Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Joy Division & New Order: Get You Some...

I came across another one of my buried tapes from back in the day and found a mix I'd made back at university. The tape labeled "Power, Corruption & Brotherhood" was comprised primarily with cuts from Joy Division and New Order...two groups that more people should know about...but don't...I highly recommend a listen if you got access to the old stuff on vinyl, if not...the shite on C.D. will do you right...Laters..

-- New Order Timeline --

1978 After officially forming in the previous year Enigma Records releases the premiere Joy Division EP, the band consists of Ian Curtis (vocals), Peter Hook (bass), Bernard Albrecht (guitar) and Stephen Morris (drums) which contains four cuts: "Warsaw", "No Love Lost", "Leaders of Men" and "Failures" which are all heavily influenced by the punk movement.

1979 The move to the Factory label is followed by the release of the single "Transmission", Joy Division are featured on the group's debut LP, "Unknown Pleasures"- they also appear on John Peel's "Peel Sessions" on the BBC.

1980 In the wake of lead singer Ian Curtis' death, Factory Records releases Joy Division's pending sophomore set "Closer." Albert, Morris and Hook decided to regroup in the few months that follow and later in the year the group makes its performance debut in the U.S. as New Order- they also expand on their sound by adding keyboardist Gillian Gilbert to the lineup.

1981 New Order make their album debut with "Movement" released by Factory Records in the UK which cracks the top 40 in England.

1982 The first New Order record hits the shores of the US in the form a six selection compilation of UK releases from the previous two years.

1983 Early in the year New Order returns with a new 12 inch "Blue Monday" that is followed by the full set "Power, Corruption & Lies." In the fall, Arthur Baker introduces New Order to US listeners via his StreetWise label with the single "Confusion." The new single is produced by Baker himself and becomes NO's first mainstream charting single in the states when it enters the US R&B charts and reaches #71. StreetWise subsequently releases the first version of the cut "Blue Monday" that gains them further notice on the international scene- most prolifically in America as label interest there begins to rise. Later in the year "Blue Monday" cracks the top ten on the singles charts in Europe.

1985 New Order signs on with Qwest Records which is owned by super producer Quincy Jones. The group debut on their new label with the LP "Low-life" which becomes their first set to appear on the U.S. album charts where it peaks at #94 during a five month stay.

1987 The LP "Substance", a composite of European singles released since 1980, is released on the Qwest label and is their first set to crack the top forty in America when it climbs to #36-US. In like manner, the single "True Faith" follows its parent album becoming the first single to hit the U.S. pop charts- it too surges into the top forty listings where it stops at #32-pop. Additionally, Bernard Sumner begins to work on side projects in his off time.

1988 Early in the year the video for the previous year's "True Faith" is named Best British Music Video at the Annual BRIT Awards in England. Later, Quincy Jones produces "Blue Monday 1988"- a remix of an earlier UK hit that reaches #68 in the States.

1989 The new LP "Technique" is released early in the year containing the single "Round and Round" (#64-pop) which helps push the album itself to #32-US. Bernard Sumner and the rest of his side group, Electronic, make their full length debut with the album "Getting Away With It."

1990 As the year begins, Sumner's side project, named Electronic, make their debut on the US singles charts with the title single from the previous year's group debut that stops at #38-pop. Principally collaborating for studio recordings, Electronic make their performance debut in the fall- their LP eventually peaks at #109-US in the following year.

1991 Following Sumner's lead, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert begin to moonlight in a side project of their own which they call the Other Two.

1993 After a two year absence on the charts in America, the single "Regret" is released and tops out at #28-pop (the group's highest charting US single as of this writing). The Stephen Hague production that contains it, "Republic", follows suit by climbing to #11-US at the zenith of a four month stay and eventually goes gold.

