Technically, this isn't really an unacknowledged album as such, as I've seen it in a few 'Best Of' lists in some music papers. But I was moved to post it after reading this over at Nancy's fabby wee blog, I'm Not Always So Stupid. In particular, its in response to Comrade Colin's comment on the post that New Order should have disbanded in around 1985.
If so, we would have been denied this masterpiece, which remains the only record that I have on vinyl, CD and cassette.
I won't bore anyone with the story of New Order. If you need or want to know anything, then I suggest you pay a visit to FAC 411 (a number awarded by Tony Wilson himself) which is better known as worldinmotion.net, easily the best website devoted to all things New Order, and indeed Joy Division. Click here for the link.
Suffice to say, that the release of Brotherhood in 1986 had disappointed many New Order fans. It was, in the main, a lacklustre affair and indeed was shown up as such when the compilation LP Substance was issued the following year. The one hope was that the Greatest Hits package featured two amazing new songs - True Faith and 1963, the former a wonderful dance track driven largely by Steve & Hooky and the latter a gorgeous pop song with Barney at last penning lyrics that made sense and had a semblance of a story line.
But post-Substance, the band seemingly disappeared off the radar and some folk (including your humble scribe) thought we'd seen the last of Barney, Hooky, Steve & Gillian.
In the days before t'internet, you had to rely on the music papers for news/info on your favourite bands. One week, I read a snippet that New Order had gone to Ibiza to record a new LP. Months passed. Nothing. More months passed. Still nothing. and I assumed that somehow I had missed the news that the band had broken up.
Then, out of the blue in late 1988, a single was released. It was called Fine Time and it was really quite different from anything else the band had ever released, largely an instrumental that was clearly aimed at the dance market. And I loved it.
The album kind of sneaked out in January 1989. Little did we know that the low-key release was down to Factory Records lack of cash to give it the usual big marketing/advertising push. It came out when Britain is at its most cold, miserable and wet. But this album made you forget all that.
01. Fine Time
02. All The Way
03. Love Less
04. Round & Round
05. Guilty Partner
07. Mr Disco
08. Vanishing Point
09. Dream Attack
Nearly every one of these tracks would make it into my Top 20 New Order songs of all time - that's how much I adore this record. It was everything that fulfilled the promise of True Faith/1963. There were immense dance numbers, there were songs of love, joy and happiness, and there were songs about having your heart-broken. Every song could have been a single. No that's not true. Every song could have been a #1 single.
Thankfully, the album did sell in reasonable quantities, but not enough to arrest Factory from the decline into receivership/administration. It did however lead to New Order being asked to take the sound of Technique into the football world when they penned the England Squad's 1990 World Cup Anthem, World In Motion, which finally gave the band the #1 hit they had been chasing for a few years.
The band's releases in the 90s and the 21st century haven't come near to matching the perfection of Technique, but I still love a great deal about New Order. But I suppose as they march towards their own half centuries, it maybe is about time they put their toys away and left it to the kids.
And here's a first for TVV......a whole album to listen to. But after you do, I insist you purchase it from here, or here or indeed here. You could even try e-bay for a vinyl or cassette copy. It's also a celebration of the fact that today will see TVV get its 50,000th hit for which I thank all of you, regular readers and casual visitors alike.
mp3 : New Order - Fine Time
mp3 : New Order - All The Way
mp3 : New Order - Love Less
mp3 : New Order - Round & Round
mp3 : New Order - Guilty Partner
mp3 : New Order - Run
mp3 : New Order - Mr Disco
mp3 : New Order - Vanishing Point
mp3 : New Order - Dream Attack
Ah, listening to this today has put me in full-on holiday mode. Just as well that myself and Mrs Villain are off to an exotic beach loaction again next Wednesday....