Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Order: an Appreciation, on the Occasion of the Splendid Re-Issue of Their Most Grand and Endearing Albums From the Factory Records Era

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 1:11 PM

click to enlarge New_Order_Power_Corruption_and_Lies.jpg

The first New Order album I ever owned was Power, Corruption & Lies. It took me a while to really appreciate the entire album, because I was so hooked on the opening track, "Age of Consent," that I would often just rewind back to the beginning of the album and start over. You could say I was obsessed.

I'm listening to that song as I type this, and it still strikes me as perfectly emblematic of everything I love about New Order: If you don't pay attention to the lyrics, the song's fantastic for bouncing around your living room (no hardcore dancing, of course); the lyrics, when you do pay attention to them, are simultaneously simple and opaque—"I'm not the kind that needs to tell you just what I want to do; you're not the kind who needs to tell me about the birds and the bees"; the guitar parts and bass parts are so minimalistic and sparse—often just single notes ambling up and down a scale—yet, again, just perfect, right up to the spastic hard-strumming that comes out of nowhere and returns there just as fast.

The fine people at Rhino have just re-issued the first five New Order albums, street date today—each in a deluxe edition that includes the original album plus a bonus disc of 12-inch singles, B-sides and the like. That means you get all the semi-obscure stuff like "1963" and "Shellshock" (from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack) to go along with the retrospective liner notes. Very nice.

And you can enter to win a bass autographed by Peter Hook. There are also some "listening party" soundtracks like this one posted online, if you just want to listen to some New Order right this second. Which I do.

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