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Trivia / New Order

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  • Black Sheep Hit:
    • "Confusion", a disco-style 1983 single made with Arthur Baker in New York, tends to be forgotten (though it sold well in the UK off the back of "Blue Monday" and was a hit among breakdancers stateside), but it turned up in a documentary on Factory Records illustrating the band's shift from post-punk to dance music. It's also remembered as being one of the rare times Gillian provides any vocals.
    • "Regret" is an upbeat Alternative Rock track, and was New Order's highest-charting single on the Billboard 100, peaking at No. 28, but it's by no means representative of their usual output.
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  • Breakaway Pop Hit: "Touched by the Hand of God" is much better known than the movie it was written for, Salvation!.
  • Breakthrough Hit: "Blue Monday". In the U.S. it was "True Faith" and Substance, even though "Blue Monday" is still their Signature Song on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Breakup Breakout: Although New Order is technically Joy Division minus Ian Curtis, Joy Division had agreed that they would rename themselves if any member left for any reason, which eventually happened. New Order vastly eclipsed Joy Division in terms of popularity.
  • Channel Hop:
    • After Factory's demise in 1992, the band moved to London Records for UK distribution of their material before signing to Mute Records in 2014, with their first album on the latter label releasing the following year. The Mute deal would be the first time since Factory's demise that the band was signed to an independent label.
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    • Regarding New Order's US releases, their material was initially released on Factory's US branch and Rough Trade Records before the band signed onto Quincy Jones' Qwest Records label in 1985. The band would stick with Qwest for the remainder of the 20th century, later hopping over to Reprise Records in 2001, Rhino Records in 2003 for back catalog releases, Warner (Bros.) Records in 2005, and finally Mute in 2015.
  • Completely Different Title: In Japanese:
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Bernard Sumner doesn't like their first album, Movement, very much. He considers the band's performance on the album — especially his own — as a pale imitation of their previous work as Joy Division and a disservice to Ian Curtis's memory.
    • The band has rarely played anything from Technique live since the early '90s, though they did bring back "Vanishing Point" in 2017.
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    • They haven't played anything from Republic since the early 90s either, save for a few performances of "Regret".
  • Creator Breakdown: The grief over Ian's death was the driving force behind Movement; the album is very much laying Ian to rest and the band moving on creatively.
  • Creator Couple: Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris. They recorded two albums as The Other Two.
  • Creator Killer: While their labelmates Happy Mondays famously bankrupted Factory with Yes, Please!, the band also helped kill the label by taking too long to record a follow-up to Technique.
  • Demoted to Extra: The singles "Procession" and "Murder" were included on the B-sides disc of Substance rather than the A-sides disc. It makes sense in that the first disc (which was already at capacity anyway) collects their UK 12"s— "Procession" was only ever released as a 7", and "Murder" was only released in Belgium— but this nonetheless has led to the tracks being overlooked.
  • Executive Meddling: Tony Wilson chose "Round & Round" as the second single from Technique over the wishes of the band, who wanted "Vanishing Point" instead. The song was a Take That! against Tony Wilson, ironically. Notably they stuck "Vanishing Point" on their greatest hits album anyway.
  • Fan Nickname: Peter Hook is known as "Hooky". Bernard Sumner is "Barney", after a bootlegged live performance that got his name wrong in the credits.
  • Follow the Leader: The whole alternative dance genre, from the band's label mates Happy Mondays up through recent bands like Kasabian, have basically been making careers out of essentially ripping off New Order to various degrees. As the Rolling Stone Album Guide puts it: "Everyone stole from New Order, and everyone's music improved as a result."
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The full-length, 18 minute long version of Elegia, which was one of the first major holy grails to surface online via peer-to-peer file sharing programs.
    • The 1981 Glastonbury performance, tantalizingly hinted at with three tracks ("The Him" "Senses" and "Procession"— all with Bernard Sumner so completely off his head he falls over during one song) as a DVD extra.
    • Despite its success, Substance hasn't been in print since 2005, thanks to London Records and Warner Bros. seeking to supplant it with the Singles compilation released that same year. Because that compilation focuses primarily on New Order's 7" singles and radio edits, this means that, save for the 2008 collector's editions of the band's studio albums (on which many of them were included as bonus tracks), the 12" mixes have more or less fallen by the wayside. In September of 2020, the compilation was finally added to streaming services, using the same master as the CD and DAT release (meaning the cassette-exclusive tracks are absent and "The Perfect Kiss" is cut short once again), though it has yet to return to print on a physical format.
