It’s funny to think that it’s now 33 years since New Order released the genuinely revolutionary ‘Blue Monday.’
As has been repeated numerous times, it is the best-selling 12″ single of all time, and there have been many covers. This, by Orkstra Obsolete, sees the song played in a 1930s style. I can find out precious little about Orkestra Obsolete, so just enjoy this at face value:
As outlined previously, New Order will release their first new studio album in ten years, Music Complete on September 25.
After a couple of videos acting of samplers have done the rounds, they have now shared the first fruits of the forthcoming album, the album track ‘Restless.’ You can stream it below. The album will be their first on their new label, Mute, who have previously given the world 17 Seconds faves such as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode and Yazoo. To these ears this is pleasantly reminiscent of their 2001 single ‘Crystal.’ According to their YouTube page, this track will be available digitally from tomorrow.
It feels like it’s been a long time coming – and it has. But September 25 will see the first new studio album from New Order in over a decade.
Entitled Music Complete, it’s the band’s first album for Mute (the label that gave us Depeche Mode, Nick Cave and Liars, amongst many acts), the first one to see the return of keyboardist Gillian Gilbert since 2001’s Get Ready and the first one not to feature co-founding bassist Peter Hook.
The artwork and tracklisting can be seen below:
5.People On The High Line
8.Nothing But A Fool
9.Unlearn This Hatred
While no full songs are available to stream or download as yet, there is a short promotional clip for the album that you can see below:
Yet again more problems – but am now up and running. Apparently the disk space for the account for the blog was full. Many thanks to those lovely people at EUKHost who helped me get sorted out.
I’m still not sure why the blog looks like this – but it makes a nice change. The blog celebrates 7 years on Monday (who’da thought etc..) and a wee overhaul is probably due. What I really want to do is set it up so that people can leave comments more easily and do it without spamming me…
Originally recorded for their third album, 1985’s Lowlife, New Order’s track ‘Elegia’ (recorded as an elegy to Ian Curtis, who committed suicide in 1980, whereupon the band became New Order -just in case you ddn’t know) is shortly to get a full release on vinyl.
‘Only’ five minutes in its edited form on Lowlife, American label Dope Jams are to issue the track on 12″ vinyl . You can stream the track below.
Thoughts? Part of me is glad that it is available as it might orginally have been intended on the format that most listeners would have picked it up on in 1985, though I wonder if it isn’t slightly better in its’ original version. In a way, it almost seems like ‘Your Silent Face part 2.’
..or is it simply that being more familiar with the Lowlife version I prefer it? Still reckon Lowlife is their best album after Technique.
Various Artists: Factory Records: Communications 1978-92 [Box set] (Rhino)
Box sets can be tricky beasts. Rather like ‘Greatest Hits’ compilations they tend to be made up very largely of stuff that has been released before. However, unlike ‘Greatest Hits’-type packages, they generally serve as a cherry on the top for collectors of the work therein, rather than serving as an introduction. Quite often the enticement may also be fantastic sleevenotes, and these are reportedly written by Paul Morley, who is in his element doing anything Manchester and Factory, I should imagine…I say imagine, because the 4CD review copy does not come with these, so what might have served as a major incentive for this reviewer isn’t there.
So let’s focus on the music and the legend. It’s strange to think that it is now more than thirty years since Factory was set up, in part by the legendary maverick TV presenter Tony Wilson, who was always seen as being the public face of the label. The times of this label ran from post-punk (even if it wasn’t called that then) through the rise of indie as an alternative to the eighties mainstream and to the acid house and rave era which meeting Factory head-on produced Madchester. The three most legendary bands on the label : Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays are well-represented here (four, seven and seven tracks apiece). The label’s only number single Englandneworder’s ‘World In Motion’ isn’t here – but perhaps it’s the other things that Factory produced that make this box set notable.
