For about the past month I have been in a New Order phase, which started in earnest the day that I picked up their 1993 documentary, New Order Story, in it's expanded form with a separate disc of all their music videos, at a thrift store.
With lead singer and guitarist Bernard Sumner's birthday today, this is a great excuse to fawn over the band.
Easily this collection should have been almost $30 brand-new, but when I saw sitting next to that scratched up copy of Jodie Foster's Panic Room, I had to rescue it. It's in great shape, and pop it in at night to come down from the day.
The '93 doc begins with the end of Joy Division, the precursor to NO, as the band's flag is rising, but quickly scuttled by the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. What's interesting about the doc is that you realize how young these kids were when Curtis shuffled off, and you can see that as the NO story progresses, they start to feel cheated by his exit, but still have the grim, real, understanding that they wouldn't be international pop stars without him leaving. Curtis probably wouldn't have lent himself to being the arena-touring pop idol that NO would have needed.
Truth be told this is probably my fifth NO phase since 2003, when I first bought a copy of Substance for my long hours delivering pizzas for Domino's. This was when electro-clash was ruling us and NO were very much the godfathers of that sound.
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What I liked about NO especially were those big dumb hooks and drums. It didn't hurt that they were all over the Numbers and Danseparc playlists. I had a big NO phase again in 2007 when I broke up with a chick, lost like twenty pounds, and started wearing tighter clothes and drank my dinners.
The band is active again, sans bassist Peter Hook, and have been going on brief jaunts in Europe and South America. In further great news, Gillian Gilbert is back in the fold too. No word on NO here in the States as of yet. Word has it that Sumner isn't
It wasn't easy making a list of my fave NO songs, seeing that I can't just post links to all of their albums, since it's hard to find a rotten apple in the lot. I included two songs from Electronic, Bernard Sumner's project with the Smiths' Johnny Marr, per my friend Chirs Heathcock, who knows way more about NO than I ever will.