New Order/Power, Corruption & Lies [Extended]

New Order were an English musical group formed in 1980 by Bernard Sumner (vocals, guitars, synthesizers), Peter Hook (bass, backing vocals, electronic drums) and Stephen Morris (drums, synthesizers). New Order were formed in the wake of the demise of their previous group Joy Division, following the suicide of vocalist Ian Curtis. They were soon joined by additional keyboardist Gillian Gilbert.

New Order combined post-punk and electronic dance, and became one of the most critically acclaimed and highly influential bands of the 1980s.[2] Though New Order’s early years were shadowed by the legacy of Joy Division, their immersion in the New York City club scene of the early 1980s increased their knowledge of dance music. The band’s 1983 hit “Blue Monday” saw them fully embrace dance music and synthesized instruments, and is the best-selling 12-inch single of all time.[3] New Order were the flagship band for Factory Records, and their minimalist album sleeves and non-image reflected the label’s aesthetic of doing whatever the relevant parties wanted to do, including an aversion to including singles as album tracks. The band has often been acclaimed by fans, critics and other musicians as a highly influential force in the alternative rock and dance music scenes.

New Order were on hiatus between 1993 and 1998, during which time the members participated in various side-projects. The band reconvened in 1998, and in 2001 released Get Ready, their first album in eight years. In 2005, Phil Cunningham (guitars, synthesizers) replaced Gilbert, who had left the group due to family commitments.

In 2007, Peter Hook left the band and stated that he and Sumner had no further plans to work together.[4] Sumner revealed in 2009 that he no longer wishes to make music as New Order.[5] Sumner, Morris and Cunningham now work together under a new band name, Bad Lieutenant.

Power, Corruption & Lies, released in March 1983, was a synthesizer-based outing and a dramatic change in sound from Joy Division and the preceding album, although the band had been hinting at the increased use of technology during the music-making process for a number of years then, including their work as Joy Division. Starting from what earlier singles had hinted, this was where the band had found their footing, mixing early techno music with their earlier guitar-based sound and showing the strong influence of acts like Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder. Even further in this direction was the electronically sequenced, four-on-the-floor single “Blue Monday“. Inspired by Klein & MBO’s “Dirty Talk” Sylvester’s disco classic, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)[20], “Blue Monday” became the best-selling independent 12″ single of all time in the UK; however, (much to the chagrin of the buying public) it was not on the track list of Power, Corruption & Lies. This resulted in a sticker being applied to unsold copies of Power, Corruption & Lies album saying, “DOES NOT CONTAIN BLUE MONDAY”.[citation needed] “Blue Monday” is now included on the 2008 collector’s edition of Power, Corruption & Lies.

The 1983 single “Confusion” firmly established the group as a dance music force, inspiring many musicians in subsequent years. In 1984 they followed the largely synthesized single “Thieves Like Us” with the heavy guitar-drum-bass rumble of “Murder”, a not-too-distant cousin of “Ecstasy” from the Power, Corruption & Lies album. [Wikipedia]

Age Of Consent—-With the trademark Division sound intact, the main difference you notiv=ce from the onset is the brilliant use of melody despite the heavy bass line of the song. Bernard was still trying to find his footing as a vocalist and seems a little uncomfortable…sometimes singing to high and making the track sound amateurish and carrying a certain charm. Still, overall….the atmosphere remains intact, the low-level of sadness runs through the background and the band firmly began to cement themselves as innovators and an unmovable force on the club scene. One of the most miraculous resurrections ever!!!

We All Stand—-Beginning with much more atmosphere and mood, the deep bass lines are missing from this song and to be honest, Sumner delivers a vocal that at times is too high-pitched and out of tune…this only adds to the charm of the whole damn thing. This was a band dealing with innovation and a fan base they did not want to alienate…as they matured and changed some mis steps were made along the way…this track falls flat, but at the same time hints at the brilliance that was to come. This remains remarkable just for the floundering delivery.

The Village—-This remains a wonderful merge of the band that was and the band that was to become. I have missed this particular track from my collection for quite sometime and am glad to finally get my hands on this again. This has always resonated with me as it features the remarkable bass line, a much more in tune vocal and enough electronics to make you scream with excitement. this was past meets present equals the future done in a masterful way. Remarkable.

