Hand-Picked New Order and Joy Division Songs

Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Ian Curtis — Joy Division days

I saw Peter Hook with his band earlier this week. He was energetic, commanding, cocky, yet humble. Still happy to be playing New Order and Joy Division tunes all these years later!

Isn’t life interesting? The intersections that can happen between people who should have no connection. Who should never find each other. And yet lives manage to overlap.

Music can be the catalyst. Travel. Art. College. Accidental meetings. Shared interests. Relationships that defy the odds.

This post is for a friend of a friend. An avid supporter of BMT and, well, just plain Bonnie. Our lives should not have intersected but they did.

Four Brits created iconic music. One of them left this world. The three remaining band members picked up another member and re-emerged to become one of the four pillars of 80’s alternative music.

New Order. Depeche Mode. The Cure. The Smiths.

Their music touched millions. All over the world. Including me, a random teen in North Florida. And my new friend in Georgia.

Now all these years later our lives intersect and the bassist of New Order/Joy Division tours in Austin and Atlanta. We attend our respective shows and revel in the music that has long been embedded in our souls.

Bernard, Peter, and Stephen went on to create amazing music and live full lives after Ian died.

There is a time to be in the shadows. And there is a time to reclaim life.

From the darkness, light.

Well, I DO love a remix! This extended cut of “Temptation” is extraordinary. It took me about 10 seconds to know I had a winner. The appropriately named “Heaven and Earth” remix. Indeed.

I love to drive. Always have. Full tank of gas. Windows rolled down. Dark night. The winding small two-lane backroads of Tallahassee with its canopy of mighty live oaks, pines, and magnolias. Best friend in the front passenger seat. Adventures afoot.

The one-two punch of “The Perfect Kiss” and “Sub-Culture” remains my all-time favorite driving music.

Pulsating, spiky, eerie, and sexy. Of course, I like “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “True Faith,” but it’s not even close: I love the songs featured in today’s story so much more!

So moody and intense. This is the kind of song I can get lost in. Layered, complex, passionate. “The Only Mistake” has a uniquely sexy energy. The bass snarls while Ian alternates between bleak and pleading. Stephen’s drumming is as unrelenting as ever.

I have so many thoughts about this live John Peels performance of “She’s Lost Control.”

(1) Ian Curtis was way better looking in “real life” than any photo I’ve ever seen of him.

(2) The band’s performance is absolutely mesmerizing.

(3) The energy of everybody (except the eternally mellow Bernard Sumner) shocks me. I mean, yeah, Ian’s got his crazy dance thing, but watch Peter and Stephen, too. They are COMMITTED.

(4) Ian must have brought out that energy — New Order just doesn’t have this level of intensity. (I’m not knocking New Order. Obviously I love New Order, but their intensity just does not equal this.)

This is actually a compilation of my two favorite Joy Division songs, “Atmosphere” and “She’s Lost Control.”

Atmosphere” is a shimmery masterpiece. It’s a stunning musical achievement. Every element is impeccably executed: the steady drumming, the muted bass and guitar, Ian’s plaintive vocal. Sparse but spectacular. Every bit as beautiful 40 years later. Martin Hannett’s production is perfection.

This studio cut of “She’s Lost Control” is more restrained than the live version. It’s a little funkier and not as raw. It serves as an interesting contrast to the more raucous Peels session performance.

80’s alternative giants collide! I’m partial to Dave Gahan’s effortless sexiness. His voice is well-suited for “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” The guitars feel lighter, more jangly and Dave brings a majesty and sweetness to the song.

This version feels more joyful than the original. I chose intentionally.

This story is dedicated to my new friend. As he walks out of the shadows. Into the light once more.

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Thank you for reading this story

I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. You using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!

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Queen of mixtapes. Lover of music, travel, and fashion. Authentic sharer of life lessons and dating foibles.

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Bonnie Barton

Bonnie Barton

Queen of mixtapes. Lover of music, travel, and fashion. Authentic sharer of life lessons and dating foibles.

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