Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Every time I see you falling, I get down on my knees and pray

Another semi-regular feature makes its debut!

Every once in a while, I am going to write about bands that have meant a lot to me, which might mean that they simply provided good music or that they helped shaped my life in some way.

New Order

Summary: New Order plays a vital role in the development of my music life.

First a brief history of the band (from Yahoo! Music): Rising from the ashes of the legendary British post-punk unit Joy Division, the enigmatic New Order triumphed over tragedy to emerge as one of the most influential and acclaimed bands of the 1980s; embracing the electronic textures and disco rhythms of the underground club culture many years in advance of its contemporaries, the group's pioneering fusion of new wave aesthetics and dance music successfully bridged the gap between the two worlds, creating a distinctively thoughtful and oblique brand of synth pop appealing equally to the mind, body, and soul.

My History with the Band: When I was in middle school, I was very much into pop music; Top 40 was the place for me. I was in the New Edition fan club, after all. (Cool it Now!) But one clue to my future evolution was that I always liked the sort of "new wave" pop: Tears for Fears, OMD, Simple Minds, etc.
One day when I was a freshman in high school I was watching MTV with my brother, and we saw a video called "True Faith" by some band named New Order. The video had me hooked; it was delightfully quirky, kind of random, with big styrofoam people beating each other and rolling around in some sort of styro-arena, with some weeble-wobble styrofoam woman doing sign language. I thought it was brilliant, so I would watch for it all of the time. After a few viewings I started paying attention to the actual song, and I found that I loved it as well. It is a very dancey, synthy-type song, but with lots of guitar and great vocals as well.
So I decided to go to the Northpark Mall (Marion, Indiana), zip into Musicland, and pick up the cd, called Substance. I did not know at the time, but Substance was a "best of" album, and I was coming to the New Order table very late. I loved the album, with an eclectic mix of moody guitar-based numbers and full-on dance songs (like the classic "Blue Monday").
I wanted to find out more about this band, but this was long before the internet came about. So I went to the public library, used an old thing called the "Periodical Index," and dug up some old articles about New Order in back issues of Rolling Stone. First I read the powerful review of their first full length album, Power, Corruption, and Lies.
The next day I went back to Musicland and bought every New Order album they had: Power, Corruption, and Lies; Brotherhood; and Low-Life. All of them grabbed me: they are emotional, powerful, danceable, creative, revolutionary. The combination of dance/synth lines with driving bass and introspective lyrics really appealed to me.

The landscape of my music life would never be the same.

New Order has influenced all of the current "post-punk" bands of today: Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers (who take their name from a New Order video), and many others.

Favorite New Order Album: Power, Corruption, and Lies; and Technique (tie)

Favorite New Order Song: "Temptation" -- This song is in my Top 5 all time favorite songs; I feel strong emotional attachment to it because of various friends connected to it. I cannot hear it without getting a giant smile on my face. It is truly glorious. Check it out, won't you?

Other Seminal New Order Songs:
"True Faith"; "Blue Monday"; "Bizarre Love Triangle"; "The Perfect Kiss"; "Regret"; "Love Vigilantes"; "Ceremony"; "Run"; "Round and Round"; "Confusion"; and the rapturous "Age of Consent"

For some, this entry was probably a boring read. But most of you know how important music is to me, so here is an essential link in my chain.

Next up: The Smiths (some time in the near future)


At 4:11 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

Whoa I'm looking forward to the Smiths one.... have you read How Soon Is Never?

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

I like it.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Manda posited...

I have to say "Ceremony" is so...


You know?

At 1:15 AM, Blogger Dino posited...

New Order is something else..."Temptation" is wildly addictive and as is the song "Dream Attack." Those are my personal favorites.

New Order has done nothing but grow on me since first getting into the band in the 80s- btw, the video for "True Faith," was my introduction to the band as well! Looking forward to what you have to say about the Smiths, one of my favorites as well...cheers to good taste in music, eh?:)

At 11:22 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Oh, "Dream Attack" ... Now you are going back. I may have to purchase the new New Order DVD with all of their videos.
BTW - I think that Nolan (when it resurfaces) should do a cover of "Age of Consent." But that's just me.


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