I have a vague recollection of hearing ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ somewhere around May 1980 as a 13yr old, already having heard of Ian’s death, but not really putting the two together until a year or so later when I first heard ‘Ceremony’, and so it became an…’aaah, right…’, kind of moment. Even though it sounded ok, I never paid them anymore attention until….’Blue Monday’, and then Power, Corruption & Lies’….that was it, completely ‘hooked’, & have been ever since.
I don’t think I can quite put into justifiable words about what they mean to me, but just that they are ‘it’, the total pinnacle of what music is to me, and I am a very serious music follower with a quite vast, varied collection, but no-one connects with me quite so completely, in so many ways, as New Order do. I never tire of listening to them, they are the first group I will turn to, I will fiercly defend them, I will always try to ‘sell’ them, they grip me in a way that makes me feel so totally, completely in love, and they make my hairs on my neck spring to attention.I can’t do it justice in words.
My most memorable experience, as is probably most peoples’, is seeing them live for the first time, actually twice in one day at the Hacienda, Friday 3rd December 1985.The early show was broadcast on the Old Grey Whistle Test (you can actually see me on tv during As It Is When It Was!), and I went into the ‘pit’… it nearly killed me, and I’m not a small guy! It was just fantastic, the set was brilliant, albiet short, although I didn’t complain as I was seeing them again later, which turned out to be another great set, but this time I stood upstairs and just watched! The version of As It Is When It Was, in my opinion, still remains to this day, the best live version I have ever heard of it.I have seen them many more times since, GMEX ’88 being another very memorable performance, but the first Hac’ set at my first one, will always be ‘it’ for me.