped up by all New Order fans:-
mp3 : The Other Two – Tasty Fish (12″)
Sadly, this stalled at #41 in the UK charts and denied them what would I’m sure would have been a great appearance on Top of The Pops.