586—-Deeper in sound and a bit more morose from the onset, it is uncanny how you can make the Synth line reap of emotion…but Gary Numan manges to do it all the time. Hook enters with a much more subtle bass line but it is there none the less…..magically the song becomes…..a dance masterpiece that finds Summer sounding the most comfortable on the mic since he took over the duties. This is rampant with early Moroder style synth lines that would eventually define the sound of the band. This is so wonderful to hear again…this particular release has been absent from my collection for about 15 years…gettinf it again is like a reunion with my blankey!!!!

Your Silent Face—-With a BRILLIANT bass line. the swirls of atmosphere enter the track and give this band a sound that we had not yet experienced before. This was cool, accessible and damn pleasant. The synth line matches the vocal of Sumner perfectly and allows his vocal weaknesses to go off without notice…simply because this is so pleasant. This is wonderful to whistle to….I’m just say in’.

Ultraviolence—-Fully engaging the addictive synth/dance beats that the band seemed to be perfecting, the song has the drawback of sounding so much like other songs and future songs. The saving grace is the experimental and unpractised vocal of Bernard…at the beginning his sense of hesitation and obvious signs of discomfort were charming and garnered new fans and old forever. This really is part of the groundwork of a really great and accomplished band that just could not seem to get along:(

Ecstasy—-From the onset, this sounds almost to contrived to me…the sound leaning back on the basis of other songs already on the CD. The synth/vocoded vocals add a bit of nice distraction and reminds you that the bass line yu are hearing in so familiar….but of cous=rse, that defining hallmark would always be present would it not. The song is more like an extended midnight dance romp best played through fog and a drunken haze…it played very well then!!!

Leave Me Alone—-Hooky delivered, the bass line is unmistakable…the lead guitars almost match the timbre of Sumner’s voice perfectly. Bernard had a distinct and different voice from Ian Curtis and it is remarkable enough that the band was able to change and adapt to it. t makes you sit back and wonder what the band might have become if Ian had survived for the long haul. It may have very well have changed he direction of music from over the pond….regardless, we are left with reality and the result was pretty damn good. Sumner and Hook & Co. managed a huge career and we are left with the rewards of their reaping…I am more the grateful for it.

Blue Monday [12″]—-As previously stated, the best-selling 12″ in history, the song and it’s ability to combine the synth lines of the emerging band with the bass line of the previous career resulted in a masterpiece that has fed the masses for many years. Still managing to sound fresh…even in today’s technological climate, you can not deny genius…this was the right song at the right time in the right climate…masterful!

The Beach [12″]—-The Beach remains a clever attempt to mix up a song…add some bass and synths are reproduce the same song all over again…this is about as brilliant as the whole marketing ploy of Sigue Sigue Sputnik…..think about it this was genius…..and a damn great result on the musical scale.

Confusion [12″]—-With just enough synth and a chorus of voices that make the song sound like fun, the dark edge that lies underneath the track is strangely absent. Sumner, once again sounds almost foreign as he sings in a tone that is obviously uncomfortable for him. That is the beauty of this band…the very fallibility became the very asset…..Sumner was comfortable in a lower range that perfectly matched the bass delivery of Hook…where did things go so wrong…perhaps someday the whole damn lot will say what the hell and make new music…yeah right.

Thieves Like Us [12″]—-Swirling synth sounds that magically produce fog and atmosphere greet you upon the opening notes….the groove of the band was well in hand at this point. The bass line is absent for the beginning of this track as the basis is established on synth alone….even though ou hear Hook stealing notes in the backdrop. When the full on bass line enters the song, you are warmed to the very pit of your stomach…rarely has such a masterful melodic instrumental mix come together. When Sumner enters, he is at a comfortable range that displays emotion and true passion. This remains a very favorite track of mine…so sad I never saw it live…..

Lonesome Tonight [12″]—-Hook is the star from the very beginning, as the song is based on a strong bass line and the all familiar tones of the former glory days of a band that seemed very long ago. The synth line is present and the vocal of Sumner could be little similar to Curtis, but the feel of the ‘old band’ remains intact and the sound the new band is producing only adds and grows on the existing beliefs and tastes. This is remarkable…dark yet danceable…silent yet noisy, pleasant and ugly…masterful.

**** 3/4 out of 5


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