In Praise of...Brotherhood by New Order

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drf600/f621/f62190ot42m.jpg

It's a personal thing for me, this album, because it was the first New Order album I bought. It had "Bizarre Love Triangle" on it, there wasn't any way I was not going to buy it. While I think I bought Substance shortly thereafter -- and within a year's time Technique was out -- it was the first time I'd heard New Order all at once, as it were.

From a distance, listening to it again now, what's surprising to me is how much I must have taken in from it without my fully being aware of it at all at the time, and not just simply about the band in general. There's a lot of what made New Order New Order here, of course, but it also fits into so many different strands and crosses over into other ways and approaches around music, at least as I've become more familiar with it -- and yet at the same time it also stands out all the more strongly and uniquely. Really, I think this is like little else I've heard in a way -- it's that much on its own.

I say that even though "Paradise" almost starts out stereotypically in some eyes -- "Hey, isn't that a drum machine and synth bass? Oh, right, eighties crap." Yeah, thanks. But then Bernard's voice comes in and what the hey? It's this weird, understated mournful flat thing initially except then he suddenly slips into this cascade of "I want you, I want you, I need you, I need you" over his own "La la la la la" moments and what seems simplicity itself -- or too simplistic -- becomes this emotional cry, restrained and quavering but still to the heart. There's That Peter Hook bass snaking beneath it all, suddenly stepping more to the fore on the break, another chorus and then it's back to drums and synth bass and then back again for Hook and the band to find what they do so ridiculously well -- mantras. Perfect compact mantras, masters of repetition and quiet variation, in this case fading away.

Making the speaker-scanning kick to "Weirdo" that much of a wake-up. What in the world did I think of this when I first heard it? Nothing could have been so specific and precisely, not quite like that and not quite so open and able to work the technological possibilities of stereo in that way. Perhaps that sounds strange but at the time I had heard nothing quite like it and even now it's a *strange* way to start a song, especially once that turns into one of those 'is it New Order or is it the Cure or is it both' rushed quick-electric-scrabble-from-Bernard and loping and lovely Hook basslines and Steven Morris's drums seemingly everywhere even when they're not. The mix is that full somehow and when the mantra of this song surfaces on the instrumental coda, the bass now really standing to the fore while everything slots into place around it, you can hear rock-not-being-ROCK, it's like -- "Wait, hold on, how come all these other guitar/bass/drums line-ups can't sound like this, so fresh and alive?" I don't get it (then and now).

And then "As It Was When It Was." Okay, how many smug motherfuckers trashed NO and more like them for being 'soulless synth music' without actually listening to the music and how many didn't realize this was a freakin' folk song? And not like "Love Vigilantes" on Low-life, this is something that various unplugged combos have yet to get around to doing something with (and Frente! would have seized up at the idea because they had been FUCKING TRUMPED already with this number). Because it's still clearly a New Order song, the melodic bass, that strong but not overbearing beat and rush and clatter (when everything rocks out a bit more then it becomes the Wedding Present but it's MORE than the Wedding Present ever did and I like them!) and then there's that one despairingly but not mopily sung bit where Bernard says "I always thought/We'd get along like a house on fire." Yow. THAT'S a line.

In retrospect the opening part of "Broken Promise" is sorta like the start of "Isolation," but what's a little self-plagiarism between friends, and I hadn't heard Closer at that point. Arguably at this point the album seems to have found formula, the lower-key singing in the verse, the step up to a higher register in the chorus, the quick propulsion heralded by most of the earlier songs, but it swings so well, Bernard conversational in apology and confusion and then delivering, yup, another anti-solo solo, my goodness can he find mood in the most basic of chord changes. It all just sounds so GOOD -- and they produced it themselves with Michael Johnson engineering. Why'd they keep hanging around with Stephen Hague again?

Ah, "Way of Life." Now THAT's a start to a song: feedback tone, huge rumbling drums, a descending bass line and we're off to the races. The basic blend and balance is the same as the album's established but this time around Bernard is more 'up' with his voice from the start and everything is a bit like a skip down the lane if you let it -- so the change on the chorus is inspired, go for a direct rather than a contrasting overdub and he sounds so gentle almost, even though again he's essentially lashing out at somebody for screwing something up. But it's delivered like a gentle kiss and the non-solo really IS a solo this time and it's a skybound motherfucker, aspirational, rising up, slipping into one of Hook's honest to god lowest bass rumbles ever, Morris just keeping the time efficiently and then we're all back again. Simple moments, simple songs but it all combines and recombines, and again, it's like...why NOT rock this way, with such grace and power all at once? So apparently effortless, like watching a massive airplane take off into the sunset with no extraneous noise and no exhaust.

