Power, Corruption & Lies is the second studio album by New Order, released in 1983 through Factory Records. Many listeners see it as their best; it's definitely a Surprisingly Improved Sequel to Movement, fully establishing the band as a unique artistic entity, no longer in thrall to the specter of Joy Division. Though the band was not yet New Wave, as it were, this album marks the point where they fully and effectively embraced synthesizers and drum machines.
The first release didn't include their Breakthrough Hit "Blue Monday", which was only available as a single (in part due to being recorded after the sessions for the album). This notably caused so much confusion over listeners who got into New Order via "Blue Monday" that Factory eventually started shipping copies of Power, Corruption & Lies with a sticker on the shrinkwrap reading "DOES NOT CONTAIN 'BLUE MONDAY'". The American cassette and CD releases added the song, along with its B-Side "The Beach," to the track list.
- "Age of Consent" (5:16)
- "We All Stand" (5:14)
- "The Village" (4:37)
- "5 8 6" (7:31)
- "Blue Monday" (7:32)*
- "Your Silent Face" (6:00)
- "Ultraviolence" (4:52)
- "Ecstasy" (4:25)
- "Leave Me Alone" (4:40)
- "The Beach" (7:22)*
- Gillian Gilbert - synthesizer, guitar
- Peter Hook - bass, percussion
- Stephen Morris - drums, synthesizer
- Bernard Summer - lead vocals, guitar, melodica, synthesizer
You've caught me at a bad time, so why don't you trope off:
- Accentuate the Negative: The album title.
- Anti-Love Song: "Blue Monday", in which the protagonist feels mistreated by his partner.
- "Leave Me Alone" uses the same chord progression (on bass, at least) as "Shadowplay" from Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, albeit in a different key and slowed down a little.
- The back cover artwork uses a similar floppy disk and secret code motif to the "Blue Monday" 12-inch.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: "5 8 6" could be mistaken for a funk instrumental until the Song Style Shift and vocals start near the 2.5 minute mark.
- Epic Rocking: "5 8 6", "Blue Monday," and "The Beach" all run over seven minutes. "Your Silent Face" is exactly six minutes long.
- Last Chorus Slow-Down: "5 8 6".
- New Sound Album: This was the first full-length where they fully transitioned into their trademark Synth-Pop sound.
- Non-Appearing Title: The band's habit of not dropping the title in their songs holds up on most of the tracks, save for "Ecstacy". The album title isn't dropped anywhere.
- One-Word Title: "Ecstasy".
- Pep-Talk Song: "Age of Consent", wherein the protagonist finally stands up for himself.
- Regional Bonus: The American cassette and CD releases featured "Blue Monday" and "The Beach" as bonus tracks.
- "Ultraviolence" to A Clockwork Orange.
- The album cover appropriates the Ignace-Henri-Théodore Fantin-Latour painting "A Basket of Roses".
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Blue Monday" and "The Beach". They are the same track, but "The Beach" alternates sounds and voices throughout the song. Not surprisingly, they were originally released as an A-side and B-side on the same 12" single.
- Take That, Critics!: The final line of "Your Silent Face", "You've caught me at a bad time so why don't you piss off?", was directed to critics who panned the group's first album (Movement) and considered them to be miserablists in the vein of Joy Division.
- Textless Album Cover: A reproduction of the painting "A Basket of Roses" by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour. The only thing remotely close to text is the series of colored squares in the upper-right corner, which a decoder on the back cover decrypts as "FACT 75," the record's Factory Records catalog number. Qwest's U.S. CD reissue added the band name and title to the cover, while the label simply tacked a transparent sticker onto the vinyl version.