New Order, who pioneered the mash-up of Post-Punk and Electronica, created a new genre and influenced the direction of that new music for the better part of the 80s. They were a critically acclaimed band, even though much of their early incarnation was under the shadow of the former Joy Division and the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis, from which New Order resurrected themselves.
This is one of the earliest examples of the band during those formative years. This 1981 Glastonbury appearance still shows much of the influence Joy Division had over this new lineup. It wasn’t until some months later, when they went on a soul-search and emerged with a new and different approach did they finally break the spell and come into their own. Their 1983 single Blue Monday was the biggest selling 12-inch single of all time and it signaled a turning point, from the dark brooding atmosphere they were associated with to a more upbeat and accessible band.
Through various breakups, reunions, break-ups and further reunions with personnel changes, New Order have maintained that creative edge with their work and are still receiving critical as well as audience acclaim.
Maybe you know them from their later period, and may have forgotten this early incarnation of New Order. Here’s something to remind you of those early days and a band on the cusp of breaking big, but still finding their way.
Here is that Glastonbury appearance from 1981, even though you can hardly hear the audience, they’re there and they are enthusiastic.
And if, for some reason you aren’t familiar with this early version of New Order, check this concert out as a reminder of how bands evolve and how being influential doesn’t happen overnight.