ARTIST: New Order
YEAR RELEASED: 1981
CHART ACTION: #30 UK, #1 UK Indie
SINGLES: None – New Order released singles separately until 1985
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nope, not here
LINEUP: Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Former Joy Division members carry on, add a synth player and continue making downcast post-punk.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After Ian Curtis’ suicide, the members of Joy Division decided to carry on as a trio and named themselves New Order. They wrote new songs, and then added Gilbert (Morris’ girlfriend, later wife) as a synth player, and moved toward a more electronic motif than Joy Division had.
The songs are kind of still in the Joy Division camp, they’re morose, focus on guitar for the most part instead of synth sequences and rhythms. Morris is playing more electronic drums. What we don’t have here are songs with great hooks or things that make you move. The songwriting is still embryonic as well, but they had to learn by doing quite a bit.
For some reason, the first few albums didn’t feature any singles, and that’s where New Order really shone at this time. I wouldn’t start here – this is more for completists.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The producer was Martin Hannett, who worked with them as Joy Division. However, he was seen as uncooperative and this was the last time they worked together.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There is, with “Ceremony” (#61 US Dance, #34 UK, #1 UK Indie), “Temptation” (#68 US Dance, #29 UK, #1 UK Indie),“Procession” (#38 UK, #1 UK Indie) and “Everything’s Gone Green” (#64 US Dance, #3 UK Indie), the four singles released from 1981-82.
GRADE: B-: The singles and B-sides may have made a better album. This is OK but doesn’t match the quality and distinction of their early singles.