"Bizarre Love Triangle," you have to understand, was my introduction to New Order -- that and "Blue Monday" shortly thereafter, but "Bizarre Love Triangle" was on top 40 radio in my neck of the woods and it's tangled up with so many things it's hard to separate it out now, but what's interesting in context of this album is that all of a sudden Gillian Gilbert turns up with the keyboards and WOW! That swirling up-and-down progression before the chorus, the overload of string/tone/bells/whatever on the chorus itself turning it into a soundtrack for indeed, falling through the air (Longo knew what he was doing with the video), even the orchestral stabs! Nothing more eighties than that perhaps but how it slots in, so nice. And everything blends together and Bernard's the regretful voice at the center of it all (I think Bernard's one of the closest things to a hero I'll have in music because, after all, he was never *supposed* to be the vocalist, he ended up being one, he's not a singer as such and he is just perfectly RIGHT for what's going on).

"All Day Long" could have been a Suzanne Vega song under another guise but I can't remember if she ever created something quite so gently danceable ("Left of Center" I suppose, in a 'well, maybe' way). So there's the serious verses and then the lights are ON! Another sparkling circular keyboard part, Hook's bass, it's like the floodlights opened up. Bernard gets the message across, implicitly denies the politicization of arguments in music (in a way) and then the band takes over. Now this is a treat, because consider, you've got Hook getting a showcase for the bass, then Gilbert gets this stately string synth part like a royal progression, then Bernard's in with the twangy guitar that's, I dunno, Hank Peters slowed down via Morricone, Gilbert gets *another* beautiful orchestration to play around with, and then everything completely recombines into the extended ending. Just lovely. And the fact that Morris is apparently relying on drum programs throughout would have pissed some people off because apparently it wasn't real! Hey fuckfaces, he's the drummer, let him do what he wants, he's better on the machine than you are with the real thing! Sorry, venting.

"Angel Dust" is the one song I completely forget had any lyrics to it before I listened to it, so I guess it's the stumbling block. Perhaps. I mean, the introduction to it -- muzzein sample aside, if that's what it is, I think it is -- is sorta like 'exciting chase music for Sylvester Stallone cop drama 1986!' soundtracks which I admit is sorta pointless. Jan Hammer was cornering that market, let him do the job. But the flipside is that this is the extension of "Confusion" and similar songs before ACIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIED changed everything MAN and as such sorta works here as another experimentation in the form, though without Arthur Baker around. Some good moments and bits, even a percussion break from Morris. Maybe not quite the best song.

"Every Little Counts" though is something else. I mean, sure, NOW I hear it and I'm all, "Ah right, 'Heroin' by the Velvets, of course." Except it isn't because Lou would have never kept in a bit of himself fluffing the opening line and laughing and continuing on, you can hear the smile as he sings. Now that's a treat, and of course the song just builds up and gets more and more majestic, it's not a rise and fall like the Velvets, it's more this continuation with pauses that gets more and more involved, second by second, into that final extended noisebit (me at 16: "What the FUCK?") and then the record scratches (but I bought this on CD!) and there's something else for a second (any guesses?) and then it's over.

It's over. Damn. I'll have to play it again.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 27 January 2005 21:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

damn, that's longer than a bright eyes review. i'll have to read it after i make dinner.

oh, great record!

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 27 January 2005 21:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Very much a rambling first draft (not that there would be a further one). Lots of word repetition I'll wager.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

it is a fine album isn't it

Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

My first New Order album was Low-Life, which I still think towers over this record....but Brotherhood is still a fine album, yes.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It's the most rewarding New Order album ever after passing it over for so long.

I discovered New Order back in 1983 when I heard "Blue Monday"... (full story here, scroll down to Section 25 "Dirty Disco" piece.).. so I was fully charged when the dance mix of "Bizarre Love Triangle" was dominating L.A. radio. I RUSHED and picked up Brotherhood, and not only was the album version of the track too "rock" for me, but most of the rest of the album was even more rock for me, so I shelved it, until one day during my college days, I pulled it out, and realized how brilliant it was in the context of college rock...(hey, I was a college radio DJ, college rock was my thing then).

