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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Isolation and other tracks by Joy Division and New Order from Peter Hook and the Light March 28, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The world has, I think it’s fair to say, taken a Ballardian turn this last three months. So what better music to soundtrack this than that of Joy Division (and in a way New Order) whose output and lyrical concerns always spoke to isolation (quite literally as noted by IEL last weekend) and alienation and, even more on the nose, who nicked a song title from Ballard.

Anyhow, got to admit I was sceptical when I saw these albums coming out. A range of live performances by Peter Hook, formerly of Joy Division and New Order, covering songs by those two groups – actually as complete albums. And yet, and yet, I saw that Movement, perhaps along with Brotherhood, my two favourite New Order albums, was part of the set, and I downloaded it. And it was pretty great. The songs hew very close to the originals, but they’re not exact replicas, or perhaps it is simply that they have had to be slightly reframed for live performance. And somehow that’s a benefit. Had a listen too to the versions of Technique and Republic. Never quite enjoyed the former as much as others, and while flawed always liked the latter. But to hear the spectrum of music JD/NO covered is to see a band that had/has remarkable range.

His voice is a mixed pleasure, he’s very good on Joy Division tracks, perhaps not quite as good on New Order tracks, but the rest of the band (most of whom were in his solo project Monaco – dealt with here years back) supplement on the higher pitched tracks. And overall it’s a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be. And always listening to it there’s the curious dislocation of it being a step away from New Order and Joy Division, and yet right there given the centrality of his bass to their overall sound(s). Listen to the throbbing baseline of Transmission and… it is his song as much as any other members of Joy Division. And as lead vocalist on a number of tracks on Movement his singing JD/NO songs isn’t entirely novel (indeed I’d argue those constitute some of the best songs on the album).

Intriguingly he hasn’t covered the two more recent albums he was involved in before leaving New Order, Get Ready and Waiting for the Siren’s Call – I wonder why. But for those interested in two of the most pivotal post-punk/electronic/pop acts of the past forty years I think these albums offer a unique vantage point.

I saw New Order in the 2000s and very impressive they were too. But anyone seen Hook and the Light live?

The session for Glyndwr TV that leads off below has the following:

1: Exercise One 10:10
2: No Love Lost 12:30
3: Shadowplay 16:19
4: Digital 20:20
5: Disorder 23:08
6: She’s Lost Control 26:45
7: Isolation 31:20
8: Something Must Break 34:25
9: Transmission: 37:15
10: Love Will Tear Us Apart 41:03
11: Ceremony 45:44

Peter Hook and The Light – Glyndwr TV (52 minutes)

Transmission (Live)

Shadowplay (Live)

Love Will Tear Us Apart (Live)

Dreams Never End (Live, in Dublin)

Doubts Even Here (Live, in Dublin)

Blue Monday (Live)

Face Up (Live)

The Perfect Kiss (Live)

Weirdo (Live)

Bizarre Love Triangle (Live)

Fine Time (Live)

Chemical (Live)

Regret (Live)


1. Warren Oates - March 28, 2020

Why listen to Joy Division? Are you a goth teenager? Ian Curtis was a Nazi sympathizer — well, you know, after the fact. Did you ever hear the story that Peter Hook actually killed Ian Curtis? I forget where I read that.


WorldbyStorm - March 28, 2020

I’ll bet 😉


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