heard on the wire

The kiss of death

Three of my all-time favourite LPs of all-time were released in 1985, the year I passed my A Levels. The two facts are not, as far as I know, related.

First came The Smiths third “proper” studio LP, the Meat is Murder. Even allowing for the bunny-cuddling hippie nonsense of the title track, it’s a monumental work culminating in the brilliant and frightening Barbarism Begins at Home.

A couple of months later New Order followed with their third collection, reinventing their sound again on the universally acclaimed and — no surprise here — beautifully packaged Low Life.

Then in September came my first and all-time favourite Fall LP, This Nation’s Saving Grace.

And as if that wasn’t enough, 1985 was the year of Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy and a second LP from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Firstborn is Dead.

Pick a song-from-each-year-of-my-life from that lot if you can.

Alternatively you could turn to any of the year’s fine singles, including two that have featured here before: Pink Orange Red by the Cocteau Twins and The Wedding Present’s My Favourite Dress.

But this year’s choice combines the two: a four-and-a-bit minutes track from Low Life reinvented as a sweeping symphony of a pop song that might just be the band’s finest accomplishment.

New Order :: The Perfect Kiss
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The video was directed by Jonathan “Silence of the Lambs” Demme.

Set in the band’s practice room, it simply depicts the band playing the song from beginning to end. According to Factory Records owner Tony Wilson, Demme was looking forward to filming dynamic shots of Stephen Morris behind the drum kit and was dismayed to find that the drums in the song were all programmed.¹


¹ Wikipedia | The Perfect Kiss

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