Now, I appreciate it on all levels. Great post, Ned.

donut christ (donut), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Why thanks. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I had this album on cassette for about 3 days before I lost it. I suspect that I would have loved it if I'd been able to hang onto it.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i'm discovering the basslines of every new order song when i hear cds thru a good speakers.

that review makes me wanna play lp and buy cd

bernard hook, Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I had this album on cassette for about 3 days before I lost it. I suspect that I would have loved it if I'd been able to hang onto it.

We must correct this.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, I remember how much I liked both "Low Life" and "Brotherhood" (back to back, weren't they?). I must get this on CD at some point.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ned I was hoping you'd point out the LWTUA riff at the end of Way of Life. I forgive you tho.

I fucking love brotherhood. Its tied with technique as my favorite record of theirs.

Dude, are you a 15 year old asian chick? (jingleberries), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Heh, you mean that concluding bass part on its own? You're absolutely right now that you mention it! Never thought of it before!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 27 January 2005 22:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

This album - and the entire New Order catalogue - are in need of SERIOUS remastering. "Brotherhood" in particular suffers from a boxy, inhibited mix; it doesn't jump out of the speakers like "Low Life" and "Technique" do. This, I think, has a lot to do with why it's so underrated.

But, Ned, I think your AMG revew is the fairest I've read. Of major critics only Christgau has ranked "Brothehood" among their very best (he ranked it their very best, I think). The rock songs are unusual, direct, and thrilling all at once. Steve's slightly off-kilter drumming on "Weirdo" and the synth orchestra on "All Day Long" are just one of many, many highlights.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 27 January 2005 23:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Let me add that the live versions of "Paradise" (from the 1998 Reading show) and "As It Is When It Was" (from a '93 show, on "Retro") are amazing, even better than the album versions. It's like the band remembered how great they were.

I doubt the band themselves have ever said much good about "Brotherhood".

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 27 January 2005 23:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

But, Ned, I think your AMG revew is the fairest I've read.

But I didn't review this album for the AMG! Believe me, I would have loved to.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 27 January 2005 23:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Brotherhood" in particular suffers from a boxy, inhibited mix; it doesn't jump out of the speakers like "Low Life" and "Technique" do.

Interesting ... are you referring to the CD (I have it on vinyl)? I don't hear anything like what you described on the vinyl version.

This has always been my least favourite New Order album ... and since 2001, I have "Get Ready", so I don't need "Brotherhood" anymore :)

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 27 January 2005 23:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the Cd mix for brotherhood is awful to the point of being distracting. Even on vinyl it doesnt sound that great.

Dude, are you a 15 year old asian chick? (jingleberries), Friday, 28 January 2005 00:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I could swear you reviewed a few of the songs and did a fine job of it. You may even have reviewed "All Day Long."

As for the mix...yeah, I'm referring to the CD. I have "Low-Life" on vinyl and CD and prefer the former.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 28 January 2005 00:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(Longo knew what he was doing with the video)

"I don't believe in reincarnation because I refuse to come back as a bug or a rabbit!"

"You know, you're a real 'up' person."

Edward Bax (EdBax), Friday, 28 January 2005 04:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

My first New Order album was Low-Life, which I still think towers over this record....but Brotherhood is still a fine album, yes.

Absolutely OTM, Low-Life is dead brilliant, except that it wasn't my first New Order album or record and I'm having a hard time figuring out what might have been my first New Order record right now. Those 12"es get confusing. I'll have to think about that some more, very carefully. [writes it down on the 'to do' list, quite bothered by it, in fact]

Brotherhood? In all honesty, although I enjoyed it quite a bit AT THE TIME, it is only now significant for me for ONE SONG and ONE SONG only: "All Day Long". Did anyone say "masterpiece"? Well, they have so many that the word doesn't actually mean so much for New Order, so take it with a grain of salt.

Ceremony = Masterpiece, for example. Whoops this thread is about Brotherhood. Sorry.

"All Day Long" could have been a Suzanne Vega song

Look, I myself was a Suzanne Vega fan back in the day but let's not get tooo crazy. Nevertheless I much appreciate the rest of your glowing review of the song.

