PETER HOOK and the LIGHT – ” Perform New Order’s ‘Technique’ and ‘Republic’ Plus Opening with a Joy Division Set “

Posted: September 2, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Having successfully toured the albums from Hooky’s previous bands for over eight years now, Peter Hook & the Light  have now reached the late eighties and early nineties albums of new order, “Technique” and “Republic” in their consecutive run and have announced a raft of new concert dates.

As has become their custom, all dates feature the Light performing an opening set of Joy Division material. 

‘Technique’, New Order’s fifth studio album chronicles the impact of acid house on the band, marking the clearest statement of the rock and dance influences which were shaping their output. released in january 1989, just after the bands infamous G-mex gig and aftershow downstairs at the Hacienda in december the previous year, it became New Order’s first album to go to number one in the UK. it was also hugely successful in the united states where the influence of Quincy Jones’ Qwest label regularly got the band’s singles to the top of the american dance charts, ‘Technique’ was driven by the classic acid house single “fine time” which rivals “Blue Monday” as probably the most openly dance orientated record the group ever produced whilst other tracks on the lp “Round and Round”, “Mr disco” and “Vanishing Point” also reflect the dance sensibilities then fusing their way into New Order’s sound. yet like on its predecessor, “Brotherhood”, these are balanced by the vocal led, more rock leaning “All the Way”, “Gulity Partner” and “Run”.

legendarily recorded in ibiza in 1988, ‘Technique’ has often been observed to capture the sound of that summer and the heady period back them both on the island and in the uk and of course, Manchester. as is widely known, the band didn’t actually do much work in ibiza, a jaunt that Factory label boss Tony Wilson once told Peter Hook “was the most expensive f*cking holiday you’ve ever been on”. the band returned to the UK to finish the lp at Bath’s Real World studios later in 1988, itself the scene of another legendary New Order party when recording was completed.

In many ways, ‘Technique’ epitomised its time and the culture surrounding it. it came out to generally ecstatic reviews from the top notch echelons of the music press. in the uk, melody maker called it “a rare and ravishing triumph” whilst nme proclaimed the band “had fashioned an lp of rare and unflinching honesty”. across in the states, spin called it New Order’s best ever album, rolling stone referred to its “sonic presence with immaculate playing” and pitchfork sum up the album simply as “magnificent.”

“placed in the perfect position to deliver the definitive alternative take on house music, the band produced another classic record” – all music

Many consider ‘Technique’ to mark the high point of New Order and as they went on from the album to headline Reading festival in august 1989, before going on hiatus and also pursuing their solo projects, this is generally thought of as the golden period for the band.

due to the well documented history surrounding ‘Republic’, it is remarkably difficult to characterise it as sharing the same sunny outlook as ‘Technique’ but Hooky’s decision to include it in these concerts underline his commitment to perform all of his catalogue that he has committed to record. Not that ‘Republic’ wasn’t hugely successful. again it went to number one in the UK and became the band’s biggest ever selling album in america, narrowly missing the billboard album chart top ten peaking at number 11.

however it is not unknown that it was new order’s most difficult album to make. Factory records had hit financial trouble and needed a new order album to bail themselves out so the band were coerced into recording the album in to save Factory. something that didn’t entirely work out as Factory was then to go bankrupt in november 1992 and New Order then signed to London Records, an offshoot of warner bros with ‘republic’ released in may 1993.

The band roared back with first single “Regret”, still thought of as one of their finest ever, and subsequent singles “Ruined in a Day” and “World” did well, both in their original versions and as remixes which again dominated the dance charts.

It’s not hard to deduce that the demise of Factory, coupled with the ongoing difficulties surrounding the band’s involvement in Manchester’s Hacienda as well as internal friction within New Order and due to the band members’ solo projects, all had an impact on the recording sessions and mood that lies behind “republic, something that Stephen Hague did his utmost to assuage in producing the lp.

Still considered a worthwhile addition by fans to New Order’s catalogue, yet, if not perhaps hitting the standards they had previously set for themselves, ‘Republic’ did receive some strong reviews. nme’s dele fadele awarded it 8/10 on release whilst all music commented that “‘Republic’ simply borrows elements of contemporary innovations in club music to frame a set of effortlessly enjoyable alternative pop songs.”

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