Move over, ‘Blue Monday’. Seriously, why was that hit track the primary bop of the ages to come from New Order and not ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’? Of course, the fan favourite does have its danceability and unique beat, but let’s be honest, ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ lives in a league of its own.
It might come as a surprise that the song didn’t even chart in the UK or the US upon its initial release, technically making it a commercial flop, but there is so much to love and admire in this 1986 release. The melody alone is indefinably unique—almost magical.
When it comes to the creation of the song itself, and the album Brotherhood as a whole, Peter Hook of New Order said that each side contained its own distinct style. “The first being quite rock-y acoustic tracks, and the second being more electronic-based,” he explained. This inspired the band to take a song they’d been toying with for quite some time and transform it into what would eventually become ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ by the time it made its way onto the record.
In fact, it seems the entirety of the song’s lyrics were simply an afterthought, as they prioritised the sound and the melody on this track over all else. While the lyrics remain captivating and match the melody in perfect harmony, they seem to do the work of supporting the efforts of the song itself, but do so in subtle and defining style.
‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ has so many moving parts, and even though plenty of musicians take the approach of “less is more”, New Order knew when it was time to pile on instrumentals and synth. The key is that every piece of this puzzle has a purpose. It has a distinct sound and job that it does in order to make the song what it is, and there’s a unique beauty in that.
When it comes to the songwriting itself, the melody has a pattern that had never been dreamt up before in a world where true originality is hard to find. ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ is one of New Order’s most popular songs, even if it didn’t achieve the same notoriety as a certain other track that everyone knows them for. Take a listen down below to enjoy this masterpiece from New Order.