I recently revisited New Order’s Movement, digging up a dusty old copy on vinyl. It was always a favorite of mine, but I hadn’t blasted it over my home stereo maybe ever.. so this was almost a completely new experience.
I was struck by the innovation. Sounds that were they made by a Brooklyn buzz band next week, they’d be hailed as genius. Yes, it’s a fence straddling album that tries to find the way from Joy Division to New Order — but to me that’s the charm of it.
Barney and Hooky both trying to do their best Ian. Stephen Morris evolving into a human drum machine. Newcomer Gillian Gilbert adding even more electronics.
Whether you’re a fan of the album or not, I thought it would be fun to look back at it in context — see the fledgling band just 18 months removed from Ian Curtis’ death.
First up is album opener “Dreams Never End” taken from New Order 316, which features a show from the Ukrainian National Home in New York on November 19th 1981. You can also download the album version below:
“Truth,” also taken from that New York show, features the first appearance of the melodica in a New Order song:
For a change of venue, here’s the brilliant and powerful “Senses” from the 1981 Glastonbury Festival:
Check out Morris’ drumming in this version of “Chosen Time” filmed at Manchester’s Granada Studios in 1981:
“ICB” allegedly stands for Ian Curtis Buried. This version is a bit different.. it’s the album audio mashed up with archival New Order and Joy Division footage. Hauntingly bizarre:
Back to Glastonbury for “The Him” — another song purportedly about Curtis:
Peter Hook handles the vocal on “Doubts Even Here” (as well as “Dreams Never End”). This is a pretty cool fan-made video featuring the album audio:
Finally, “Denial” brings us back to NYC for one of the most aggressive New Order songs ever:
Movement came out just weeks after the release of the Joy Division live album Still and was roundly dismissed. Reportedly the band wanted to remix the album and ultimately disowned it for many years.
I happen to love it. I also love that “Temptation” was released the following spring and redirected New Order onto their multi-platinum electropop path. It’s all part of the arc of one of the greatest bands of all time. There, I said it.