True Faith

Album: Substance (1987)
Charted: 4 32
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Songfacts®:

  • Many heroin users describe a glorious detachment that comes from the drug's high, and that feeling seems to be described in this song. When we asked New Order bass player Peter Hook about the meaning, however, he denied the drug connection. Said Hook: "'True Faith' features some of the best New Order lyrics in my opinion, but no, it is not about heroin, that is not something that any of our lyrics ever touched on. I think it's clear to see though that the lyrics do reflect being under some sort of influence."

    His bandmate Bernard Sumner has stated otherwise, however, telling Q magazine in 1999 that the song is about drug dependency, and that while he didn't do heroin, he wrote it from the perspective of a user.

    This is far from the first time Sumner and Hook haven't seen eye-to-eye - their relationship soured when Hook left the band in 2007 and Sumner decided to continue on without him in 2011.
  • The video, which is still frequently shown in the UK today, depicts a "good vs. evil" type fight in a surreal manner, starting with two costumed people smacking each others' faces in time with the drum beat.

    The clip was directed by Philippe Decouflé, a French dancer/choreographer (he also worked as a mime), who would later direct the Fine Young Cannibals video for "She Drives Me Crazy." The band was busy on tour, so their scenes were shot at a stop in Glastonbury while the rest of the footage was filmed in Paris.
  • New Order took on a grueling tour schedule at the end of 1986 that lasted about a year. During this time, they did very little recording, but they did make time to write and record "True Faith," which was released as a single in 1987 and featured as the only new song on their compilation album Substance
  • The band wrote this song with their producer, Steven Hague. It was the first time they collaborated with Hague, who joined them again to produce New Order's 1993 album Republic. Bernard Sumner recalled to Uncut: " It was a time when I set out to write a hit single. I think we got a rather large tax bill, and we sat down with Stephen Hague to write a Top 40 hit."

    "I had an idea for the bassline, Gillian (Gilbert, keyboards) had some string ideas, Stephen got some drums down. When we got the track going, I was sent off to the flat we had in London with a bottle of Pernod and told not to show my face again until I'd written the lyrics."
  • According to Bernard Sumner, the lyrics were changed at the last minute to sanitize the lines "When I was a very small boy, very small boys talked to me, now that we've grown up together, they're all taking drugs with me" to "they're afraid of what they see," at the suggestion of producer Steven Hague, who felt the song had more hit potential without the drug reference. Sumner would sometimes sing this original lyric during live performances.
  • The song returned to the UK singles chart in 2011 in the form of a cover by George Michael that was recorded for the Comic Relief charity. His version peaked at #27 - not as successful as Michael's solo single "Faith," which peaked at #2 (and topped the US chart) in 1987.
  • This song is playing in the club where Patrick Bateman, the main character of the 2000 movie American Psycho, played by Christian Bale, is partying with his friends at the beginning of the movie. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Rose Marie - Valencia, Spain

Comments: 22

  • Jav from CdmxI always thought this song was about coming out as gay and that that fear was actually the fear of coming out and then in the future his friends are afraid of what they see.
  • Pumpkintrash from Philippinesi found this song when i watched the 1 lunatic 1 ice pick where the guy killed his bf using ice pick, and i was like “oh the song was so catchy” and this is my fav 80's song now
  • Ori from TexasI've always had this song attributed with my life, as from Kindergarten, I've been hated in school and I even had clinical depression at AGE 8, but I always found the happiness in a new day, thinking something had changed. I'd always been optimistic in that sense, no matter how hard life got. No matter how abusive my parents were (are), I found the light of a new day and fell in love with the sunrise and stars of the night in time. "When I was a very small boy, a very small boy was tough to me" fit me in two ways as not only did I have a childhood bully, but just being a small boy was 'tough' to me.

    and after all this time I learn the song is about heroin, feels great lol
  • Maewkaew from Chicago IlI think it’s pretty clear it’s about drugs, and Bernard has said it was, but It’s not necessarily heroin addiction. Bernard would more likely be writing about cocaine or ecstasy since those are drugs he was into, not heroin. So I don’t think there’s really a contradiction in the quotes of him and Hooky. Yes It was about drugs but No not specifically heroin. I think it can apply to a lot of types of addiction though.
  • Jim from UkThe speculation in the comments from coming out to ecstasy is amusing. Sumner wrote almost all the lyrics and said it’s about heroin so it’s about heroin. He says he didn’t use it but those lyrics are a bit too familiar for me to think that might not be 100% true.
  • Chris from Germany One of the best songs of all time
    I saw the video for the first time ,,as a small boy’’ (hehe lyrics) on MTV in the early 90s. the video was influenced by the Weimarer Republik and especially by DAS TRIADISCHES BALLETT by Oskar Schlemmer.

