New Order

Biography

New Order are frequently described as "survivors." Presumably, this refers to their days as Joy Division, which tragically ended with the suicide of vocalist Ian Curtis. They endured with the addition of Gillian Gilbert on keyboards, while guitarist Bernard Sumner took over vocals. "Survivors" might also refer to their evolution from the guitar-based post-punk of Joy Division to the increasingly synthetic sounds of their later records. But their survival instincts are truly indicated by the adept way they have evolved along with pop (and specifically dance) music. When "Blue Monday" hit dance floors in 1983, its grim atmosphere cast a dim shadow over the flickering disco lights and became an anthem for club kids tired of disco's naive, unyielding excesses. Their synthetic dirges were ubiquitous throughout the '80s. Their 1998 trance remix of "Confusion" for the Blade soundtrack pits raw electro sounds against bitter, fluid bass kicks. They have also maintained impeccable integrity keeping one foot in the mainstream and the other underground, generating colossal worldwide hits as well as disturbing, alienated tracks with depressive guitar echoes and sad synth melodies. Even their most elevated, ethereal moments are grounded in melancholy, but provide a vaulting spirit that gives solace to any wilted flower.
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