New Order

New Order

New Order are a new wave / dance music group from Manchester, UK active since 1980. The group was formed from the line-up of Joy Division after their lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide in May, 1980. The surviving members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris were joined by Gillian Gilbert and issued their debut single Ceremony b/w In A Lonely Place on Factory records in March 1981. After their debut album Movement, and several experimental singles mixing new wave guitar and drums with electronic elements, the group achieved mainstream success in March 1983 with the groundbreaking single Blue Monday, released on 12" vinyl format only.

New Order continued their success throughout the 1980s achieving global commercial success, even in the US, while remaining loyal to Factory records and the independent and experimental ethic. Following a no.1 single World in Motion recorded with the Italia 90 England football team, the group abandoned Factory, given the label's imminent collapse, and signed to London records. Only one new album, Republic, was released in the 1990s as band members continued to pursue side projects resulting in a practical split, although a reunion live performance at Reading Festival in 1998 meant that a reconciliation and a renewed energy were on the cards. Two more new albums followed in 2001 and 2005 (the latter featuring new member Phil Cunningham who replaced Gilbert), although after a series of live dates in 2006 bassist Peter Hook effectively left the group which continued to exist despite not issuing any new material.

The group returned to the live scene in 2011 with new bassist Tom Chapman and with Gilbert rejoining the line-up. Music Complete, their first album without Peter Hook, was released in September 2015.

Significant dates


  • 26 January 1981. New Order record their first Peel session, first broadcast on 16 February 1981. This is the first time that New Order recorded material is heard.
  • 23 February 1981: first play by John Peel of Ceremony and b-side In A Lonely Place. The single goes straight to no. 1 in the Independent charts and is hailed by Smash Hits (19 March 1981) as "the week's most important and most impressive release".[1]
  • 02 April 1981: Lyrics to Ceremony are printed in Smash Hits although the magazine admits that these are " as we could make them out from the record, since the band declined to provide any.."[2]
  • 10 March 1981: Ceremony enters the UK charts at no. 39, reaching a peak position of 34 a week later.
  • 21 September 1981: Peel plays new single Procession/Everything's Gone Green.
  • 01 October 1981: Procession/EGG review in Smash Hits "..urgent, interesting and confident". [3]
  • 06 October 1981: The single enters the UK charts at no. 39, reaching a peak position of 38 a week later.
  • November 1981: Debut album Movement (Fact 50) released. Peel plays two tracks per night over four consecutive nights during the week 16 - 19 November.
  • 26 November 1981: Neil Tennant reviews Movement in Smash Hits and gives 8/10 score. Tennant will later collaborate with Bernard Sumner on the Electronic project.
  • December 1981: Ceremony is at no. 4 in Peel's 1981 Festive Fifty (Joy Division's Atmosphere and Love Will Tear Us Apart are at nos. 1 & 3 respectively). Procession is at no.48.


  • 04 January 1982: live performance of Temptation on BBC Two Riverside programme. Chosen Time also played live.
  • 14 April 1982: John Peel plays both sides of new single Temptation b/w Hurt.
  • 18 May 1982: Temptation enters the UK charts at no. 39 and three weeks later reaches its peak position of no.29.
  • 01 June 1982: A new Peel session, recorded in an unknown studio on an unknown date, is broadcast for the first time. The session features three new tracks We All Stand / Too Late / 586 and a cover version of a Keith Hudson track Turn The Heater On.[4]
  • 24 June 1982: Smash Hits interview and group feature by Dave Rimmer. [5] [6]
  • 30 December 1982: Temptation is at no.1 in Peels 1982 Festive Fifty, with Hurt at no.17. Ceremony, Temptation and procession all feature in the 'All Time' Festive Fifty. [7]


  • 07 March 1983(?): New single Blue Monday released (12" only). Peel had possibly played the single as early as 14 February 1983.
  • 15 March 1983: Blue Monday enters the UK charts at no.37.
  • 31 March 1983: New Order appear on Top of the Pops for the first time for a live performance of Blue Monday.
  • 19 April 1983: Blue Monday reaches an initial peak position of no.12 although will chart again and go higher in October.
  • May 1983: Second album Power, Corruption & Lies released.
  • 12 May 1983: reviewing the album in Smash Hits, Neil Tennant describes the album as "disappointing" and "mainly murky and dull".
  • 23 July 1983: New Order 'The Naked and The Red' NME front cover feature.
  • 22 August 1983: new single Confusion, produced by Arthur Baker, released, again on 12" only.
  • 30 August 1983: Confusion enters UK charts at no.17 and peaks at no. 12 a week later.
  • 06 September 1983: Blue Monday re-enters the charts effectively giving New Order two 12" singles in the charts at the same time.
  • 06 October 1983: the live performance of Blue Monday from March is repeated on Top of the Pops. The single is now at no.10.
  • 11 October 1983: At no. 9 in the charts Blue Monday becomes a Top 10 hit, and still available on 12" only.
  • 27 October 1983: Smash Hits reports that Blue Monday has now sold over 400,000 copies in the UK and is the biggest selling 12" of all time, with worldwide sales at over one million.
  • 29 December 1983: Blue Monday is announced as no.1 in Peel's 1983 Festive Fifty. Album tracks Age of Consent, Your Silent Face, Leave Me Alone and The Village also feature.[8]


  • 24 April 1984: 12" single Thieves Like Us enters UK charts at no.21
  • 03 May 1984: live performance of Thieves Like Us on TOTP - the single is at its peak position of no.18.
  • 14 May 1984: Miners benefit gig at Royal Festival Hall, London. Joy Division's "Decades" is in the setlist and The Perfect Kiss is played for the first time.[9]
  • 24 May 1984: Smash Hits feature "We've got this far and we can't even play!"
  • 27 August 1984: final live gig of the year at Heaven, London.
  • December 1984: all three new tracks of the year are in the John Peel Festive Fifty: Thieves Like Us (7), Lonesome Tonight (12), Murder (20).[10]


Record collection

(purchase dates in brackets, where known)


  • Ceremony / In a Lonely Place
  • Procession / Everything's Gone Green (16 February 1983)
  • Temptation
  • True Faith
  • Touched By the Hand of God


  • 1981-1982 - 5 Track EP, Factus 8, clear vinyl 2014 re-issue
  • Blue Monday
  • Confusion
  • Thieves Like Us / Murder (see 11 August 1984)
  • Bizarre Love Triangle
  • World In Motion

CD singles

  • Regret
  • Blue Monday 95
  • 60 Miles and Hour (CD1)
  • Here to Stay
  • Krafty


  • Movement
  • Power, Corruption & Lies
  • Low-Life
  • Technique
  • Music Complete


  • (The best of) New Order


  • Substance
  • Republic
  • Retro (boxset)
  • Peel Sessions
  • Get Ready
  • Waiting For the Siren's Call
  • Complete Music

Live concerts

External links

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