As a founding member of Joy Division and New Order, Stephen Morris remains one of the most legendary drummers of all time. His work with Joy Division will see him in the annals of rock and roll history forever but it was with his next band, New Order, that Morris grew immeasurably.
Formed as a method for Morris, Bernard Sumner, and Peter Hook to continue the dream they had with Joy Division, a group which looked to have been extinguished with the suicide of their friend and lead singer Ian Curtis, when Gillian Gilbert joined the band, New Order were a complete setup and ready to change the musical landscape.
The band were frontrunners with the fusion of electronic music and rock and roll. Their albums would go on to create a space which would allow creativity to triumph over everything else. They moved rock and roll into a new sphere and they were proud to do it. In a feature with VICE, Morris revealed that maybe not all of those records resonate as proudly as they once did. As we revisit the ranking of New Order albums, it must be noted that there’s no inclusion of Music Complete, the band’s 2015 LP, so feel free to place that one wherever you like in the list.
1993’s Republic languishes in the last place as Morris says, “We shouldn’t have made it, really. We were making the record to keep the record company afloat and we were all just a bit jaded and a bit sick of the situation we found ourselves in that even though it was so bad we managed to write a song as good as ‘Regret’ which I think on an album like Republic is amazing really.”
The band’s first record following the death of Ian Curtis, also has a lowly position. Morris told VICE that it “was really hard to make. We were still naive and young and felt like we had something to prove but we didn’t know how to do it really. We were stuck in this situation where we knew we wanted to be a band and knew we wanted to write music but one of the key elements was gone. So we had to find a way to compensate.”
The ranking of your own records is never an easy feat to achieve but it feels like, all in all, Morris’ choices represent that of his fans. While many love Republic and others hate the top spot album Low-Life, which Morris liked because “that sleeve is perfect. Sumner has never bettered himself than that sleeve. It’s also got some good songs on it.” On the whole, it’s hard to disagree with his ranking.
Below is the Stephen Morris’ ranking New Order’s albums from worst to best.
New Order’s ranked in order of greatness:
9. Republic (1993)
8. Waiting for a Siren’s Call (2005)
7. Get Ready (2001)
6. Movement (1981)
5. Brotherhood (1986)
4. Technique (1989)
3. Substance (1987)
2. Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)
1. Low-Life (1985)
When discussing the band’s 2001 effort, Morris added: “I mean, Get Ready has a great track on it ‘Crystal’, great song. It was weird because our manager Rob Gretton died just before we did Get Ready and his absence is felt. Also when we recorded it I was personally going through a bit of a bad time with my father died and Gillian was also going through a bit of a bad time because it was just after Get Ready when her daughter got ill and she had to take a leave from the bad. But I’ll tell you, ‘Crystal’ is great, ‘Turn My Way’ the track that features Billy Corgan vocals, great songs. They’re great. It wasn’t that the actual recording experience was a bad one, but my personal head was in a funny space.”
Listen to that song and the rest of the material, below, and read the full article over at Vice.