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Music / Brotherhood

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"Every time I see you falling/ I get down on my knees and pray/I'm waiting for this final moment/you say the words that I can say."
Brotherhood is the fourth studio album by New Order, released in 1986. Compared to its predecessors, which were straight Post-Punk (in the case of Movement) and straight Alternative Dance (in the case of Power, Corruption & Lies and Low-Life), Brotherhood takes a more unconventional approach to the band's sound. Specifically, it is a Distinct Single Album, with side one consisting entirely of straight post-punk songs and side two consisting entirely of straight Synth-Pop. Despite this approach being radically different from New Order's usual oeuvre, the album was well received by fans and critics and continues to be regarded quite highly to this day.

"Bizarre Love Triangle" was released as a single a month after Brotherhood's release. New Order's American label, Qwest, reissued it to promote its version of the band's (the best of) NewOrder compilation in 1995. Conversely, the 12" version of "State of the Nation"— initially a non-album single— was added on Factory Records' CD release of Brotherhood. Most later CD reissues would retain this amendment to the tracklist, with the sole exception of Qwest Records' American CD release of the album in 1988.



Side One
  1. "Paradise" (3:50)
  2. "Weirdo" (3:52)
  3. "As It Was When It Was" (3:46)
  4. "Broken Promise" (3:47)
  5. "Way of Life" (4:06)

Side Two

  1. "Bizarre Love Triangle" (4:22)
  2. "All Day Long" (5:12)
  3. "Angel Dust" (3:44)
  4. "Every Little Counts" (4:28)
  5. "State of the Nation" (6:32)

Principal members:

  • Bernard Sumner – vocals, electric guitar, synthesizers, programming
  • Peter Hook – bass guitar, electronic percussion, backing vocals
  • Stephen Morris – drums, synthesizers, programming
  • Gillian Gilbert – synthesizers, programming, guitars, backing vocals


"Someone like you cannot be free; just like a trope without a key":

  • Abusive Parents: "All Day Long" is about this.
  • Broken Record: Applied literally with the ending of "Every Little Counts", which mimics the sound of a record skipping. Stephen Morris retrospectively stated in an interview that he thought it would've been a good idea if the CD and cassette releases featured different versions of the song that mimicked the ways in which their own respective formats locked up.
  • Call-Back:
    • The outro to "Way of Life" quotes Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart".
    • "As It Is When It Was" includes the phrase "this time of night", the title of a track on the previous album, Low-Life.
  • Corpsing: Bernard Sumner does this at various points in "Every Little Counts", the end result of the improvisational nature of the lyrics.
  • Distinct Single Album: As stated in the main description, side one consists of pure Post-Punk songs, while side two is dance-oriented Synth-Pop.
  • Epic Rocking: "State of the Nation" qualifies, clocking in at 6:32.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: "Bizarre Dub Triangle" (the instrumental version of Bizarre Love Triangle) was retitled "I Don't Care" in the US.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Bizarre Love Triangle", a peppy dance song about the narrator's infatuation devolving into obsession.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: A photograph of a titanium-zinc alloy sheet. Early LP releases of the album took the idea a step further and incorporated a metallic effect on the print work.
  • Non-Appearing Title: As per the norm with New Order. Averted, however, on "State of the Nation", in which the title not only appears in the lyrics, but is also part of the chorus.
  • One-Word Title: "Paradise" and "Weirdo".
  • Protest Song: "State of the Nation" qualifies, though the lyrical content is fairly vague about what exactly it's protesting; the only real indicators are the title and the descriptions of "deprivation." One can infer it to be a vague Take That! at the Margaret Thatcher administration, given the sociohistorical context of its writing.
  • Record Needle Scratch "Every Little Counts"—and the album—ends with one.
  • Shout-Out: The ending of "Every Little Counts" is one to "A Day in the Life" by The Beatles.
  • Textless Album Cover: Played with. Although a title and band name are not listed on the LP cover, serial text is present on the photographed metal sheet. This trope is more recognizably averted, however, on Qwest Records' CD release of the album, which adds in a title and band name at the top in the same manner as their CD release of Power, Corruption & Lies.

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