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QWEST 04/93

sadOn April 5 ,1993, New Order released "Regret," their first single since their England World Cup soccer team anthem, "World In Motion". The 1990 single went # 1 in the UK and went gold. On May 10th, the band will release Republic (Qwest/Warner Bros.), their follow-up to 1989's Technique - another UK #1 and a world-wide million seller. Produced by Stephen Hague, Republic is New Order's seventh album.
Since their formation in 1980, New Order have become one of the world's biggest alternative groups. One of the highlights of the band's carrer was the incredible success of 1983's "Blue Monday", the 12" - only 45 which showed how white groups could make black American dance music their own. It sold over a million copies in the UK and over 10 million worldwide. Their singles album, 1987's Substance, sold well over 2 million worldwide, and 1990's Technique, sold over a million in the UK and the US.
New Order have always believed that the music should speak for itself, but at the same time have also become famous for the quality of their packaging and presentation. Their record sleeves are overseen by the award-winning, internationally known designer Peter Saville, who has worked with the group since the beginning, while they have commissioned a sequence of innovative videos for all their singles since 1983's "Confusion".
Examples include: Perfect Kiss by Jonathan Demme, now famous for Something Wild and Silence of the Lambs; Confusion by Brideshead Revisited director Charles Sturridge; Bizarre Love Triangle by New York fine artist Robert Longo, with its specially filmed dialogue; Kathryn Bigelow's Heavy Metal pastiche for Touched By The Hand Of God; and, finally, Phillip Decouffle's surrealistic ballet for True Faith - which won the 1987 BPI "Best Video" award.
New Order's history began in the early days of Punk: inspired by the Sex Pistols' first Northern England date at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall on July 4, 1976, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook formed Joy Division with Ian Curtis. For a years or so, they were Manchester scene outcasts - but this gave them time to develop and, by the time of their second single, "Glass" and "Digital" they has arrived fully fledged.
These two tracks were released as part of the first record from the label with the group - and New Order - would be so associated: Factory Records. Joy Division's groundbreaking 1979 LP Unknown Pleasures was the record which showed that England's independent labels could compete in the market place.
By 1980, Joy Division were England's hottest group, famous for the intensity of each performance and the power of their songs. Their dark persona wasn't how they were offstage, but this persona was sealed in myth with Ian Curtis' suicide in May, 1980.
After a shaky start, the group found a new lightness, a new sense of fun in the dance music coming out of America. In May, 1982, they opened (as part owners) the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, which became internationally known in 1989 with the "Manchester Explosion". Inspired by the New York Electro that they heard in Puerto Rican clubs like the Funhouse and gay clubs like the Paradise Garage, New Order became a state of the art dance band -- which they have remained ever since.
In 1983, New Order recorded "Confusion" with producer Arthur Baker. At the same time, "Blue Monday" was so successful as a dance record that it received the ultimate accolade: a tribute from one of their inspirations, producer Bobby Orlando (who, as Bobby O, was also the first to record The Pet Shop Boys). His production of "Love Reaction" for Divine, a straight "Blue Monday" ripp-off, was one of the records that created the High Energy style which, in the hands of Stock/Aitken/Waterman, has dominated English pop ever sine. New Order were there first.
During 1986 and 1987, New Order's Hacienda Club developed the style which would become known as "Manchester" - a mixture of working class soccer fashions, Ecstasy and American House and Acid House music. By 1990, the scene was talked about in the pages of Newsweek and Time. New Order themselves provided Manchester's finest moment with their England World Cup single, "World In Motion".
New Order won't shout about this because it's not in their nature. Neither is it in their nature to look back; they'll let others do that. The music should speak for itself. Republic is recognizable New Order, with all their emotional history; it's a new, forward looking soundtrack for the summer of 1993.

© 1993, Qwest