Friday, May 1, 2015


New Order sought to safeguard the sub-culture and faced up to their danceable delinquent dignity with the perfect pop of this lush lamentation.  The breakthrough success of their sophomore album 'Power, Corruption & Lies'  and the monster single "Blue Monday" (which remains the biggest selling 12 inch single of all time); put the pressure on for the followup. 

Bernard Sumner says:   "It’s dancey and electronic; we’ve always tried to combine them. It started on our first trip to New York when our equipment got knicked, maybe it got knicked for a reason. We spent a lot of time in the nightclubs in New York and we heard a lot of fresh musical influences there. Back in the UK there were two types of music the straight music and the alternative which was us. The straight they played in the clubs, so you would never go. In New York the DJ’s were really forward looking and would play new wave music from the UK and Sugarhill records from New York so they would play dance music mixed into stuff like The Clash and Soft Cell it was much more daring and interesting music that they played there. So that rubbed off on us. It so happened that about that same time we came to England, it since became affordable for technology to allow us to get our hands on it. Part of the fun was that we thought we were pioneers everything was new and exciting."

Stephen Morris reveals:   "We got a drum machine, I saw it and thought I might be out of a job here so I made sure that I was still playing the drums as well, so it turned into not removing anything but adding more things we ended up with a hybrid ... Basically, the New Order method of titling is just writing down words that are completely abstract and don't relate to anything, and then when you've written the songs, it's just like pin the tail on the donkey."

 'Low-Life' features  Bernard Sumner on vocals, guitars, melodica, percussion,  synthesizers, electronics, and programming;    Peter Hook on 4 and 6-stringed bass, electronic percussion, and backing vocals on "This Time of Night";    Stephen Morris on drums, synthesizers electronics, and programming;   and Gillian Gilbert on synthesizers,  guitars, electronics and programming.   New Order produced the record at Jam and Britannia Row in London with engineer Michael Johnson and tape operators "Mark, Penny, and Tim".  

Hook harkens back:   "We were very driven by [New Order manager] Rob Gretton and [Factory Records owner] Tony Wilson. They didn’t really plan the releases, but they wanted to have new releases in mind. Record companies plan releases years and years in advance. But, Factory Records and New Order was that as soon as we finished one, we put it out and Rob said, “Right, let’s do another one.” Regardless of how well or badly it did, we immediately started to work on the next one. Rob used to say, “The best song that you’re ever going to write is your next one… so get on with it!” It was as simple as that, really. It’s what kept us going. Nothing was planned. As soon as we finished Power, Corruption and Lies, we started Low-Life...I was completely delirious [after working forty-three hours straight to finish "The Perfect Kiss"]. What happened was Mike Johnson and I were engineering it. The others would come in and I think they slept three times. The others would come in and say do this, do that, turn this up, which was what most musicians do. But, I stayed there the whole time. The insane part was then, after it was done, I got in the car and drove to Manchester and them lot slept all the way home in the car!"

Gilbert considers:   "After the second album, we got quite a lot of new keyboard equipment.  The new instruments are more reliable and make what we play sound better...We do a lot of jamming, which we record. Then we go back, listen to it and take what we like. Usually we stick to our own instruments, but not always. For example, I came up with the bass line to 'Love Vigilantes' and Steven played drums...We're democratic. We vote on everything. No one person has the final say...Everyone keeps asking what it's like being signed to Warner Bros. First of all, it's Qwest that we're dealing with and we're not signed to them (the label). We're only licensed to them. If you're signed to a label, the label tells you when to do your album, when to do your single, and when to tour. Labels expect you to do all these things. But with Qwest we're not required to do anything we don't want to do. Other labels offered us more money, but we wanted to maintain control."

 'Low-Life'  hit number ninety-four in the US, seventy in Australia, thirty-four in the Netherlands, twenty-six in Canada, twenty in Sweden, eleven in New Zealand, seven on the UK album chart, and number one on the UK independent album chart.


"Perfect Kiss" became the band's third consecutive number five dance hit in the US.


full seventeen and a half minute version:


"Love  Vigilantes"
Sumner:    "We wrote it because I remember years before we were on a tour with Buzzcocks and the roadies had all these funny Country and Western songs with tear jerking stories in them so I thought I’d write something in that vain. Country and Western Redneck story songs. Thing about that song is, when he comes back to see his wife, you’re not sure whether he’s a ghost."

full album:

1. "Love Vigilantes"   4:16
2. "The Perfect Kiss"   4:51
3. "This Time of Night"   4:45
4. "Sunrise"   6:01
5. "Elegia"   4:56
6. "Sooner Than You Think"   5:12
7. "Sub-culture"   4:58
8. "Face Up"   5:02

'Pumped Full of Drugs'

00:00 - Intro (Feat. Tony Wilson)
02:33 - Confusion
08:01 - Love Vigilantes
12:33 - We All Stand
17:20 - As It Is When It Was
22:07 - Sub-Culture
27:14 - Face Up
32:44 - Sunrise
39:37 - This Time Of Night (PFD)
44:51 - Blue Monday

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