Becoming New Order

Starting Out – Joy Division

In order to get to know New order, you have to familiarize yourself with the band before it became New Order. Joy Division was considered one of the greatest bands from Manchester. The band is comprised of vocalist Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris. They form the band because a couple of the members saw the Sex Pistols perform live and individually became inspired by what they saw. To make a long story short, the band places an advertisement for a vocalist in the Manchester Virgin Records shop. Ian Curtis, who knew them from earlier gigs, responds and  is hired without an audition.



Starting out they call themselves Warsaw (a tip of the hat to Bowie). And they really started making a name for themselves. They even recorded two albums “Unknown Pleasures” and “Closer.” As well as several singles along the way. Sadly, what starts out as a successful band with so much potential, gets stopped in their tracks with the suicide of their lead singer Ian Curtis. Pretty much everything just shuts down for the band known as Joy Division. After awhile, the members regrouped after the demise of their lead singer Ian Curtis and start to figure out what to do next as a band. 


When they first put Joy Division together, part of the agreement was that if any of the members should leave the band or drop out, they would not continue using the band name to tour or as an offshoot for playing gigs etc. So, when it came to Ian Curtis’s passing, as a whole, they decide to continue as a band, and change the name to New Order. 


The Band New Order

Rising up out of the ashes like a phoenix, the band New Order forms in 1980 with Bernard Sumner (keyboardist & Guitarist and vocals), Peter Hook (bassist), and drummer Stephen Morris. Eventually they also bringing Gillian Gilbert (Keyboardist and guitarist) to add some extra dynamics to their sound. The band continues to move on as a band taking cues and inspiration from post punk sounds from the New York Club scene. Even more, making them one of the most acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s.


Shortly after, they release “Power, Corruption & Lies in 1983”. It also gets the band back on track with their music and popularity. Especially with their hit “Blue Monday” which becomes one of the best selling 12-inch single of all time, moving over 3 million copies worldwide. This is mainly due to the song itself, which developed into a dance classic during the eighties. Blue Monday is still part of many post-punk, techno or electro DJ sets. Plus, the song was long enough for the DJ’s to take a break from the turntables. 



Following up with even more success later in the 80’s, they go on to release “Power, Corruption & Lies in 1983, Technique in 1989, as well as the singles collections compilation Substance in 1987. During the summer of 1989, New Order supports “Technique” by touring with Public Image Ltd, Throwing Muses and the Sugarcubes across the United States and Canada. Plus, they start working on individual projects as well. Such as “Electronic” (Sumner with Johnny Marr) and “Revenge” (Hook with Davyth Hicks). 


In 1992, their longtime label, Factory Records is forced to declare bankruptcy in 1992. All this happening just as they were getting ready to release their next album “Regret” Since New Order never had a formal contract, the band legally owned all their own recordings. London Records offers the band a contract and they take it along with “The Other Two, a side project of Morris and Gilbert. “Republic” releases in 1993, with their song “regret” their highest charting single in the U.S along with a few other tracks from the album. 


After going through all the changes happening with this band, they decide to take a much needed break! Plus, Morris and Gilbert began to work together on their side projects such as their tv production work. After all that happened, in 1993, they disband so that the members could take time to work on their other projects for a while.  


New Order – Round Two

After five years of working on their own projects, the band decides it’s time to make a comeback and start performing and touring. Also, they decide it’s time that they incorporate Joy Division songs once again. While they were supposed to make their grand reunion performance at the the Phoenix Festival. They end up performing on the last night that year’s Reading Festival. Having such a great moment at this festival, they head in the studio and release “Get Ready” while still touring.


Needless to say, this album is not like the others, it’s great! But they strayed away from their electronic sound to guitar oriented music. Becoming a new change of direction for the band and dedicating it in memory of their Rob Gretton, – Their manager of Joy Division and New Order.  At the end of it all, the album receives a lot of rave reviews and a positive direction for the band. In 2005, they release “Waiting for the Siren’s Call” their 8th Studio album. To this day, you can find the band on the road touring and performing live, with tour stops already scheduled up late 2023. 


Video Credits:

Joy DivisionLove Will Tear Us Apart, – Stefano Benzi – New Order – True Faith – Live in Glasgow DVD, 2008, New Order – Ceremony / Live in Glasgow,
Hugh Nique – New Order – Temptation (Live In London 1987), New Order – Blue Monday (Live at Alexandra Palace).