New Order rose from the ashes of Joy Division to become one of the greatest alternative dance-slash-new wave-slash-synthpop-slash-post-punk bands of all-time. They are arguably one of the top groups of the 1980s regardless of genre.
New Order mixed alternative music with dance music. They laid disco and house beats under alternative guitar riffs, synthesizer parts, and melodic vocal lines. One of the hallmarks of their legendary sound is their innovative use of the bass guitar. They used it as a lead instrument and left the song’s actual bass line to synthesizers.
Despite their use of keyboards and dance beats, a majority of their music is a bit on the dour side. This is understandable since three of the band’s original members were part of Joy Division, one of the most depressing groups to ever come out of England.
After Joy Division’s front man Ian Curtis committed suicide in May of 1980, the remaining three members—Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Bernard Sumner—decided they would continue to make music.
To round out the group, the trio enlisted the help of musician Gillian Gilbert, who was at the time Morris’ girlfriend. They named themselves after a newspaper article titled "The People's New Order of Kampuchea.” The band released their first album, Movement, in 1981.
The band then issued a series of records which expanded their sound, fan base, and critical acclaim: Power, Corruption & Lies, Low-Life, Brotherhood, and Technique. New Order’s most popular singles are “Blue Monday,” “The Perfect Kiss,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “True Faith,” and “World in Motion,” which they wrote for Team England and 1990 World Cup. “Blue Monday” is the top selling 12-inch single of all-time.
Throughout the 1980s, members of New Order refused to give interviews, their concerts usually lacked an encore, and their album covers were on the minimal side. Although the band opened up in the 1990s, their no-interview policy prompted some pundits to call them aloof. They actually eschewed the media because they didn’t want to answer questions about Curtis. Their simple album covers, however, were very popular and led some to describe their image as “no image.”
The band currently consists of Sumner, Morris, and Gilbert as well as musicians Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman. Hook left the fray in 2007. The members of New Order all know how to play each other’s' instruments and often switch during a show. Sumner is the band’s lead vocalist. New Order tickets are always in high demand as the legendary band from Manchester, England are quite good in concert.