    The producer Stephen Hague Made a great song
  • Colton from Concord, CaOf course this songs about heroin addiction! "again and again I've taken too much of the things that cost u too much" is about constantly trying to just take a little bit after getting clean but again and again taking too much and ending up addicted again and broke. "I used to think that the day would never come" is talking about the day that he's finally totally clean and doesn't crave heroin soo much he needs it to feel normal. It truely feels that way when heroin has controlled your life since adolescence "a childhood I lost replaced by fear". You forget what life without heroin feels like and how to live it, yet u desperately want to go back. U end up feeling like its just been too long and u never will"the chances are we've gone too far, u took my time and u took my money. Now i feel you've left me standing in a world that's so demanding". The point though is that he "used" to feel that the day would never come because if u do keep trying and u keep fighting it u will win and finally be free of the hold it had on your life. Its impossible to truely understand unless you've been addicted to heroin and other hard opioids before. People always paint heroin as this big scary super evil worst drug out there when it's just the same as almost any other opioid people certainly dont do it because it the closest u can feel to death, usually people do it because of the intense rush and zero comedown kind of side effects unlike coke and also usually because it helps u with anxiety issues and anti depresses u. The problem is u can never know how powerful the addiction and withdrawals are until it's too late. This song really speaks to me
  • Rick from Mason City, IaOne of the best dance tracks by NO!!! Just a Classic!!!!
  • Michael Martarano from New Haven, CtI wouldn't speculate too much on New Order's lyrics. But I'll offer up a fact about the video.
    It was directed and choreographed by the French Performance Artist, Philippe Decoufle' who also choreographed The Fine Young Cannibals video 'She Drives Me Crazy'.
  • Jessica from Tulsa, Ok@ scott from Baton Rouge:

    VERY true! lol.
  • Amy from Melbourne, AustraliaI'm part of todays generation, i listen to real music, new order is one of my favorite bands.
    we don't all listen to mainstream crap on the radio!
  • Scott from Baton Rouge, LaAnother great New Order song. To today's generation: This is what is called "music" kids,lol.
  • Daniel from Rio De Janeiro, BrazilObviously 'morning sun' has to do with coming out from a (drug fueled) rave party at morning
  • Joe from Harrisonburg, VaI actually thought this song was about a gay person coming out of the closet when I first heard it..........and I still think that by the way. It's more original then the whole drug cliche and makes a more daring statement.
  • Chris from Milwaukee, WiI always thought this song was about using Ecstasy. The band has referenced this song being a "drug song" in the past. The line about being near to the childhood I lost replaced by fear always seemed to be about using drugs to escape - to get back to our lost childhood and away from the scary adult world. The lyrics themselves seem to describe Ecstasy use... the sense of well being... loss of defensiveness. I don't see how this song can be about anything else.
  • Bloodaxe from Lincoln, NeThis song is about being afraid of sleeping at night, and that the morning sun is his "drug"... its about being sexually abused. For all the people who spend their lives up at night while others are asleep because they've never recovered from the fear of the darkness and what their dreams and fears bring them. It has nothing to do with heroin, it specifically mentions the "morning sun" as being the drug". He feels "extraordinary" and feels "liberty" when he reaches the morning sun. He "lost" his childhood, and it was "replaced by fear".

    If its about drugs, the drugs mask the true pain he's fighting... abuse. Most drug abusers were abused in some way, verbally, physically, sexually. It's called "self medication". This song sings about his secret pain and the method in which he tries to find redemption.
  • Melly from Houston, TxSteve, the band said it was a song about drugs in an interview at one point. If you follow the band's history at all, you'd completely get WHY it is a song about addiction. Pretty funny how it has become synonmous with summer and good times here in the States, though.
  • Steve from Inane-isville, Pabesides heroin doesnt make you feel more alive, the reason lyricists use it at all is because its the closest one can get to DEATH.
  • Steve from Inane-isville, Payeah i sincerely hope everyone disregards that first song"Fact". not all songs are about drugs.
    seriously Curtis you sound like you know this page is full of crap. think "The Den" from socrates
  • Curtis from Cornwall On Hudson , Ny-:(Why are all the songs I think relate to my life drug songs? I've never done drugs...maybe I should...
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InNEW ORDER just rules when it comes to electronic style music. They created it with Joy Division & perfected it with New Order. "Substance" is a must have for anyone who knows anything about good music.
  • Rock from Mke, WiThis song is also the main track behind the nightclub scene in "Bright lights, big city" featuring Michael J. Fox (one of his few serious films). A great Prince track, "Goodlove," is in there, as well.
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