New Order – Temptation

For ears of a certain age the gateway song into New Order is Blue Monday. Maybe that’s a generational thing I’m suggesting – but that song goes beyond generations. I would say, emphatically that Blue Monday is the groups best ever track. It’s just a perfect record. Flawless.

Anyhoo. Purists will suggest otherwise. To some Blue Monday is too much of a commercial stab. Nonsense. The follow up record to Blue Monday, Thieves Like Us left me, as a 13 year old left wanting. I was too young. Clearly Thieves Like Us is actually a great record too. It’s no Blue Monday though, that’s for sure.

In my mid-teens I gradually bought all the New Order records available. To put it simply, the band do not have one bad record up to and including 1989’s Technique album. One didn’t really realise it at the time but they were quietly becoming one of the most important bands of the 80’s. Easily.

I first heard Temptation on Annie Nightingale’s Radio 1 which followed the Top 40 run down on a Sunday Evening in 1984. The record initially came out in 1982 and peaked at Number 29. The track is an early foray into the electronic sound New Order would go on to soon master like no other outfit. What I love about the song is that it has the sound of Joy Division in it too. That sound of struggle. The band are no masters of their instruments and that fumbling but determined sound is what makes the song so special. It has great lyrics and it allows itself to amble. It’s the foundations of Blue Monday to me. Listen, you may agree…

Oh, you’ve got green eyes
Oh, you’ve got blue eyes
Oh, you’ve got grey eyes
And I’ve never seen anyone quite like you before
No, I’ve never met anyone quite like you before

Heaven, a gateway, a hope
Just like a feeling I need, it’s no joke
And though it hurts me to see you this way
Betrayed by words, I’d never heard, too hard to say
Up, down, turn around
Please don’t let me hit the ground
Tonight I think I’ll walk alone
I’ll find my soul as I go home

Each way I turn, I know I’ll always try
To break this circle that’s been placed around me
From time to time, I find I’ve lost some need
That was urgent to myself, I do believe
Oh, you’ve got green eyes
Oh, you’ve got blue eyes
Oh, you’ve got grey eyes
And I’ve never seen anyone quite like you before
No, I’ve never met anyone quite like you before
Bolts from above hurt the people down below
People in this world, we have no place to go
Oh, it’s the last time
Oh, I’ve never met anyone quite like you before
Oh no, I’ve never met anyone quite like you before

In 1984 my Grandmother bought me a stereo cassette recorder quite out of the blue from Dixons at £39:99 (fittingly it had blue speakers) . Armed with a BASF C90 New Order appeared live simultaneously on Radio 1 the very same day (in stereo as luck would have it) and on BBC Television. This moment really pulled me into music. A pull that has never really let go. Music is the best art form for me. Films and, um art come very close, but music is special.

That performance by New Order had it all. An awkward, anti-hero, who gives a fuck look. Alternative rock embracing dance elements. I’ll shut up. Have a listen…

“An unatmospheric song in an unatmosphereic place”

nowordersm

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