New Order formed in 1980 after the end of Joy Division, the iconic band tragically coming to a close with singer Ian Curtis’ tragic suicide. Despite their shaky beginnings, the former members of Joy Division, joined by Gillian Gilbert on keyboard and guitar, went on to produce iconic music ever since.
One of New Order’s most popular and recognisable songs is ‘Blue Monday’, which has gotten the treatment of countless remixes, film and TV features, and plenty of radio play. And while some people might know the history of ‘Blue Monday’, it’s not always entirely clear what drove it to such popularity.
The synth-pop alternative song comes in with a heavy, recognisable beat and bass. The song made the top ten in plenty of countries. However, in the UK, the song stalled at number nine, but it did spend 38 weeks in the top 75. One of the attractive features is the fact that it was released as a 12-inch single. Because of this, it was easy for DJs to spin, and for people to easily throw on.
However, New Order have so many other songs that shine aside from ‘Blue Monday’ with a long history of producing music up to this day. Whether you’re itching to learn more of their music because you simply love ‘Blue Monday’ or you’re ready to hit skip, we’ve got you.
The ten of New Order’s best songs that aren’t ‘Blue Monday’:
10. ‘The Perfect Kiss’
If you want to stay on the wave of beat-driven, incredibly long tracks a la ‘Blue Monday’, please see ‘The Perfect Kiss’ to give you exactly what you’re looking for. With the unique synth and heavy bass, this could easily serve a similar purpose as ‘Blue Monday’.
Clocking in at nearly 11 minutes, there are shorter versions available, but the full track gives you time and space to dance and get lost in the music.
9. ‘Ruined In a Day’
This slowed-down, slightly darker take on New Order’s sound could use a little more attention. From the guitar strumming in the background to the slightly more natural percussion, this one almost speaks to their early days, even while being produced a good decade into their career.
You can definitely hear the 1990s influence in this one, making it a unique choice and a great addition to your New Order playlist. It’s the kind of song that shows not only the band’s dexterity but their passionate drive for creativity.
This song is drenched in the candour of overtly 1980s vibes, which is a perfect fit for New Order. This could make its way onto a number of B-horror movie soundtracks or simply keep its place as another unique, chorus-backed electro-alternative song.
Even though this isn’t among their most popular songs, it’s definitely catchy and has a great beat to it that’ll make you want to hit repeat. It’s the kind of track that can infiltrate a party and turn it into a weekender.
This is one of their signature unique beats, melodies, and tones that are just unmistakable. The thing with New Order is that their songs never run the risk of sounding the same, and ‘Temptation’ makes that clear.
‘Temptation’ is an underappreciated song in the grand scheme of things, and it definitely deserves a little more love if only for how expertly it shows the band’s inherent talent. “Producing ourselves we get more satisfaction,” frontman Bernard Sumner told The Face in 1983. “We know what we want and we can do it. With Martin, the songs often turned out different, sometimes better, sometimes not.”
6. ‘Vanishing Point’
If you want heavy beats and dark synth-pop with an alternative edge, meet the kid sister of ‘Blue Monday’. The nostalgic minor key and unique melody twist this into one of the perfect wild dance songs with a little something special.
The vocals are just as haunting as they are unique, making ‘Vanishing Point’ an unforgettable jam. The song also sees perhaps one of New Order’s finest choruses: “My life ain’t no holiday, I’ve been through the point of no return. I’ve seen what a man can do; I’ve seen all the hate of a woman too”
Utilising a more alternative-rock angle with a straightforward bassline and clear guitar, this song is a slightly Cure-flavoured intermission from some of their more danceable songs is bound to take up a little room in their best songs list.
Yes, there’s still a decent amount of synth there, in true New Order fashion, but there’s something a little unique about this one, even alongside the rest of their catalogue, the track shines brightly as a definitive anthem of the decade.
4. ‘Thieves Like Us’
This song has that quintessential ’80s sound that people love New Order for. It goes heavy on the synth and even brings in a little bit of disco inspiration. The long-running instrumental gives it a lengthy intro, but plenty more time to dance!
‘Thieves Like Us’ fits in perfectly with New Order’s discography pulsing with electronica and driving forward a hummable groove that feels both pertinent and powerful.
3. ‘True Faith’
Getting a little more popular now, ‘True Faith’ is another iconic song of theirs. The unique beat, catchy lyrics, and synth-pop moveability are enough to make this song a fan favourite. If you’re not a consistent New Order fan, this one might be new to you, and if so, what a discovery to make.
This one isn’t a deep cut by any means, in fact, we’d lay a hefty bet that this is the one New Order song your grandmother knows. But there’s still something truly enrapturing about ‘True Faith’. Plus, it has one of the pioneering music videos of the age.
2. ‘Age of Consent’
‘Age of Consent’ is one of their best, hands down. Again, one of their most popular tracks, there’s a uniqueness to the songwriting quality and delivery that just drives it home.
It’s very, very hard for this song to get old. It’s just so charming delicate and timeless, that the track is consistently used within cinema. Consistently played by the band throughout their on-stage career, ‘Age of Consent’ will become a defining anthem for the group and the generations who heard it.
1. ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’
Though it might be one of the more obvious choices, ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ puts up a fight to stand as New Order’s best song. “‘BLT’ was written very quickly and is a standout track on the album,” said bassist Peter Hook when discussing the conflicted number.
It’s fun, inventive, complex, and entirely unique. It’s a melody you can recognise anywhere, whether you’ve heard it once or a thousand times before. But where it really excels is in delivering a seemingly simplistic tune with a deeply complex message. If that’s not New Order’s blueprint, then we’re not sure what is.