New Order was formed in 1980 by former Joy Division members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris, following the suicide of vocalist Ian Curtis. Gillian Gilbert was the only new member added after the demise of their former band. She was invited to join New Order during the early part of October 1980. Gilbert had already played with Joy Division a number of times, filling in for both Curtis and Sumner playing guitar. She was also the girlfriend, (now wife) of Morris.
New Order's debut single "Ceremony Club" was actually one of the last songs Joy Division ever wrote. It hinted at a possible lightening up from their previous gloomy sound.
Peter Hook told us
that Ian Curtis was the main difference between their songwriting for Joy Division and New Order. "When we were Joy Division, myself, Bernard [Sumner] and Stephen [Morris ] would jam a lot and get our ideas that way," he explained. "Ian would be listening to us playing and would say, 'That sounds good, that bit is great, do that bit again...' he was like a conductor in that respect."
"As New Order it was very different because we had lost Ian, which meant we had to change our way of songwriting, and it also meant that we had to start doing the lyrics ourselves," Hook continued. "It took us a while to get used to doing that."
Their second album Power, Corruption & Lies (1983), was a dramatic change of sound, adding synthesizers and sequencers, and a substantial amount of melodicism to the traditional guitar, bass and drums. This established New Order's formula mixing early techno and guitar-based music.
" is one of New Order's best-known recordings. This is in part due to its appearance in the Trainspotting
movie where the lyrics are sung by Kelly MacDonald's Diane character while she's taking a bath.
" is the best-selling 12-inch single of all time in Britain. However, as Factory Records were not members of the British Phonographic Industry association, it was not eligible for an official gold disc. The single wasn't issued as a traditional 7-inch until 1988, which helped boost sales of the 12-inch.
In their early days, New Order paid themselves £72.50 a week. The success of "Blue Monday" allowed them to put up their wages to £103.50 a week.
The gentle lead guitar of New Order's 1989 single "Run 2" led some fans to cite an unlikely comparison: John Denver. When the the American singer-songwriter got wind of the tune, he took legal action claiming that the guitar break too closely resembled his song "Leaving On A Jet Plane
." The case was settled out of court, and as a result the single can never be re-released in its original form.
New Order achieved their only UK #1 in 1990 when "World in Motion" topped the chart. The official 1990 England World Cup song, it was a re-working of the theme music to youth current affairs show Reportage. Released under the name of England New Order it featured several members of the 1990 English football team, as well as comic actor Keith Allen, who co-wrote the lyric.
The video for New Order's 2001 single "Crystal" depicted a young American band miming to New Order's music and words. The clip was directly responsible for the name of the American group The Killers, as that name was written on the bass drum of the fictional band.
Gilbert stopped touring with New Order in 1998 so that she could care for her's and Morris' two daughters. She took part in the recording of 2001's Get Ready after which she was replaced by Phil Cunningham in New Order's line-up. Gilbert rejoined New Order in 2011, after a 10-year hiatus.
New Order have had two lengthy sabbaticals. Between 1993 and 1998 the quartet worked on their own individual projects, before reconvening. In 2007, after Peter Hook left the band, Sumner and guitarist Phil Cunningham worked on their Bad Lieutenant group and the other members again pursued their own projects. The band reunited in 2011 without Hook, with Tom Chapman replacing the bassist.