I am sick to death of "Bizarre Love Triangle" and even more so of "Blue Monday" and I think the band is too. Well, to be honest I only know they are sick of Blue Monday. But I don't have any problem with anyone who still has a thing for those songs.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Friday, 28 January 2005 06:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ned, another wonderful post. you keep writing about my not-quite-favourite albums by my favourite bands ;)

"brotherhood" is so, so under-rated. hell, even i under-rated it at first. i got it from blackpool music library when i was 14 or 15 (late eighties, maybe just into the nineties) and thought, eew, it's all guitars and stuff. where's blue monday? where's true faith? the only thing i really loved was BLT, and even then i preferred the version i had on substance.

two days after taking the record back, i went into severe withdrawal. like you say, ned, it gets under your skin without even knowing. i went straight down the second-hand shop and picked up a copy (the copy i still have!) on vinyl, and it instantly became my second-favourite NO album of all time after "technique". i don't know how i missed it at first.

i've said this before and i'll say it again: i think it eats low-life for breakfast. low-life has more stand-out moments of OMG genius ("love vigilantes", "perfect kiss", "elegia") but "brotherhood" is a perfect whole.

anybody else noticed how the coda of "pure" by the lightning seeds is, ahem, a homage to "all day long"?

I doubt the band themselves have ever said much good about "Brotherhood".

uncut - or one of the other UK mags - did a big NO special a few years ago, and i'm sure the "brotherhood" chat went something like this:

interviewer: what about brotherhood, then?
barney: don't think i like that. don't remember it being any good. what's on it?
interviewer: paradise, BLT, all day long, every second ...
barney: fuck, that sounds like a great album. i'm going home to listen to it.

and of course when they came back and did that peel session in the late nineties, "paradise" was one of the songs. IIRC they always said they weren't happy with the production on "brotherhood" but thought it was one of their finest collections of songs. i like the way it sounds; i love the way it's the album where hooky really maxed out his chorus pedal.

"krafty", as i've said elsewhere, has a real "brotherhood" vibe about it.

this is not a loaded question at all, i promise
ned: did you like "get ready"? i can't remember what you've said about it elsewhere.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Friday, 28 January 2005 09:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

and of course when they came back and did that peel session in the late nineties, "paradise" was one of the songs.

That was a '98 issue of Uncut, around the time they started gigging together again. That Peel Session you mentioned is AWESOME (NEW!! NEW!! NEW!! VERSION OF "ISOLATION" WOW!!!). Damn, now I'll have to dig out that issue of "Uncut" and try to remember where I've stashed the mp3's of that Peel Session ...

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Friday, 28 January 2005 09:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i think that copy of uncut is under my bed. as for the MP3s ... they might well be on the iMac. which is switched off right now, and i need to go to work.

[thinks]

ach, fuck work. i did two 12-hour shifts in a row earlier this week. they can hold on for another 10 minutes. [chime, whirr]. let's see if they're there ...

... wow, it takes its time booting up these days ...

right. there's an iTunes playlist called "B-sides and Unreleased, circa Get Ready". the actual MP3s aren't on the HD: i must have burned them onto a backup CD somewhere. but that should be easy to find. it would seem they're all there:

true faith
isolation
touched by the hand of god
atmosphere
paradise

the next track after that claims to be a version of 60MPH, which IIRC is a pre-mix that's almost listenable.

one day soon i shall dig the actual songs out. because yes, i remember that version of "isolation" kicking so much ass it hurt.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Friday, 28 January 2005 09:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

OK. So Low Life was my first and therefore favorite NO album, as I tended to judge all subsequent and previous records by its merits. To my mind Low Life is still the perfect NO record with Brotherhood a near second (I like Technique but think it was way too in love with the influence of outsiders and therefore it spells the beginning of the end of "pure" NO for me).

What got me whn I first bought Brotherhood was the palpable rawness in the (vinyl album's) rockier first side - almost harkening back to Joy Division sonically in places. That and then the steely, boxy sound of the synth oriented flip side just won me over. Last time i played this album was a couple of months ago and I was intrigued by how off the cuff it sounds overall - almost like it was recorded over a weekend with a few overdubs here and there. Definitely their most relaxed sounding recording; a real difference from what came later on.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Friday, 28 January 2005 10:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Good stuff again Ned. It's not my favourite NO album (probably ranking after Movement, Technique, PCL Low-Life), but hell, we're talking NO here, so it's clearly great. I like Jay Vee's comments about it sounding off-the-cuff - it does. Side 1 was really the last of the *old* New Order with songs being written from live studio jams and then taking shape in the live set before being finally nailed down on recd. Side 2's more like a rough glimpse of the future. BLT,ADL and AD are on a par with the best Trevor Horn arrangements, yet sound as if they were knocked together in a garden shed rather than in the bowels of a hot Fairlight. Not to criticise Trevor Horn, but his is a good thing.