-- Mo' New Order Facts --

-The story of New Order cannot be told in its entirety without mentioning the four year stint in which most of the group's founding members performed together as Joy Division. In 1976 guitarist/ vocalist Bernard Albrecht (last name later changed to Sumner) and bassist Peter Hook joined forces in hopes of forming a full band. By the next year the two added Steven Brotherdale and singer Ian Curtis to their complement and christen their new act Warsaw- Brotherdale would soon leave the fold to be replaced by Stephen Morris. Following the recording debut of the group Warsaw Pakt, Albrecht and crew changed their name to Joy Division.

-After making their debut on the UK performance circuit in early '78, Joy Division began to build a local fan base but remained unsigned until 1979. Defying conventional wisdom, JD turned down a couple of offers from larger labels (among them, the Warner subsidiary WEA) and settled on a deal with the small independent Factory label in England. The group made their LP debut on the indie label with the set "Unknown Pleasures" which eventually garnered critical acclaim. The inertia created by their first album was brought to a crawl in a year's time, however, when Ian Curtis took his own life on May 18th- less than a before the group was set to make it's premiere supportive tour in the USA.

-Though some have speculated that interest in Joy Division and the subsequent New Order was prompted by the public's morbid interest in Ian Curtis' suicide, Sumner, Morris and Hook decided to reform a group a couple of months after Curtis' death that would sever ties with the latter group's music but comparisons were unavoidable nevertheless- before settling on what has become their "signature sound" the members of New Order were not above utilizing/ expounding on a couple of the textures that raised eyebrows (musically) during the JD days.

-In 1983, following the release of "Power, Corruption and Lies", New Order recorded an EP that was produced and co written by Arthur "the Shaker" Baker. The 12 inch entered the U.S. R&B charts on which it peaked at #71. Baker co produced on Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force's 1982 hip hop template "Planet Rock"(#2-R&B, #48-pop) while working at the hip hop label Tommy Boy -- he was also one of the "men behind the curtains" at the NYC nightspot called The Danceteria -- one of the venues that helped an "unknown" singer/dancer named Madonna get her start. Along with producers/ svengalis like Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, Baker was one of the New York City-based producers who expedited spread of hip-hop into the ears of "bridge and tunnel" mainstream mainstream audiences in the Big Apple years earlier in the early days of the genre.

-Joy Division's music would resurface in the late 80's and early 90's when their music became more accessible to the mainstream's palate (during the height of Seattle's grunge movement ) which the JD had started playing almost a decade beforehand).

-In 1990 New Order hit the top of UK singles charts with England's World Cup soccer team with the single "World In Motion"- the team's official World Cup theme song.

-The cut "Blue Monday" from New Order's 1987 breakthrough LP "Substance" was originally released five years prior as a single (when it was reached the top ten of the dance charts in the U.S.) the tune would eventually become one of the UK's top grossing singles and yielded multiplatinum sales worldwide.

-Electronic, the group Bernard Sumner formed began to form as a side project in '87, was initially a studio based conception that also featured the talents of Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys), Johnny Marr (the The and the Smiths) and Anne Dudley (Art Of Noise).

-In the wake of lead singer Ian Curtis' death, Factory Records releases Joy Division's pending sophomore set "Closer." Albert, Morris and Hook decided to regroup in the few months that followed and later in the year the group makes its performance debut in the U.S. as New Order- they also expand on their sound by adding keyboardist Gillian Gilbert to the lineup.

Albums by Year - Title - Label

1981 - Movement - Factory
1983 - Power, Corruption And Lies - Factory
1985 - Low-Life - Qwest
1986 - Brotherhood - Qwest
1989 - Technique - Qwest
1992 - Live 1987 Tour - Alex
1993 - Republic - Qwest
2001 - Get Ready - Warner
2001 - Live In Concert - ROIR

Compilations by Year - Title - Label

1987 - Substance - Qwest
1990 - The Peel Sessions - Strange Fruit
1992 - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert - Imported
1994 - The Very Best Of New Order - Alex
1995 - The Best Of New Order - Qwest
1995 - The Rest Of New Order - London
1995 - The Rest Of New Order (Remixed) - Phantom
2000 - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert - Varese


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