NO TOTP

New Order, who I had so much difficulty making a Top Ten of last month, made several memorable appearances on Top Of The Pops. These used to be passed around on VHS cassettes, rapidly wearing out. Now, thanks to the wonders of Youtube they are preserved for eternity. Or until someone shuts off the internet permanently.

In 1983 they attempted to play their breakthrough moment Blue Monday live, a record that had taken them months to make in the studio using computers. Bernard struggling a little, Hooky playing metallic lead bass, the Emulator doing a load of the work.

A year later they were back doing the wonderful Thieves Like Us, again live.

True Faith in 1987, went top 3. A proper pop hit with Stephen Hague’s production and an eye-catching video. New Order never really looked like four members of the same band did they?

At this time ITV were trying to launch a rival weekly pop show, The Roxy. NO performed True Faith on it, Bernard wearing a Don’t Do Drugs T-shirt while singing a song about doing drugs. Note- this is Mancunian irony.

In 1989 New Order went to Ibiza to make an lp and came back with ‘some drum tracks and a guitar solo’. And a large bill. Technique, their last solid gold album, was trailed by a fine single called Fine Time , which sounded not much like New Order at all. On TOTP Bernard baffles 99% of the nation with his Bez dancing. Priceless.

From Technique, again in ’89, NO return to the TOTP studio with the majestic Round And Round. Well Balearic.

Then they split for a while, fed up with each other, and went off to do other stuff. In 1993 they put out what I think we agreed was their last ten-out-of-ten song, Regret. To promote this they appeared on TOTP live from the Baywatch set in sunny California. Back home- cue jaws dropping, some sniggering, some people a bit bemused and some wondering why NO did this utterly uncool thing, surrounded by girls in bikinis playing volleyball. Seemed like a good idea at the time I guess. may also involve Mancunian irony.

Steady As She Goes

Jack White’s first go outside The White Stripes was in The Raconteurs, which didn’t in the end do too much for me- I loved the first single (Steady As She Goes) but the album was full of my less favourite aspects of the mid 1970s- time changes, guitar soloing, pop balladeering. This version of Steady As She Goes was done for a Radio 2 session and re-works the song as a folkier, wheezier thing, less Zep more The Band.

Steady As She Goes (Radio 2 Session)