**Why'd they keep hanging around with Stephen Hague again?**

Absolutely! What a fucking useless producer! I really can't stand his trademark thin, watered-down sound : e.g Republic or his work with Siouxsie and The Banshees.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 28 January 2005 10:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Stephen Hague served his purpose. As Neil Tennant once said approvingly of True Faith: "It's New Order tamed by Stephen Hague, and quite brilliantly."

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 28 January 2005 11:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

My favourite album by any band. Although I only listen to the vinyl, because the cd mastering is SO bad (usually I'm not too fussy about that kind of thing).

moldau, Friday, 28 January 2005 12:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

my first NO album too, and probably still my favourite. i borrowed the LP from Gateshead library and taped it. I think I had a Fall album on the other side of the tape, and that never got a listen. (Bend Sinister I think - googles Bournemouth Runner - yes).

it's got all my favourite sounds, and it's THE mix of guitar and synth that i tend to hold everything else up to. sort of. there's an element of myth of myself going on there.

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Friday, 28 January 2005 12:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm dealing with some heavy sleep dep right now. When I finally get the rest my body craves, I'll put on Brotherhood and read the rest of your review, Ned.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Friday, 28 January 2005 13:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

My top 10 list would look like this:

1)Movement
2)Blue Monday 12-inch
3)Power, Corruption, & Lies
4)1981-1982 EP (EGG,Temptation,Hurt,Etc-very convenient, that one)
5)Ceremony 12-inch
6)Confusion 12-inch
7)Thieves Like Us 12-inch
8)Perfect Kiss 12-inch
9)Brotherhood
10)Low Life

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 28 January 2005 14:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

'Power, Corruption and Lies' is easily my favorite. It captures the period of time between the band feeling the need to be one thing or another, and certainly their most jammy. I find it the least dated of their albums these days.

On "Krafty" - this track sounds like heavy mining of "Way of Life" with a lot of unnecessary production. This and the entirety of the last album would be a lot better if they didn't spend so much time slicking shit up.

Scott Warner (thream), Friday, 28 January 2005 15:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

PCL would be third after "brotherhood". or maybe fourth after "movement", which i got back into in a frightening way recently. there are three hewn-from-stone classic songs on PCL and one not-quite-there approximation of brilliance, but the rest leaves me ever so slightly cold.

which is probably the point.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Friday, 28 January 2005 16:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

My New Order Top 10 : (I like Scott's BTW) :

1. Movement
2. EGG 12" with Cries and Whispers and Mesh
3. Temptation 12"
4. Thieves Like Us/Lonesome Tonight 12"
5. Technique
6. Ceremony 7" (The 3-piece recording)
7. Power Corruption and Lies
8. Confusion 12"
9. Low Life
10. Blue Monday 12" orig pressing.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 28 January 2005 21:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

EGG

From the Omelette album.

Bernard:

"A single egg in the mixing bowl
A simple chance to keep me whole
A few more eggs are getting fried
I think you think that love has died."

*Hook bassline, combination Morris acoustic/electronic percussion, shimmering Gilbert synth*

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 28 January 2005 21:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ned: did you like "get ready"?

Oh yes, it's grand.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 28 January 2005 21:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Dr. C and Scott, I like your lists. I find it difficult to compare albums with singles, but I'll give this a shot: (I had to resist the temptation to include live recordings)

1. Technique
2. Round and Round 12" (Kevin Saunderson remixes OMG)
3. Ceremony 7"
4. Get Ready YEAH THAT'S RIGHT Get Ready
5. Regret (single + remixes)
6. Power, Corruption and Lies
7. Run2 12"
8. Peel Session #1
9. True Faith Remix 12"
10. Bizarre Love Triangle 12"

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Friday, 28 January 2005 21:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

If the "Omelette" single were on sale, I'd buy it right now.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 28 January 2005 21:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't really get the hate for Get Ready (aside from the album cover). Sure, Sumner's lyrics may not be as loose or at his best, per se.. and it being the most "rock" of the NO albums may be grains of sands in the shoes of those who discovered New Order via Substance or the dance floor. But the thing I liked most about it was its proximity (and i stress "proximity") to the feel of a lot of Brotherhood, especially tracks like "Weirdo" and "Way Of Life". Get Ready even ends on a relatively bare song..("Run Wild"). "Every Second Counts" and "Run Wild" are very different songs, of course.. but the density of the album reminds me the most of Brotherhood than any other NO album.