    • While the band's been fairly diligent in keeping the post-Substance remixes of their songs available on streaming services, their soundtracks for the 1987 film Salvation! and the 1989-1991 TV series Making Out have yet to receive any official re-releases on any format. The closest they ever got was including a vocal remix of the Salvation! instrumental "Let's Go" on the US version of (the best of) NewOrder in 1995, and even that hasn't seen the light of day since then. Similarly, most versions of "Here to Stay", including the full-length version from the 24-Hour Party People soundtrack album, have inexplicably been unavailable since the single's original 2002 release, with only the radio edit resurfacing on Singles and via its music video being on the band's YouTube channel.
  • Hostility on the Set: The band went on hiatuses in 1993 and 2007 after tensions between Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook boiled over.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Fans and critics agree that Technique is one of the band's best albums, but the band didn't play any of its songs live for a long time after the early '90s.
  • Production Posse: The band's first releases retained Martin Hannett as producer, before he had a falling-out with the band and Factory. Peter Saville kept designing covers for the band even after Factory's demise.
  • Promoted Fanboy: They were huge Iggy Pop Fans, especially during their Joy Division years. Here is Bernard Sumner playing with Iggy Pop.
    • On the other side, Brandon Flowers named his band after the fake band in "Crystal". Not only has he had the opportunity to duet with Bernard on the song whenever either of them is in the area of the other band's shows, Brandon appears on Superheated from Music Complete.
  • Reclusive Artist: The band refused to give interviews for a long time, though this was only so they didn't have to discuss Ian Curtis.
  • Refitted for Sequel: "Ceremony" and "In a Lonely Place" were originally penned during the group's days as Joy Division, and were in fact the last two songs they ever recorded before Ian Curtis's suicide. However, since those were rehearsal tapes instead of proper studio versions, they were re-recorded by the surviving members as New Order's debut release.
  • Sequel Gap: Since the late '80s, the band has a habit of long gaps between album releases. 1989's Technique came out three years after Brotherhood and was only followed up in 1993 with Republic, the delay helping to bankrupt Factory. The band went on hiatus after its release and followed up Republic with Get Ready in 2001, and Waiting for the Siren's Call in 2005, followed by another break-up. The band reformed without Peter Hook and released Lost Sirens in 2013, then followed that up with Music Complete in 2015note . As of September 2020, the the only new studio material since Music Complete was the non-album single "Be a Rebel", placing their attention on tours in the years after its release, owed largely to touring having become far more lucrative than studio releases thanks to the rise of digital download and streaming services that offer much smaller royalty payments to artists.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: Lost Sirens was originally put together during the sessions for Waiting for the Sirens' Call and was intended to be released as the follow-up to that soon after its 2005 debut. However, Peter Hook's 2007 departure from the band put these plans on hold until 2013.
  • Similarly Named Works:
    • Both New Order and Jackson Browne have songs titled "World In Motion".
    • When "Blue Monday" first came out, reviewers often mentioned that despite the title, it was not the Fats Domino song of the same name (later Covered Up by Bob Seger).
  • Throw It In!:
    • Bernard Sumner cracks up on the line: "I think you are a pig / you should be in a zoo" on "Every Little Counts." It's also a Funny Moment.
    • Gillian Gilbert hit a button on a sequencer at the wrong time whilst recording "Blue Monday," resulting in some parts being out of sync (the sequencer is the one playing the very first riff that comes in after the bass drum introduction). The band decided that they liked its off-kilter feel and released it that way.
  • Troubled Production:
    • The recording of Joy Division's first two albums were fraught enough, thanks to their Mad genius producer Martin Hannett, but this paled in comparison to New Order's debut, Movement. Following the suicide of Joy Division's Ian Curtis, the band, now re-christened New Order, struggled to write new songs without their singer and de facto musical director. Unwilling to outright replace Curtis, the surviving band members took turns singing (to varying degrees of success), before eventually settling on guitarist Bernard Sumner, and recruiting drummer Stephen Morris' girlfriend, Gillian Gilbert, to assist with keyboards/guitar. These struggles were exasperated in the studio by Hannett's heavy alcohol/drug abuse, his deteriorating relations with their label, Factory Records, and his belief that the musicians were 'talentless wankers' without their former singer. The resulting album was a critical and commercial disaster on its release but has now somewhat been Vindicated by History. In the wake of its failure, New Order ditched Hannett and struck out on their own, resulting in their Signature Song "Blue Monday".
