Thieves Like Us

Album: The Best of New Order (1984)
Charted: 18


  • New Order linked up with influential New York DJ Arthur Baker for this synthpop single. The band penned it during the same sessions in the Big Apple that also spawned out their hit tune "Confusion."
  • The song is named after the 1974 Robert Altman film Thieves Like Us. The title was suggested by Arthur Baker's associate, John "Jellybean" Benitez.
  • Ironically, given the song title, Peter Hook stole the bass line from Hot Chocolate's 1974 song "Emma." Hook recalled to TeamRock:

    "I did bump into (Hot Chocolate frontman) Errol Brown and felt that I had to confess, and Errol Brown said to me 'Well done, my boy!' Which was very nice of him I thought. These days, he'd be bloody suing you, wouldn't he?"
  • This was released as the follow-up to New Order's best-known song "Blue Monday." However Hook thinks this is a much better tune. He told Q magazine: "I honestly thought 'Thieves Like Us,' the single after 'Blue Monday,' was far superior. 'Blue Monday''s not a song, it's a feeling, but once people hear that drum riff they're off."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Song Titles That Inspired Movies

Song Titles That Inspired MoviesSong Writing

Famous songs that lent their titles - and in some cases storylines - to movies.

Boy Bands

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.

Roger McGuinn of The Byrds

Roger McGuinn of The ByrdsSongwriter Interviews

Roger reveals the songwriting formula Clive Davis told him, and if "Eight Miles High" is really about drugs.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.