donut christ (donut), Friday, 28 January 2005 21:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, I've made that point before as well ... which is one of many reasons why I don't understand why "Get Ready" gets slagged off so much.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Friday, 28 January 2005 21:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Christgau said as much as in his review of "Get Ready." The album's one major flaw though ("GR" that is) is that Steve Osbourne's mix is too shiny, pristine, without any of Brotherhood's welcome murk. The mix also highlights the unpleasant fact that New Order has a lot of its dance pulse; the synth shimmers on the wonderful "Someone Like You" are the closest thing to classic NO dance.

Maybe Gillian was more essential than any of us realized at the time. I was always a fan of hers for punk rock reasons: we need a keyboardist? How 'bout my girlfriend? She can't play very well, but we'll teach her!

Now I'm curious about the extent of her contributions beyond arrangements.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 28 January 2005 22:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Not my fave New Order album (i refuse to choose between Low-Life and Technique). But they are my favourite band and i saw them live in Dundee just a few months after Brotherhood came out. Luckily they played the best tracks from it (Paradise, Weirdo, Angel Dust & BLT) that night.

The drum into of Paradise sound exactly like the drum intro of Pixies "Bone Machine"

Neil FC (Neil FC), Friday, 28 January 2005 23:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

BLT = a Bacon Lettuce & Tomato sandwich, of course.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Saturday, 29 January 2005 02:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"I don't believe in reinsandwichination because I refuse to come back as bacon or a tomato!"

"You know, you're a real 'lettuce' person."

donut christ (donut), Saturday, 29 January 2005 02:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on mayonaise.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 29 January 2005 02:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Has there ever been a five-album run, in one single decade, by any band, that's remotely comparable to Movement, Power Corruption and Lies, Low-Life, Brotherhood, and Technique? You know, to be honest, I can't rank them (well, I can, but the ranking will constantly change, so it's useless). I heard them in chronological order (not in some new order, ha ha, shut up), and each one made me happier than a roomful of puppies.

David A. (Davant), Saturday, 29 January 2005 03:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

In answer to your question, David A., I'd say, "Roxy Music"? Another amazing five album run.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 29 January 2005 03:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

TS: Roomful of Puppies vs. Roomful of Kittens vs. Roomful of Both

Bimble... (Bimble...), Saturday, 29 January 2005 03:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Add Unknown Pleasures and Closer to that run, though, and then it gets even better...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 29 January 2005 03:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Well, I'm listening to Brotherhood now, but alas...I can't explain why it just doesn't do much for me aside from "All Day Long". The album sounds forced to me, not quite genuine. Like they took all these ingredients of New Order and tried to make a salad out of it, but the end result is some plastic facsimile. It has moments though where it threatens to break out of the mediocre swamp - "As It Is When It Was" is fairly strong, and whatever was going on at the beginning and toward the end of "Way Of Life" that was so deliciously Joy Division-y, I wish they'd filled out the whole song with. Hooky does a bass break/solo toward the end of that song that is really interesting, but then they go back to the way the rest of the song is and whatever creative mine he just tapped is gone. Shame.

'exciting chase music for Sylvester Stallone cop drama 1986!' soundtracks which I admit is sorta pointless. Jan Hammer was cornering that market, let him do the job.

Ha ha ha, no kidding! Dare I mention Beverly Hills Cop or something?

Bimble... (Bimble...), Saturday, 29 January 2005 04:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

THAT ALBUM

Kevin John Bozelka, Saturday, 24 May 2008 18:18 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'm with scottw...something about PCL endures. "loose and jammy" - that's it. I would never have chosen it as my fave but it sounds better year after year. "Three miles to go..."

Bimble, Saturday, 24 May 2008 18:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

"We All Stand" sounds like an attempt at a looser version of 12-bar blues, updated for the New Romantic age.

