New Order

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For other uses, see New Order (disambiguation).
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New Order, 2005 Promotional shot

New Order are an English electronic dance/rock crossover group, which formed in 1980 from Joy Division following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. The current members of New Order are Bernard Sumner (lead vocals/guitars), Peter Hook (bass), and Stephen Morris (percussion/keyboards), all from Joy Division, plus recently, Phil Cunningham (guitars/synth). Morris' wife, Gillian Gilbert (guitars/synths), left the band in 2001 to care for her daughter suffering from a degenerative disease.



The name is reported [1] ( to come from "The People's New Order of Kampuchea", which the group's manager came across while reading a newspaper during a name brainstorming session.

New Order initially started on a similar route as their previous incarnation, performing melodic, dark songs. Soon however, they found their own sound and became an icon in new wave and alternative circuits, and have now shown considerable longevity. They have heavily influenced techno, and were themselves influenced by the likes of Donna Summer and Kraftwerk.

Both New Order and Joy Division were among the most successful artists on the Factory Records label, run by Granada television personality Anthony Wilson, and partnered with Factory in the financing of the Manchester club The Hacienda.

Unusually for such a major group, New Order never had a formal contract with their label. (This was in fact Factory's standard practice until the mid-1980s. As Tony Wilson put it, "All our bands are free to fuck off whenever they please".) Because of this, the group (rather than Factory Records) legally owned all their own recorded material. This has often been cited, not least by Wilson himself, as the main reason London Records' offer to buy the ailing label in 1992 fell through.

Each member of this band has been involved with other bands: Sumner partnered with former member of The Smiths, Johnny Marr, in Electronic and collaborated with the Chemical Brothers on a track from their album "Surrender"; Hook formed the bands Revenge and Monaco; and Morris and Gilbert formed the aptly named The Other Two.

Their music has sometimes been heavily synth-based, like other dance bands, and among more well-known songs are the singles "True Faith" (1987), and "Bizarre Love Triangle" (1986). On recent albums they have showcased a rockier sound on some tracks. Their 12"-only release "Blue Monday" is the best selling 12" single of all time, though because the packaging of the first pressing was so elaborate, resembling a large 5" floppy disk, the band was said to lose a small amount of money (around 0.20) on each copy sold.

In 1983, the band saw US DJ and producer Arthur Baker in New York, and asked him to produce their single Confusion. It was a crossover success on the club-scene, and set a precedent for remixes of rock or pop songs which has now become a key part of music marketing.

New Order recorded the official song for the English football team's 1990 World Cup campaign, "World in Motion," under the ad-hoc band name EnglandNewOrder. The song, co-written with comedian Keith Allen, was a number one UK hit.

In recent years New Order have become more comfortable with the Joy Division era of their repertoire, often performing live versions of classics such as "Transmission" and "Isolation." Joy Division and New Order were portrayed in the film 24 Hour Party People, which depicts the rise and fall of their infamous record label Factory, along with its bands and owners.

Their 2001 release Get Ready was a departure from their more synthesiser based style and is more focused on the guitar. According to Sumner, "[Get Ready] was guitar-heavy simply because we felt that we'd left that instrument alone for a long time".

In 2002, Q magazine named New Order in their list of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die", although this was as part of a sub-list of "5 Bands That Could Go Either Way".

The band released a new album on March 27 2005, entitled Waiting for the Sirens' Call to good reviews. According to Peter Hook, during the sessions for Waiting for the Sirens' Call, the band also wrote and recorded most of the material for yet another album. It is assumed that this album will be released sometime in 2006.

At the 2005 NME awards, New Order were presented with the award for 'Godlike Geniuses', their equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement award. Previous winners include Ozzy Osbourne, The Clash, and Factory labelmates the Happy Mondays.


New Order, and Factory Records products in general, frequently bore the minimalist packaging of Peter Saville. The group's record sleeves bucked the '80s trend by rarely showing the band members (The Low-Life LP was the exception proving the rule) or even providing basic information such as the band name or the title of the release. Song names were often hidden within the shrink wrapped package, either on the disc itself (such as the "Confusion" single) or on an inconspicuous part of an inner sleeve ("The Perfect Kiss" single). Saville elaborated on this concept on the NewOrderStory video, saying his intention was to sell the band as a "known secret" of sorts. The distinctive minimalist style was enough to allow fans to identify the band's products without explicit labeling.

The band rarely gave interviews in the '80s, later ascribing this to not wanting to discuss Ian Curtis. This along with the Peter Saville sleeve designs and the tendency to give short performances with no encores gave the band a standoffish reputation. They opened up a bit in the '90s. The aforementioned NewOrderStory (and in particular the long UK version) featured extensive personal interviews.

