Band: New Order
Album: Low-Life
Year: 1985
Label: Factory Records
Status: Still going
Despite the optimism of a new day and all the possibilities it holds, this is a song of despair and cynicism. Are its accusations aimed at God? The insubstantial? Ian Curtis? A lover? New Order are as ambiguous as ever. But it’s clear this song (which, appropriately, follows This Time Of Night) shows New Order totally in control of rising mood and power, from the ominous funereal opening chords to the classic catchy guitar riffs.

Just as sunrise separates night from day, this, their third album, is seen as their transition into a mature form of their sound with more electronic synth and dance built into their tracks. Transitions are always worth exploring, those times when something changes forever. Maybe that’s why this is the only New Order album with photos of the band members – in the CD version you can swap photos and choose which band member graces the cover.
How you deal with the transition says a lot about you. New Order were still on the rise: the year after this album’s release they headlined a G-Mex music festival (Tenth Summer), playing alongside The Fall and The Smiths. It’s no surprise that in 1990 the band went on to record the official England football team’s World Cup song (World In Motion: a #1 hit) which retained some quality despite the association with football.

Extract from page 128 of 2000 Tunes: A History of Manchester Music by M. H. Rees; used with permission. Read the whole series (25 extracts) here; or my summary post. Readers might be interested in my forthcoming novel about a man obsessed with Manchester music - confusingly, it is also called 2000 Tunes!