Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Order Breaks Up

Peter Hook says that New Order has broken up for good. Dang.

Until midway through my senior year of college (when I met my now-wife), I had had a girlfriend for all of about two months during my sophomore year. New Order was pretty much my soundtrack to that. Not the "having a girlfriend" part, but the "not having a girlfriend" part.

New Order had the ability to create songs of such sublime beauty that I never wanted them to end. They were always kind of a weird bunch, though, and were never very consistent. Aside from Hooky, they were all unaccomplished musicians who seemed to have to try really, really, hard to sound the way they wanted to. I think they only tried that hard on special occasions. The one time I saw them live was in 1993 at the Hollywood Bowl, on tour in support of one of their weakest albums, Republic, and they were merely OK. Sumner's vocals were adequate at best, but he could express a longing that few others could.

And of course, their album covers, all designed by Peter Saville, were beautiful.

The place to start has long been their 1987 two-disc singles compilation Substance, which has all the best 12" versions of the songs that provided the soundtrack to many a party I attended through high school and college. For proper albums I'm a bit torn between Power, Corruption and Lies and Technique as their best. Their 2001 comeback album Get Ready was surprisingly solid, but its followup Waiting for the Siren's Call was a bit uninspired by comparison.

A couple years ago, for a music poll, I came up with a New Order top ten songs list. Here it is:
  1. Blue Monday - Overplayed, sure, but still pretty awesome.
  2. Temptation
  3. Age of Consent
  4. The Perfect Kiss - It's got that part with frogs.
  5. Bizarre Love Triangle - I've got something like five different N.O. versions of this song, and I find something different to like about each one.
  6. Fine Time
  7. Vanishing Point
  8. True Faith
  9. 586 - I like the version from their second Peel Sessions EP best.
  10. Love Vigilantes
Honorable mention: Your Silent Face, Crystal, Regret, Subculture, Here to Stay.

UPDATE: Blogger seems to have screwed up the comments for this post. Stay tuned to see if it gets fixed.
UPDATE 2: Okay, I fixed it.


At Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 4:39:00 PM PDT, Anonymous doafy said...

Aw! that sucks! But when was the last time they put out an album?

Also, you seem to have part of a sentence missing in this section:

"They were always kind of a weird bunch, though, never very consistent, and, aside from Hooky, unaccomplished musicians who seemed to have to try really, really, hard to sound the way they wanted to."

At Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 1:56:00 AM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

I fixed the sentence. Thanks.

But read the info in the post! Waiting for the Siren's Call is their most recent album. If you click on it, it'll tell you it came out in 2005. The band went dormant for several years after releasing Republic in 1993; their next album didn't come out again until 2001. I have a couple of live DVDs of theirs from a few years ago; you can borrow them sometime.

The links are all to the band-supported New Order Online, which is loaded with all the info you could want about all of their releases, which versions of the songs are there, when they were played in concert, lyrics, etc.

At Monday, May 14, 2007 at 5:23:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Scott said...

Sad, but it has been 27 years. Better they split up now than continue playing into their mid-to-late 50s like some other band we know.

At Monday, May 14, 2007 at 6:26:00 PM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

You meant "some other bands," right? The Rolling Stones are all in their 60s now. I have nothing against people wanting to continue to play music, but maybe after a certain point they should settle down and just play clubs or coffeehouses or such things. Or maybe if they want to continue to produce studio albums, they can issue them for a reduced price, and with a disclaimer saying, "Look, we know this isn't as good as the stuff we made in our prime, but we enjoy recording music so for those of you who might be interested we'll let you listen to it if you'll buy a copy at cost."

For the rest of the world, that's called "retirement."


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