heard on the wire

Then again the same old story

Recently I was asked to name my favourite New Order song. There was no easy answer. I could have plumped for Blue Monday, a work of genius that has a claim to being the all time greatest pop record of all time; for Lonesome Tonight, probably my all time favourite b-side of all time; for Leave Me Alone, This Time of Night, or any of the first four songs on Brotherhood.

In the end I chose a track from Republic, one of the band’s least popular, largely because of this stunning performance taken from the Neworder Story DVD.

But if I was to be entirely objective, it would difficult to make a case against the band’s very first single. A rehashed version of a track that three members of the band had previously laid down as Joy Division, it’s almost certainly the only time that a song has been improved by replacing Ian Curtis’s vocal.

It was released in 1981, the year I fell in love with music. Every record featured so far in song-from-each-year-of-my-life I came to in retrospect. 1981’s choice is a record I bought at the time, clad in its austere but beautiful Peter Saville sleeve.

Ironically, its brilliance didn’t really register at the time. But good things, as they say, come to those who wait. So if you’ve never heard this record, or if you’ve never heard it in all its original vinyl beauty, I hope the wait was worth it.

New Order :: Ceremony
Listen and download [alternative link]

Talking of b-sides, Ceremony’s was pretty good too

New Order :: In a Lonely Place
Listen and download [alternative link]

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