New Order / Low-Life [Collector’s Edition]

Low-Life [Collector's Edition]

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, electronic drums, synthesizers). New Order were formed after of the demise of their previous group Joy Division, following the suicide of vocalist Ian Curtis. They were soon joined by 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, with help from Morris D. Temple, 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, synthesizers and drum machines, 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, dance and rave 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 and Cunningham now work together under a new band name, Bad Lieutenant

The Analysis:

Love Vigilantes—-If you have been or are a fan of New Order/Joy Division, the intro instrumentation to this song is welcome and comfortable. At this point in the evolution of the band, Bernard was becoming much more comfortable behind the microphone and as the song progressed, the vocal becomes even stronger. firmly intact is the remarkable almost trademark synth sound and the Peter Hook bass that made the former and latter band what it was. this is a classic and wonderful excursion into the history of New Order…nice to hear again!

The Perfect Kiss—-One of the really great New Order singles! This has a driving synth line that is unrelenting but still allows Hook his time in the spotlight and real instrumentation mixed in with all of the synth lines. Bernard delivers a vocal that is nicely out of tune and charming as hell….this was a huge winner all of the way around. I could never ask for more…if you want to move and experience a lighter side of life, play this track….just magnificent!

This Time Of Night—-This track begins with a huge club bass that is immediately pleasing to te listener. Of course, Hook and his magic bass manages to seep into the mix…but none the less, this is a great one-off track that never got much attention but sounds fresh and invigorating as I listen back to it now. Bernard delivers a nice off-key chorus that manages to remind us that he is no Ian Curtis…but also reminds us that this is anew and invigorated band. This is stellar.

Sunrise—-When this track begins, you are automatically reminded of the morosity of Joy Division. The sound is deep and intense and the Hook bass line that enters almost allows you to believe that what was once was could be again…..then the synths hit and you are reminded that this is a new era. You are wrapped in the urgency of the music and the higher pitch of the vocal….but the lyrics seem to come right from Ian…this is a blistering track that sticks in my brain…this is a rendezvous of past and present sounds all colliding together…just freaking brilliant!!!!

Elegia—-This is and has always been a fairly exquisite composition….full of moody synth lines and an atmosphere that settles deep within your soul and won’t leave you alone. this is a masterful example of old blending with new…the dance grooves subtle as they are blending with the incredible dark lines of Ian and his persona. Perhaps this was a song that had been around for quite sometime? The trademark Hook bass line is played at a higher tempo…still present but delivered in a magical funeral style that manages to produce chills and tear drops even as it plays. This is just remarkable!

Sooner Then You Think—-This is nice, and one of those tracks that you almost recognize instantly but have never heard before! The synth lines are rote and the bass line is all Peter Hook, so how could that not happen? This is one of those songs that never made much impact but still is imminent in the development of the band and still pops up now and then.

Sub-Culture—-By this time, the synth lines that were delivered by New Order were almost as recognizable as the trademark bass lines from Hook. Bernard delivers line after line that makes you pause and think about where life is taking you. You have to allow yourself to sink deep into the realm of the Order and allow yourself to give into the happy but morose dance rhythms that the band produced to be a true fan. This is happy music without a bit of joy….New Order managed to finesse this music without even trying…building on false hope and past loss….you cannot deny the addictive nature of the whole damn thing!!!

Face-Up—-One of my favorite New Order tracks ever!!!! I’m not sure I can tell you why….I have always loved this song. I love the urgency and the Disco edge to the song. Sumner delivers line after line that seems to be truly driven….this is truly fantastic and i am so glad that I finally found this again…this emerging synth pop at it’s very best…I could never ask for more!!!!

The Perfect Kiss [12″ Mix]—-This is nice…the sound is so much more amped up…..the synth lines are pretty damn incredible. the entire band seems to be involved, but the synth lines that run through the song are incredible. This might not be a song that you recognize from the title, but the minute that you hear it, you are wrapped in nostalgia and familiarity. This is a piece of dance floor history that is ignored but incredibly important to many of the up and coming bands of the new millennium. Just fantastic!!!!

Subculture—-This entire thing continues to confuse me…this song, sounding incredibly like many of the other songs that this band has produced shows up with a different title and a different synth line…but still sounding incredibly famuilar…what are you to do with the entire thing but just jam and enjoy the wonderful synth manipulations that Gilbert managed to produce…this is familiar, foreign bit new and fresh…go figure!

Shellshock—-In my opinion, one of the best songs that this band has ever produced. The speaker play is remarkable…the energy is undeniable and the manipulations are exquisite. This was on the Substance release but I never realized that it was released elsewhere. This is a remarkable band progression…allowing you to realize how hard this band tried to separate itself from its past. this is stellar…unforhettable and one of those singles that will live forever!!!

Shame Of The Nation [12″ Mix]—This is a nice remix, although it treads on ground that is very worn and offers nothing new to the listener. this is dark and offers little to the Dance floor crowd…except for some nice reverb and echo…played before and released before!!!

Elegia [Full Version]—-Clocking in at almost 20 minutes in length, you can imagine that this becomes old after a time!!! Beginning crystal clear and becoming darker and darker as the song progresses, the synth lines become more and more progressive as the song develops…until you are wrapped in a huge synth blanket of layered sound. This is not a happy progression….the song is dark and laden with emotional lines that are impossible to ignore. Hook and his bass are everywhere, despite the higher tone. The morosity is incredible, the sadness is apparent and the funeral feeling is overwhelming. This is just magnificent!!!!

Let’s Go [From ‘Salvation’]—-This begins so abrasive from the onset, you are sure that you are listening to an outtake from the former band. the only sound that manages to convince you otherwise id the synth line from Gilbert. This becomes almost joyous after a bit…reminding you that this band managed to find life and joy after a very tragic past. Phenomenal!!!

Salvation Theme—-Full of trademark sounds that manage to incorporate the past with the present, this is a conglomeration of sound that pleases both the old fan and the new allies. This is remarkable just for that simple task…even thugh the long-term listener recognizes the as rote and overplayed.

Dub Vulture [12″ Version]—-I do not like dub versions, I think they are a large waste of time. The only saving grace for this track is that the vocal is amazingly fresh and the bass smacks you right in the face…going on forever, at 8 minutes, this is bit much…aqlthough I still love this particular version!

****3/4 out of 5


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