And then, three long years between Brotherhood and Technique, an uncharacteristic thing for a band that — if you counted Joy Divsion & the singles comps (fair, because they collected non-album songs) — had released 10 albums worth of studio material in their first decade.
Incredibly prolific. Until they weren’t. Which is normally how it happens, I guess. I mean, except for Robert Pollard, of course. The irony is that — because of the success of 1987’s Substance singles comp, as well as their ongoing onslaught of singles — New Order was getting ever more successful even as their music-making was slowing down.
And so when Technique was dropped, it became their highest-charting album to date, going to #1 in the U.K. and scraping the U.S. top 32. But it left me kinda cold. Maybe because 1989 was a weird year for me musically: we started Sedan Delivery and I quit KFSR, and those were either the causes or the symptoms or me feeling disconnected from the music scene for the first time since I first connected with it.
Or maybe it was that Technique was just OK. It was the first time I felt routine in their music, the first time I didn’t learn anything new from their music, and — crucially — the first time that all of the dance-oriented songs left me cold and most of the rock songs left me unexcited.
There were some exceptions, of course: “All The Way” featured a really cool organ solo, “Love Less” had a pretty chorus that I couldn’t quite identify, and “Run” was just a straight-up classic-sounding New Order song, combining Hook’s still-startling bass runs and an brightly fuzzy guitar solo from Sumner, making it the best song on the album by default.
This all seems harsher than I’d like: “Run” was good enough that New Order released it as a single — shortened, remixed and retitled “Run 2,” — but it totally stiffed on both sides of the pond, because by this point it was the first non-dance single they’d released since “Ceremony,” and as such, was far too off-brand to connect. In any event, it would be another four years before they released another album, and another dozen before they released a good one.
“Run” Official Music Video (single version)
“Run” performed live in 1989
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page