New Order “Get Ready”

 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#767 in the series) is New Order, Get Ready

In the early 80’s I sometimes was overwhelmed with the idea of how much undiscovered music there was. New Order was more underground and sub-culture back then, even though the mix of rock and dance music did become big and certainly New Order gained fame and popularity as years went by. But it was not with their best songs and tracks, like “Your Silent Face,” one of my favorite songs of all time, went largely unheard. The reason I bring this up is the same is true of this almost forgotten release from 2001. I forgot about it myself and couldn’t find the disc for years, when I discovered I had put it in a Five for Fighting jewel case by mistake. But this one that you should listen to if you have not, because even though it is not their most popular record, I think it is one the best.

The sound of the band was always heavy synthesizer, techno, rock, dance but well written and smartly mixed that produces a unique sound that is heavy on bass, drums and to my chagrin drum machines. (I saw them live twice, first time the show was short and not good, and they didn’t even have a drummer and you couldn’t tell what was on tape and what was being played, the second in 1987 they played an outdoor theater and Echo and the Bunnymen opened. There was a huge thunderstorm and the power went out twice, once in the middle of an Echo song, and when power came back on, Ian McCulloch said, “Fuck it, let’s do ‘Thorn Of Crowns. ‘” It was awesome.

By contrast New Order did not handle the interruption quite so well, not knowing  where they were in song or set, unsure of what was happening with the taped background music). Despite the poor concert experiences, I still love a lot of their music and this was a comeback record for them, their first release in 8 years.  The cover features German actress Nicollete Krebitz, though it could easily be mistaken for a picture of a teenage boy struggling with androgyny (picture the kid from the movie ”Dazed and Confused” who played the younger brother, looks more girl than boy).

The title Get Ready is a lot like so many of the bands lyrics, and even bass player Peter Hook admits, “it could mean anything or it could mean nothing.” (what is Total Mass Retain mean?).  But in this case it did mean the band was getting ready to start a new phase of their musical lives. They were reuniting at the suggestion of longtime producer Bob Gretton who was the Joy Division manager and was portrayed in the terrific underground movie “24 Hour Party People”. Sadly Gretton died at age 46 of a heart attack before this record was finished and it is dedicated to him. If you are going to go out and get this record, I suggest listening to the last track first, “Run Wild” a gorgeous ballad with some odd lyrics, then the catchy, “Slow Jam”  which is a cool  and clever rock song, the kind you should hear and the radio but never will. After that, go back to the start and listen to them all because they flow pretty well with a guitar heavy sound that could be playing as a soundtrack to any television show or movie in a club scene. Other highlights are “Turn My Way” co-written by Billy Corgan that features him on backing vocals (just barely though), and an off-beat as well as off-key odd number called “Rock the Shack.”

This is 51 minutes and 10 songs of some quality music. The synthesizers and bass are still prominent and the drums are fast and hard and sometimes machine produced, but there is more guitar featured on this record than any other by New Order. I can’t say I like everything they ever did, but the stuff I did like I actually love and this is such an album. I think it is cool.

— John Driscoll, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Gilbert/Hook/Morris/Sumner.

  1. “Crystal” – 6:51
  2. “60 Miles an Hour” – 4:34
  3. “Turn My Way” (featuring Billy Corgan) – 5:05
  4. “Vicious Streak” – 5:40
  5. “Primitive Notion” – 5:43
  6. “Slow Jam” – 4:53
  7. “Rock the Shack” (featuring Bobby Gillespie) – 4:12
  8. “Someone Like You” – 5:42
  9. “Close Range” – 4:13
  10. “Run Wild” – 3:57

Personnel

  • Bernard Sumner – vocals, guitars, synthesisers and programming, melodica
  • Gillian Gilbert – synthesizers and programming, guitars
  • Peter Hook – 4 and 6-stringed bass, synthesisers and programming
  • Stephen Morris – drums, synthesisers and programming

Related Links

Give it a listen below…

OR!!! Listen to the album in the song order that John suggests in his piece!

Posted by Larry Carta


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