    • The complete flipside happened in 1989, during the recording of Technique. Wanting a change from gloomy London recording studios, the band opted to record their fifth album on the island of Ibiza, during its burgeoning acid house scene. Before long, the band plunged headfirst into the ecstasy-fuelled party atmosphere and ultimately left the island after three months with only two drum tracks recorded. The sessions reconvened in more sober settings at Peter Gabriel's studios in Box, although their experiences heavily influenced their songwriting, incorporating baldric beats into their new wave/electronic rock sound. The result was New Order's most successful album to date, perfectly capturing the 'Second Summer of Love' and saving their label, Factory Records, from bankruptcy, for the time being...
    • 1993's Republic is widely regarded as a personal low point for the band. Reconvening after a three-year break, the group found themselves under increasing pressure to produce an album in order to save Factory Records from financial oblivion. Fuelled by increasing drug use, musical differences between Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook, which had been bubbling for over ten years, finally came to a head, with Sumner favouring an electronic-pop direction, and Hook wanting to return to the band's rock roots. While the eventual album was a commercial success, it arrived too late to save Factory and the resulting tour caused further schisms, resulting in a second hiatus that would last until 1998. Even after nearly 25 years, Hook cannot bring himself to discuss the tracks on the album, such was the animosity of the sessions.
    • The recording of New Order's comeback album, Get Ready, was relatively smooth, but old tensions between Hook and Sumner surfaced again during its follow up, Waiting for the Sirens Call. Aside from their musical differences, Hook began to resent his band members for a perceived lack of support following a recent stay in rehab for alcohol and drug addition. In turn, Hook antagonised the group by purchasing the brand rights to their iconic club, The Hacienda, without consulting them. To add to the problems, Gillian fully departed the band after recording "Get Ready", reducing the voices of mediation in the band to just Stephen, who is relatively quiet, and Phil, who had only just fully joined during these sessions and didn't want to overstep his bounds. When the album appeared in 2005, it received mixed reviews and the subsequent tour would eventually lead to Hook leaving the band permanently in 2007 and the band not releasing another album until 2013.
      • Even then that 2013 album, Lost Sirens was simply songs recorded for but rejected from Waiting, and it would only be in 2015, a decade after the release of Waiting that we next got a New Order album full of newly written and recorded songs.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Stephen Morris was considered as the lead singer after Ian Curtis' death, and he sang on a few of the band's early demos. If the band had gone with him instead of Bernard Sumner, New Order would likely still be a three-piece. Gillian Gilbert was brought in because Sumner had difficulty singing and playing guitar at the same time.
    • The band were approached to compose the soundtrack for The Crow in the early 90's. James O'Barr, who wrote the comic book the film was based on, was a fan of Joy Division (to the point where he named two characters after Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook), and director Alex Proyas felt that New Order's formation in the aftermath of Ian Curtis' suicide paralleled Eric Draven's own murder and resurrection; Proyas even wanted the band to re-record their final single as Joy Division, "Love Will Tear Us Apart", for the film to hammer the point home. However, Sumner turned the offer down in order to give the band more room to focus on finishing Republic, though they did authorize a cover of "Dead Souls", another Joy Division song, by Nine Inch Nails for use in the film.
    • Republic was a commercial success upon release, and it is believed that if it was completed sooner, it would have saved Factory Records from going under.
    • Near the end of his life, band manager Rob Gretton proposed a Boxed Set called Recycle that would collect the band's first 20 singles across 20 CDs, similar to the Depeche Mode CD single box sets, alongside related, previously unreleased material. However, the idea was shot down by the folks at London Records due to how wildly impractical it seemed even on paper, and the plan was eventually scaled back into the four-CD Retro set in 2002; Gretton's death in 1999 is also cited as a contributing factor in the plan falling through. New Order would later simply append the non-album singles and B-sides for the 2008 remastered editions of their Factory-era albums on bonus CDs.
    • The band was approached by American orange soda brand Sunkist to create an ad based on "Blue Monday". Sumner couldn't sing the altered lyrics without corpsing, however, so the idea was scrapped.


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