New Order

New Order: Here to stay

New Order | Singles | 8/10

New Order aren’t exactly known for their business acumen – famously, the original ‘Blue Monday’ sleeve cost so much to produce, the record company lost money on each copy sold; their Haçienda nightclub was a moneypit for 15 years. Or their interpersonal harmony – “Bernard’s a twat and he always has been,” estranged bassist Peter Hook has said of the band’s frontman.

But there’s no denying their continued musical influence and – on 2015’s stellar ‘Music Complete’ – relevance. So, even though record company machinations mean last year’s hits ‘Restless’ and ‘Tutti Frutti’ are missing from this collection, ‘Singles’ is a masterclass in evolution.

Rising from the ashes of Joy Division in 1980, Hook, Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, and new recruit Gillian Gilbert pioneered the decade’s rock-dance fusion with groundbreaking early songs like ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ and ‘Temptation’. By the middle of the decade, ‘The Perfect Kiss’, ‘True Faith’, and ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ were setting the template for indie bands of the next 25 years. And 1989’s ‘Fine Time’ and ‘Round And Round’ saw them leading the way yet again, this time bringing the Balearic beats of Ibiza to the world.  

By 1993’s ‘Republic’ they were no longer cutting edge, but the jangly chart-topping ‘Regret’ and jubilant ‘World (The Price Of Love)’ have really stood the test of time – as has the shimmering ‘Crystal’. From 2001’s comeback album ‘Get Ready’, it reintroduced the group to a new generation of listeners and musicians – including, most famously, The Killers’ Brandon Flowers – and paved the way for collaborations with tastemakers of the time: the Chemical Brothers on glitchy standalone single ‘Here To Stay’, and Stuart Price and The Scissor Sisters on 2005’s ‘Waiting For The Sirens Call’.

Hook’s swansong, and their only LP recorded without Gilbert, it’s represented here by the likes of the nimble ‘Krafty’ and effervescent title track which remain staples of their live set more than a decade later.

  • Originally released in 2005, ‘Singles’ has been remastered and refined, adding ‘I’ll Stay With You’ from 2013’s ‘Lost Sirens’ album and replacing the correct single edits or mixes for the tracks ‘Nineteen63’, ‘Run 2’, ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’, ‘True Faith’, ‘Spooky’, ‘Confusion’, and ‘The Perfect Kiss’.

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