On May 2nd, 1983, New Order released their second studio album, Power, Corruption & Lies. The record was named after the graffiti that artist Gerhard Richter spray painted on the exterior of the Kunsthalle during an exhibition in 1981. The on the album’s sleeve is a reproduction of the painting “A Basket of Roses” by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour, expertly chosen by the Factory Records Graphic Designer Peter Saville.
Heralded by the electronic sound that had been born of the late Ian Curtis’ introduction of Kraftwerk to his widowed bandmates, 1981’s Post-Joy Division album Movement continued to introduce more synthesizers to the compositions. However—Power, Corruption & Lies was the first LP (after several excellent electronic singles such as “Everything’s Gone Green”, ”Temptation”, and “Blue Monday”) to fully embrace the band’s new incarnation as New Order—and solidify Bernard Sumner as the new frontman.
In contrast, to the singles “Blue Monday” and “Confusion”, which were released around the same time in 1983, the electronic songs on Power, Corruption & Lies have a slightly slower tempo as if to partition them for home listening. This is evident on tracks such as the fantastic “Your Silent Face”, “Ultraviolence”, and “The Village”. It is also worth noting that the track “5 8 6” has a beat can almost seamlessly be transitioned to from “Blue Monday”.
Despite all of this, However—The best song on the record is definitely the classic Post-Punk opener: The whirling jangle-pop of “Age of Consent”.
Watch New Order’s appearance on the Riverside in 1983 (You can also watch their full “Play At Home” special here).
Interesting fact: Peter Saville‘s design for the album had a colour-based code to represent the band’s name and the title of the album, The decoder for the code was featured prominently on the album’s back cover of and can also be used for the “Blue Monday” and “Confusion” singles and for Section 25‘s album From the Hip (which was also produced by Sumner under New Order’s Be Music pseudonym).
Check out this live performance of “Age of Consent” from 1983.
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