New Order released many singles for songs not included on LPs. Singles were released in many formats and often with varying track lists and exclusive artwork. According to Tony Wilson, Factory intentionally released other singles, LPs and compilations in non-UK markets to increase their collectability. Indeed, the complete New Order discography is far too sprawling for most fans to collect in its entirety, and the compilations released by Factory and other labels are notoriously incomplete. In the late 90s, London Records spoke of releasing a Depeche Mode-esque singles retrospective for New Order, complete with original packaging and track lists. In fact, the project was at times named Cardboard and Plastic and Recycle, with t-shirts for the latter appearing at the infrequent New Order gig. Eventually, the financial aspects caused the project to devolve into the Retro box set (2003), which featured many tracks that were readily available elsewhere. The single-disc International compilation (2003) similarly omits the classic, out of print recordings in favor of updating the conventional (The Best of) New Order (1995) and Substance (1987). At least one single, Run2 (1989), may never be reissued; it was the subject of legal action from John Denver, who argued that the song's wordless guitar break was based on his own song "Leaving on a Jet Plane". An out of court settlement ensured that the song would never be re-released in its original form. [2] (

Many New Order song titles rarely have anything to do with the song. In some cases songs with normal titles appear to have had their titles swapped to other songs. For example, the phrase "This Time of Night" appears in the song "As It Is When It Was" on Brotherhood but is the title of a song on Low-Life. Other song titles were taken from the titles of old movies ("Thieves Like Us," "Cries and Whispers," etc.)

Singles often feature remixes. The number of remixes were few at first but increased a great deal with the release of 1993's Republic. New Order remixes tend to have one or more of these characteristics:

  • Dub Versions: Inspired by the dub musical genre, these have titles related to the original track (e.g., "The Beach," a lyric in "Blue Monday," is a dub version of that song; "Bizarre Dub Triangle" is the dub version of "Bizarre Love Triangle," etc.). Dubs were often the solitary b-side on the Factory original 12" singles, and were often recognizable rearrangements of the title tracks with few, if any, added parts.
  • Edits: These were shortened versions of other mixes, often meant for distribution on a 7" record.
  • Extended Versions: These preserve much of the original track but add extended intros, outros and instrumental parts (e.g., "Round and Round 12" Version", "True Faith (Shep Pettibone Mix)").
  • Instrumentals: The title track minus vocals (e.g., "Fine Line", "Vanishing Point Instrumental"). An interesting twist on this is the "Confusion (A Capella Mix)" which has a sole vocal track.
  • Re-recordings: Later takes of the title track (e.g., "Ceremony" on the white and blue 12" and on Substance, "Shame of the Nation").
  • Live Versions: Live recordings (e.g., "The Perfect Kiss (Video Version)", the 60 Miles An Hour Tour Disc).

Bassist Peter Hook contributed to New Order's sound by developing an idiosyncratic bass guitar technique. He often played high-pitched melodies with a signature heavy chorus effect, leaving the lower registers to keyboards or sequencers.

Drummer Stephen Morris regularly played a mixture of acoustic and electronic drums, and in many cases played along seamlessly with sequenced parts.

All the band members could and did switch instruments throughout gigs, as evidenced on Jonathan Demme's video for "The Perfect Kiss" and the fairly common Taras Shevchenko and Pumped Full of Drugs concert videos. In particular, every member could be seen playing keyboard at times.


Hook was married to comedy actress Caroline Aherne for a short time.

New Order tracks which include the title in the lyrics

Very few New Order tracks include the title in the lyrics, particularly on older releases. This lists the few that do. It should be noted that while none of the "classics" such as "Blue Monday" are here, almost all of their 2001 album Get Ready is.

  • 1963
  • 60 Miles An Hour
  • All Day Long
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Crystal
  • Confusion
  • Dracula's Castle
  • Every Little Counts
  • Here To Stay
  • Hey Now What You Doing
  • I Told You So
  • Jetstream
  • Leave Me Alone
  • Morning Night And Day
  • Player In The League
  • Primitive Notion
  • The Perfect Kiss (some versions, original album edit does not)
  • Regret
  • Rock the Shack
  • Ruined in a Day
  • Shellshock
  • Someone Like You
  • Special
  • State Of The Nation
  • Touched by the Hand of God
  • Turn
  • Turn My Way
  • Vicious Streak
  • Vietnam (cover version done for charity)
  • Waiting For The Sirens' Call
  • Way of Life
  • Working Overtime
  • World (The Price Of Love) - only applies to the single version, the LP version is just called "World"
  • World In Motion (released under the name of EnglandNewOrder)

Also, "Face Up" includes the word "Face" in its first line, although it's a tenous link.


Studio albums



  • 1981-1982 New Order (1982)



  • Taras Schevchenko (1983, live in New York. Originally available on VHS, re-released as part of the 316 DVD)
  • Pumped Full of Drugs (1985, live in Japan, available on VHS and DVD)
  • Substance (1989)
  • New Order Story (1994 VHS)
  • 316 (2001, DVD containing 1998 concert at the Reading Festival, as well as the afore-mentioned Taras Schevchenko recording)
  • 511 (2002, live at Finsbury Park, DVD)

See also: post punk, List of songs with titles that don't appear in the lyrics

External links

de:New Order fr:New Order ja:ニューオーダー no:New Order pl:New Order sv:New Order


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