The first New Order record i heard and took home from a shop would have been Ceremony (green cover) or Movement. That would have been in 1981, and as a too-serious 15 year old the album suited my mood perfectly: sombre, gloomy, unintelligible… In fact it took me two decades to admit to myself the album was a bit flawed. I couldn’t tell you what New Order mean to me now, but their rapid transformation into an intelligent dance band with EGG, Temptation, Blue Monday and Power Corruption and Lies between 81 and 82 was a landmark event in the culture. That said, another great Manchester group – the Bee Gees – did something kind of similar five years earlier.
My most memorable NO experience was the first time i saw them live, at Edinburgh Coasters in April 1983. When Procession kicked in after the synth intro is simply blew my head off. The next night, at the Assembly Rooms, they were nowhere near as good. Typical.