Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Joy New Division Order - 40 Years Ago


There were two New Orders in 1981, the post-Joy Division version which hadn't yet come from out of the shadows of Ian Curtis, and the new New Order that evolved into my favorite band of the 80s. I love both versions, with Movement still high on my list, particularly "Doubts Even Here," and "Chosen Time." While Movement was a transitional LP, in many ways, so was its follow-up, Factus 8, sometimes called 1981-1982. While the latter was clearly New Order, the EP demarcates the point where NO shed Martin Hannett, one of the 80s finest producers, and the producer of both Closer and Unknown Pleasures. Hannett produced three of the EP's tracks, "Everything’s Gone Green," "Procession" and "Mesh," that while leaning in a new direction, were still leftover from JD days. The other tracks, which fill side 2, "Temptation" and "Hurt," were pure New Order, produced by the band.

Interestingly, at about the same time, New Order released their first single, "Ceremony," b/w "In a Lonely Place," released as Fac.33, which were actually Joy Division tracks recorded just prior to the death of Ian Curtis. New Order would re-record the tracks with Bernard Sumner on vocals. Sumner could only approximate the lyrics and improvised on "Ceremony" since Curtis had not written them out and his recordings were typically garbled.
It's interesting to look back and decipher the evolution that took place from Joy Division through New Order pre-"Blue Monday" in 1983. While I revere JD, it's NO who would become the band that I most admired in a time when there were so many. Today I listen to Depeche Mode equally and Pet Shop Boys more (a band my wife and I share as one of our faves), but it was New Order that I followed more closely and listened to more intently. By Power, Corruption and Lies and Brotherhood, I was (Peter) Hooked.

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