Durutti Column must surely get their due one day -never a big seller but represented across all four discs, which run chronologically, by the way. A Certain Ratio’s mutant funk laid the grounds for what would happen twenty-five years later with the DFA label. New Order’s various side projects are represented – Peter Hook’s Revenge, Steven Morris and Gillian Gilbert’s The Other Two (with their track ‘Tasty Fish’ -I swear to this day that this track reminds me of Saint Etienne), and of course Electronic. Electronic brought together Bernard Sumner with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Their first single ‘Getting Away With It’ also featured Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys (which is rather like having your cake, eating it and making trifle out of it as well). Tony Wilson didn’t sign the Stone Roses (as to whether any label could have coped with both those bands on the roster is debatable), and passed on The Smiths because he famously told Morrissey ‘Go away and write your novel, Stephen.’ Northside were signed to Factory, and they have probably been saved from being the most ridiculed band in 1990s indie by virtue of Menswe@r a few years later.
If the label wasn’t always having major hits, they were certainly able to recognise future massive sellers, and both James and OMD made their debuts here. For me, the real joy has been discovering the reggae band Xodus whose song ‘English Black Boys’ I had never heard before, but surely belongs as a cousin of its’ times to Steel Pulse’s ‘Ku Klux Klan.’ The only band not represented are ESG due to ‘licensing’ (though their music is available through Soul Jazz in the UK, so get thee to thy playlist, if you feel the need to be completist).
The myths and legends surrounding the label are many – New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ remains the biggest selling 12″ single of all ime, but due to the artwork, they lost five pence per copy (which adds up over two and a million copies). The Happy Mondays deciding to record their final album for Factory …Yes Please in Barbados and blowing the money on crack. Not having proper contracts with the bands, which was a wonderful and laudable ideal, and no help whatsoever when the recievers had to be called in that sad day in November 1992.
Yet Wilson was a visionary and for that he should be saluted. As should many of the bands included here. You can snipe about what should have been here until the cows come home -but just take a leaf out of this reviewer’s book and accept what is.
Factory Records: Communications 1978-92 [Box set] is out now on Rhino
A visual sample of some of the delights contained…
Just like it says on the tin. This post contains tracks that made Peel’s Festive Fifty that are extremely hard to get hold of, and I couldn’t actually get on either iTunes or Emusic, and was forced to make a request for readers to ride to the rescue. Thanks as ever to Steve, JC, Adam, Dirk, Max and anyone else who helped out!
John Peel with Laura Cantrell, one of his favourite people
Sometimes, there are some cover versions that completely revisit the original to such an extent it completely rewrites the song almost.
One of those is ‘Love Vigilantes’ by New Order, originally on their Lowlife album, and covered this year by Laura Cantrell on her latest album Trains And Boats And Planes. Eighties electro-indie goes new country? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve heard it…
Mighty Math -‘Soul Boy.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.39)
Meanwhile, I remember the film of The Beach being received somewhat disapppointingly in 2000, but the soundtrack featured two festive fifty entries that year, New Order’s ‘Brutal’ (and not as you might have expected the soundtrack to contain, ‘The Beach’) and Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti’s ‘Beached.’
New Order -‘Brutal.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.26)
Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti -‘Beached.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.45)
Meanwhile (heh heh…) yet again, having difficulty tracking these tracks down, so if anyone can help that would be appreciated please:
From 1976: Wild Man Fischer -‘Go To Rhino records.’ [Thanks Craig] Matching Mole -‘O Caroline.’ [Now have it, thanks!] Allman Brothers band -‘Jessica.’ [Now have it, thanks, Laurent] Legendary Stardust Cowboy -‘Paralysed.’ [Thanks Craig!] Racing Cars -‘They shoot Horses Don’t They?’ [Thanks Steve!]
and from 1985: Three Johns -‘Death Of the European’ [Now have it, thanks] Woodentops -‘Move Me’ [Now have it, thanks] 1,000 Violins -‘Like 1,000 Violins’ [Now have it, thanks Mike!]