103 - Lowlife by New Order 1985
New Order almost didn't make the list as by far their best lp is the compilation of their 12" singles Substance. However, I remembered the reverential way me and my friends gathered in someone's bedroom to listen to the new lp. The sleeve was a thing of beauty, the stark photos (featured as the band were badgered to become more accessible) the tracing paper cover sleeve , the complete lack of words. As a result we all stared intently at the record player speaker trying to find clues.
With New order the clues were always impossible or easy to find depending on your view as Barney Sumner's stream of consciousness lyrics could switch from the profound to the ridiculous in the space of a line
We'd had a preview with the single Perfect Kiss and the first shock was that a version was on the lp as at the time New Order lps were single free
Supposedly about the death of Ian Curtis (but as usual with the lyrics who could tell)this was no Atmosphere this was a full on dancefloor celebration " Pretending not to see the Gun I Said Lets go out and have some fun".
This is the lp where they got the mix of indie guitar and dance music spot on , creating a template that 100s would try to copy.
The lp is bookended by 2 of the great singles that never were , Face Up and the ultimate indie ,cowboy dance song!
Love Vigilantes - New Order
Better was to come with the next single
"These crazy words of mine so wrong they could be right"
As ever the vocals are all over the place but I'd take this fragility and vulnerability over technical perfection any day
You can buy Lowlife here