I revived the thread precisely because I heard "Way of Life" and the live version of "As It Is..." found on the Retro set, the latter in particular sounding tighter and more forceful than I remembered.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 24 May 2008 18:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

i'm surprised by what i said above about this being my second-favourite new order album; i don't think i felt that way when we did our perennial rank-the-albums thing more recently.

also: i really don't ever remember digging out those peel session tracks! that i *must* do.

grimly fiendish, Saturday, 24 May 2008 22:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

i actually prefer Brotherhood, Technique and maybe even Republic over PCL

*ducks*

stephen, Saturday, 24 May 2008 22:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

republic is a beautiful, underrated album.

grimly fiendish, Saturday, 24 May 2008 22:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

Republic is just AWESOME

stephen, Saturday, 24 May 2008 22:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

Republic is an awesome Electronic album.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 24 May 2008 23:06 (ten years ago) Permalink

hah! if we're judging it on those terms, it's the best Electronic album

stephen, Saturday, 24 May 2008 23:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

by far

stephen, Saturday, 24 May 2008 23:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

... this seems as good a time as any to advance my unpopular and discredited theory that the first electronic album is in fact a perfect companion-piece to "technique".

grimly fiendish, Saturday, 24 May 2008 23:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

I won't disagree. The first Electronic album got met into New Order in the summer of '91.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 24 May 2008 23:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

ah, the summer of '91. bliss was it in that dawn to be alive ... actually, no, hang on, i was probably deeply mired in teenage angst.

still. great soundtrack for it.

grimly fiendish, Saturday, 24 May 2008 23:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

"Everyone Everywhere" and "Regret" notwithstanding, nothing on Republic's as good as "Get The Message," "Some Distant Memory," "Tighten Up," "The Patience of a Saint," "Getting Away With It," or "Reaction."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Sunday, 25 May 2008 00:05 (ten years ago) Permalink

Electronic played a set opening for Depeche out here in LA in 1990, a year before the album came out, and I'm pretty sure they did "Patience of a Saint" since Neil and Chris joined them on stage (they very definitely did do "Getting Away With It").

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 25 May 2008 00:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

Son of a gun, they did do it -- here's the tracklist for that first ever show:

http://www.mdmarchive.co.uk/archive/showartefact.php?aid=537&bid=332

And yes I bought a T-shirt which I still have, with a big pink slanted star on the front and a bit on the back near the top saying it was Electronic's first show anywhere etc.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 25 May 2008 00:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

nothing on Republic's as good as "Get The Message," "Some Distant Memory," "Tighten Up," "The Patience of a Saint," "Getting Away With It," or "Reaction."

"reaction"?

also: regardless of whether or not i agree (i don't) ... where's "gangster", one of barney's most gobsmacking moments? :)

grimly fiendish, Sunday, 25 May 2008 09:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

er, "Reality," not "Reaction."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Sunday, 25 May 2008 13:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

So the question is -- has the sound been improved by the remaster?

Ned Raggett, Monday, 8 December 2008 16:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

Not that I can hear.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 8 December 2008 16:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

hear hear

redmond, Monday, 8 December 2008 18:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

Now this is an album I can get behind. Granted, I haven't heard it in 10 years. But it's one of those albums I bought the week it came out. (I can remember the local music press slagging it off as "New Order sell out" or some such nonsense.)

I can never decide between this and LowLife though.

Sampling Potter's Nipples (Masonic Boom), Monday, 8 December 2008 18:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

Brotherhood >>>> Lowlife

baaderonixx, Tuesday, 9 December 2008 08:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

25 years old today!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 29 September 2011 16:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

http://www.xfm.co.uk/xfm-25-brotherhood-by-new-order

worth listening to

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 29 September 2011 16:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

Cool, thanks!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 29 September 2011 16:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

Never understood why even so many new order fans find this record somewhat mediocre, whereas I think it's their pinnacle. Listening to it again for first time in ages, when I got to this track, I started searching for the words to describe the effect this music has on me, without much success, although for some reason the phrase 'effortless grace' popped into my mind (during the wonderful last minute). Then I recalled there was an ancient ILM thread about Brotherhood, that I'd read once a decade ago, and reading it again, in reference to the very song Way of Life, I was amazed to see the following:

"Simple moments, simple songs but it all combines and recombines, and again, it's like...why NOT rock this way, with such grace and power all at once? So apparently effortless, like watching a massive airplane take off into the sunset with no extraneous noise and no exhaust."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahhx9MiHGmA

Campari G&T, Saturday, 28 July 2012 05:11 (six years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

