New Order – Low-Life (1985) – Lp
New Order are an English electronic dance music band formed in 1980, currently consisting of founding members Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, alongside newer members Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman.
Artist: New Order
Title: Low Life
Label: Factory Records
Catalog# FBN 100
“Low-Life” is the third studio album by English rock band New Order. Released in May 1985 by Factory Records, “Low-Life” is considered to be among New Order’s strongest work, displaying the moment in which the band completed its transformation from post-punk hold-overs to dance rock.
The album shows New Order’s increased incorporation of synthesizers and samplers, while still preserving the rock aspects of their earlier work. The album was preceded by the release of the full-length version of “The Perfect Kiss” as a single (only an edited version appears on the album).
The point where the band’s fusion of rock and electronics became seamless, it showed the bandmembers having it every way they wanted: heavily sequenced and synthesized, but with bravura work from Bernard Sumner’s guitar and Peter Hook’s plaintive, melodic bass; filled with hummable pop songs, but still experimental as far as how the productions were achieved. The melodica-led pop song “Love Vigilantes” was the opener, nearly identical as a standout first track to “Age of Consent” from “Power, Corruption & Lies”.
Even as more and more synth-heavy groups like Eurythmics and Pet Shop Boys began approaching New Order’s expertise with the proper care of electronics in pop music, the band still sounded like none other. “This Time of Night” and “Elegia” evoked the dark, nocturnal mood of the album’s title and artwork, but none could call them mopey when they pushed as hard as they did on “Sunrise.”
Only “Sub-Culture”, tucked in at the end, has the feel of a lost opportunity; remixed for a single release, it became much better.
The songs on this album formed the basis of New Order’s live concert video, “Pumped Full of Drugs”, filmed in Tokyo shortly before the album’s release. The track “This Time of Night” was originally titled “Pumped Full of Drugs”.
1. Love Vigilantes (4:20)
2. The Perfect Kiss (4:49)
3. This Time Of Night (4:45)
4. Sunrise (6:02)
1. Elegia (4:55)
2. Sooner Than You Think (5:13)
3. Sub-culture (4:58)
4. Face Up (5:07)