On January 30th, 1989 New Order released their fifth studio album Technique. The album included the singles “Fine Time”, “Round & Round” and “Run”.
Published at the end of the 80s, the takes up the influence of Madchester, to which New Order contributed massively. After the band founded the Haçienda night club with Factory Records, bands like Happy Mondays emerged, fooling around with Acid House-, Electronica- and Post Punk influences—all heavily influenced by New Order.
Being a “veteran” band, being around for nine years, it was the group’s duty to display that they’re still the best in the game they invented.
Audibly, the New Order lightened up their sound after their bleak previous recordings. While Brotherhood‘s, and especially Low-Life‘s, danceability was overshadowed by a considerable amount of darkness, the first single on Technique, “Fine Time”, showed a different side of the band—with smiles not as sardonic as they used to be!
And apparently it worked very well, considering that the heavily Acid House fueled track, drenched in Ibizan happiness, peaked No 1 in the UK Indie Charts, and the follow-up single “Round and Round” peaked No 2. All in all, a highly successful deal.
But as Technique marked the end of the 80s for New Order, it was also the last album they released on Factory Records before the label went bankrupt. As Tony Wilson, an excellent talent scout but not so much so businessman, faced growing financial issues, Factory Records was no more by the end of 1992, after the highly anticipated fourth album of New Order’s label mates Happy Mondays turned out to be a miserable failure.
As the success of New Order wasn’t big enough to cover this up (the singles compilation Substance saved had Factory in the late 80s), the collapse of the label was just a matter of time, and New Order, who moved on to London Records, who published their 1993 follow up record, Republic, which was their last album until 2001.
Certainly, Technique has a very unique position in New Order’s discography. Not exactly being as good as the band’s all-time classics Power, Corruption and Lies or Low-Life, it makes excellent sense in context. Possibly, this might be the kind of album New Order always aimed to create, and the influence of the contemporary Ibiza club music certainly re-shaped the band’s sound.