Artist and Musician Biographies


Here is New Order's "Blue Monday":

New Order is often classified as a New Wave/Alternative band, although their style more accurately reflects an interest in dance and techno. They formed in Manchester, England in the early 1980's from the remaining members of Goth rock pioneers Joy Division, after lead singer Ian Curtis hung himself.

Joy Division's music, classified by angst-ridden, moody and haunting lyrics and sounds, was created using drum machines, synthesizers, and various forms of electronic sampling. What added to their unique style was the use of a lead bass guitar. Following the suicide of Joy Division's lead singer and lyricist Ian Curtis, the remaining members Bernard Sumner (1956), a guitar player and vocalist, Peter Hook (1956), a bass player, and Stephen Morris (1957), a drummer, added a new female member, Gillian Gilbert (1961), keyboards, to form New Order.

One of the biggest differences between Joy Division and New Order was the more lilting and comparatively sing-songy voice of Bernard Sumner, which certainly was in contrast to the very somber, unvarying dullness of Ian Curtis. Although they continued in the style originated by Joy Division, New Order was pivotal in making the transition between new wave and techno music, and made club dancing cool again. Many of their singles were not released on albums, and they featured ambiguous and often minimal artwork.

Their breakthrough single "Blue Monday" (recently re-recorded by Orgy) was released in 1983 and went on to become the best selling 12" single in history. The cover, which was designed to look like the early black floppy computer discs, reflected their interest in highly technological based sound with excessive repetition and a constant hammering beat. Although the cover, typically, had little information about the band, the song established New Order as one of the most critically acclaimed British bands of the 1980's. In 1988, they collaborated with the well-known conceptual photographer, William Wegman to produce a video version of "Blue Monday".

The band took a break during much of the 1990's to work on individual projects, but recently announced that they were reforming and in fact produced a new work in 2000, which appeared on the soundtrack of the movie "The Beach."

Page author: A.E.