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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > March 2019 - The Specials > TECHNIQUE NEW ORDER

TECHNIQUE NEW ORDER

CONCEIVED AMID A SUMMER OF HEDONISM DURING IBIZA’S INFANCY AS A PARTY CAPITAL, NEW ORDER RETURNED HOME TO THE TRANQUILLITY OF THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE TO PERFECT THEIR TECHNIQUE, RESULTING IN A GROUNDBREAKING RECORD THAT CONTINUES TO INSPIRE 30 YEARS ON
Anti-clockwise from bottom: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert
© Getty Images

Entering the studio to begin work on their fifth album in early 1988, New Order had already endured more in their decade as a band than others would in their lifetime.

Having become one of the most influential and revered bands of their era in Joy Division, lead singer and songwriter Ian Curtis’ suicide in 1980 had brought their success to an abrupt halt, forcing its surviving members to literally regroup, reinventing themselves as New Order with the addition of keyboard player/ guitarist Gillian Gilbert. While the ghost of Curtis loomed large over early New Order material, a trip to New York in 1983 played a pivotal role in shaping them as a band and establishing an identity and sound apart from their former incarnation.

With the Big Apple’s effervescent, multicultural nightclubs pioneering a new movement in dance music, clubs such as Danceteria, Funhouse and the Paradise Garage introduced New Order to a higher state of cultured clubbing, blending house, hip-hop, electro and new wave, all experienced through the euphoric haze of MDMA.

Fast-forward five years, and New Order had found themselves at a similar juncture as they’d been after the end of Joy Division, having progressed from, in the (slightly slurred) words of Bernard Sumner in an interview on Rapido, “creating slabs of black, industrial, neo-gothic doom and gloom in Joy Division to being post-modernist, dance-beat miserablists in New Order.”

They’d released four studio albums, enjoyed a string of era-defining, successful singles (including the biggest-selling 12” single of all time with Blue Monday), opened their own nightclub, The Haçienda, and, unsure of where to head next musically, were stalling making a definite decision by releasing two compilation albums entitled Substance – one containing their Joy Division material and one featuring the extended mixes of their New Order singles and their B-sides to date.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 50 of Classic Pop is on sale now! For our 50th issue, we had to come up with something very special – and we certainly have… our cover stars this month are The Specials, hot on the heels of the release of their superb chart-topping album, Encore. Our must-read interview with the band delves into their remarkable comeback and the story behind their superb new record. We also catch up with the iconic Gloria Estefan who tells us how she brought Latin grooves to the world and Bonnie Tyler talks us through her new studio album, which features a hotly-anticipated duet with Sir Rod Stewart. 30 years on, we celebrate New Order’s Technique in our latest Classic Album feature and we also serve up a buyer’s guide to the blue-eyed soul of Simply Red. As Wet Wet Wet face the future without Marti Pellow, we meet the band as they embark on a fresh chapter with new frontman, The Voice winner Kevin Simm. Our packed new album reviews section features the wonderful return of Chaka Khan plus Dido, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Paul Weller. On the reissues front, we check out a must-have 10-CD Heaven 17 boxset plus re-releases from David Bowie, Sparks, Erasure and more. In our live reviews section, we elbow our way down to the front for Gary Numan and Echo & The Bunnymen at the Rockaway Beach Festival plus gigs by Chrvches and The Christians. Enjoy the issue!