What? With darkly-toned synthesizers and sharp melodies, '80s new-wave legends New Order have influenced scores of bands from the Smashing Pumpkins to the Killers. And for nearly thirty years, Bernard Sumner (singer/guitarist), Peter Hook (bassist), and Stephen Morris (percussion) have produced moody, magnificent electro-pop that's as ready for the dance floor as it is for solitary brooding. Today, Rhino reissues the band's first five albums: Movement (1981), Power, Corruption & Lies (1983), Low-Life (1985), Brotherhood (1986), and Substance (1987). For those who need an introduction to New Order, these records are a perfect starting point. For those familiar with the band's work, the reissues are loaded with enough remixes and extended cuts to keep fans intrigued for at least another three decades.
Who? Formed in 1980 from the ashes of Joy Division after bandleader Ian Curtis committed suicide, New Order were a key player in Manchester's Factory Records club scene (Morris' 23-minute instrumental piece "Video 586" opened the infamous Hacienda). The band have spent the majority of their career experimenting with dance sounds, which were fully realized with their second album, Power, Corruption & Lies, and its mega hit "Blue Monday." From there the dance-pop hits kept coming, including "Temptation" and "Bizarre Love Triangle." After a hiatus from 1993-1998, New Order reunited and released Get Ready in 2001 and the underrated Waiting for the Sirens' Call in 2005. In May 2007, Hook left the band and claimed that New Order were kaput. But according to Morris and Sumner, the group will continue on.
Fun Fact: Since reforming, New Order have collaborated with a diverse array of artists, such as the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan ("Turn My Way," Get Ready), Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie ("Rock the Shack," Get Ready), and the Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic ("Jetstream," Waiting for the Sirens' Call).
Listen: New Order, "Blue Monday"