You told me about yourself,
How you once lived with someone else
The way of life that you had tried
The way they hurt you deep inside
That's the only thing about it
I can't find anyone to doubt it
That's the only thing about it
I can't find anyone to doubt it
Who do you think you're talking to?
When I look at you I know you're lying
All you say and do
Seems to fall apart and leave you crying

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 2 February 2019 03:56 (two months ago) Permalink

Their last great album IMO

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 2 February 2019 04:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Nonsense

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 2 February 2019 08:17 (two months ago) Permalink

Brotherhood is pretty underrated but Technique is mostly just an even better version of it

ufo, Saturday, 2 February 2019 09:01 (two months ago) Permalink

As i posted waaay upthread aeons ago - "Technique" is fine but too in thrall to house music and Ecstasy. Not a bad album but also not entirely the New Order I knew and loved up til then.

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 2 February 2019 12:55 (two months ago) Permalink

I wasn't really into rolling snare fills with my melodicas.

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 2 February 2019 12:56 (two months ago) Permalink

"Fine Time" is the only track that's really like that and it's an endearing mess but not my favourite

it has a similar guitar-based and synth-based split to Brotherhood, they're just all mixed together instead of being one side guitars and one side synths

i'll take "Round & Round", "Mr. Disco", "Vanishing Point" and "Dream Attack" over Brotherhood side two (even though that has "Bizarre Love Triangle") and "All The Way", "Love Less" and "Run" are far better than Brotherhood side one

ufo, Saturday, 2 February 2019 13:10 (two months ago) Permalink

Brotherhood would have a better reputation if its production values were as pristine as Technique's.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 16:34 (two months ago) Permalink

"Technique" is fine but too in thrall to house music and Ecstasy. Not a bad album but also not entirely the New Order I knew and loved up til then.

thanks Geirbot

The Very Fugly Caterpillar (sic), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 19:00 (two months ago) Permalink

how can the album be in thrall to house music and Ecstasy when five tracks are rock songs? Unless you meant house and Ecstasy brought them to their songwriting peak.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 20:37 (two months ago) Permalink

All Day Long is probably the best NO track in my dumb opinion. I haven't heard anything that sounds quite like that one.

frogbs, Tuesday, 5 February 2019 21:11 (two months ago) Permalink

"Your Silent Face" does something similar imo

Number None, Tuesday, 5 February 2019 22:39 (two months ago) Permalink

very true

frogbs, Tuesday, 5 February 2019 22:40 (two months ago) Permalink

"All the Way" too.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 22:47 (two months ago) Permalink

"Technique" is fine but too in thrall to house music and Ecstasy. Not a bad album but also not entirely the New Order I knew and loved up til then.

thanks Geirbot

― The Very Fugly Caterpillar (sic), Tuesday, February 5, 2019 2:00 PM (three hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Nice try but ... nah.

Alfred - I feel those influences blanded out their sound somehow. All the interviews I remember from that time talked of endless partying in Ibiza and the influence of the cool new stuff they'd been hearing when they went out to the island's clubs. I just heard - and hear - a glossy record missing the roughness and fire of the releases that led up to it. Sorry folks, I don't really like my New Order slick.

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 23:04 (two months ago) Permalink

so you don't like slick and glossy?

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 23:41 (two months ago) Permalink

Not with New Order, no.

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:20 (two months ago) Permalink

the New Order albums i'm not down w/as much are Get Ready and WFTSC. Music Complete brought me back, moreso after seeing the songs performed live.

omar little, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:37 (two months ago) Permalink

and they still are! Lots of them!

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:59 (two months ago) Permalink

I have a strange relationship with this album. I think back when I got it I was aware that it was the highest Xgau rated New Order album besides "Substance" (maybe he gave it an A?), but it's probably the one I went back to the least when I had them all. Not bad, definitely a good record, sounds a bit like a computer built out of cardboard.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 01:05 (two months ago) Permalink

nah I love it and I love its rough sound; it wasn't deliberate, but it reassured the rockists worried that after PCL and LL they'd moved too close to the dance floor. It was the last classic-era album I bought in 1992, and it shocked me with its guitar-bass-drums base.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 February 2019 01:08 (two months ago) Permalink

According to Wikipedia, Bizarre Love Triangle didn't chart in either the UK or the US - although my memory was that it was everywhere at the time!

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 01:42 (two months ago) Permalink

In Miami the Shep Pettibone remix was a part of life from 1987-1993. Then after the Frente! revival I heard a different remix. But, yes, it was not an official single.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 February 2019 01:43 (two months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.