A HANDFUL OF SELFISH MOMENTS

It was more than five years ago, in April 2014 that I featured The Other Two on the blog as part of a piece looking at the spin-off bands from New Order.

I made the observation that, of all the records the band members released in other guises, there was 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”)

Much to my delight, there was a very positive response to the posting with a number of my long-standing and most trusted contributors, including postpunkmonk, the robster and Echorich all adding their own appreciative comments on Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert’s debut single.

I was thinking just the other day as to why nothing more seemed to happen in the wake of the release of Tasty Fish, which in reaching #41 had come within a whisker of possibly providing the duo with a Top of the Pops appearance – something that would have been interesting as I can’t imagine Gillian would have wanted to sing live while Stephen would likely have been desperate to avoid miming.

Tasty Fish was released in October 1991 as FAC 329. The Factory catalogue has the self-titled debut album as FAC 330. Crucially, it indicates it is a test pressing with perhaps 5-10 copies in existence. In short, the album got held up as the label began to implode, with the last throw of the dice being to try and get Happy Mondays product completed and into the shops. In the end, an album that had been finished in the studio in mid-1991 did not see light of day until November 1993 when London Records provided a belated release, having preferred, understandably, to concentrate on promoting Republic, the latest album by New Order.

Gillian and Stephen must have been disappointed with the way things turned out as The Other Two and You , despite being a fine and enjoyable piece of work, wasn’t getting much love from the company bosses. It would have been quite different if Tony Wilson et al had still been in charge.

A single was lifted to help the promotional efforts:-

mp3 : The Other Two – Selfish

As was the case with so many of the New Order singles of the time, there were no new songs made available on the b-sides of the 7”, 12” and CD versions, but there were a number of remixes:-

mp3 : The Other Two – Selfish (That Pop Mix)
mp3 : The Other Two – Selfish (Junior Style Dub)
mp3 : The Other Two – Selfish (The East Village Vocal)
mp3 : The Other Two – Selfish (The East Village Dub)

The opening of That Pop Mix is reminiscent (to my ears) of Vanishing Point, one of the outstanding tracks on the 1989 album Technique.

The Junior Dub is more than nine minutes in length and was surely played in the clubs of Ibiza and the likes back in the day.

Selfish did very well, in the circumstances, to reach #46 in the singles chart.

The album failed to chart.

JC

THE NEW ORDER SPIN-OFFS

neworder1989

The period after the release of Technique in 1989  was a strange time for New OrderFactory 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.

Enjoy