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Sep 9, 2012
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Biographic
Written and Illustrated by Steve McGarry

New Order

Having created one of the most acclaimed bands in rock legend, the members of Joy Division were forced by tragedy to reinvent themselves...and from the ashes emerged the even more influential and successful New Order!

Superstars from Nirvana's Kurt Cobain to U2 and George Michael have cited Joy Division as a major influence, formed in Manchester, England, in the late 1970s, The band surfaced in the wake of punk to create music of such haunting beauty that, three decades later, its echoes can still be heard in the work of such bands as Radiohead and Interpol.

Tragically, the group was short-lived.  In 1980, on the eve of a debut U.S. tour, 23-year-old lead singer Ian Curtis, depressed and on medication to combat epilepsy, was found dead in his home.  

Although they felt unable to continue as Joy Division, remaining members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris decided to soldier on.  Recruiting Stephen's girlfriend, Gillian Gilbert, on keyboards, they took the symbolic name New Order and began to explore a different musical direction.

Inspired by the emergence of techno music, the fused their guitar-based sound with sequencers and synthesizers, and dragged new wave out onto the dance floor.  Thanks to hits such as "Blue Monday" and "True Faith," by the mid-'80s, New Order was a major band in its own right.

Rather than sign with a major label, New Order Chose to remain the linchpin of Manchester's independent Factory label.  The group was also part owner of The Hacienda nightclub - at one point, the hippest and most famous dance clue on the planet!  The rise and fall of the Factory empire was documented in the 2002 movie "24 Hour Party People," which also introduced the music of Joy Division and New Order to an entirely new generation of fans.  

Following 1993's "Republic" album - which spawned the hit single "Regret" - the group went on a lengthy hiatus while they each worked on other projects (Sumner had already enjoyed success with electronic, his collaboration with Johnny Marr, Formerly of The Smiths,) by the end of the decade, the group was back in harness, albeit minus Gillian, who chose to concentrate on family matters.  

Phil Cunningham had been recruited to the lineup to replace her by the time the band reconvened for the 2005 album "Waiting for the Sirens' Call."  

When a major rift developed between Peter Hook and the others, it seemed that New Order had finally been laid to rest.  But with Gillian back in the ranks, and Hook replaced by Tom Chapman, the band is back in business, playing dates that include the closing ceremony of the Olympics and its first north American tour in seven years.
Sep 23, 2012
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