Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Mad World - Chapter 4

So, we should be back on track this week with Chapter 4 (even if the holiday threw my schedule off a bit). Chapter 4 deals with my #4 all-time favorite band, New Order.

While this is probably quintessentially known as the "ultimate" New Order song, I've never really cared for it. It was originally released in 1983, but was re-released in '88 when it became popular (which, incidentally, was also the year I graduated high school). During 1983, my tastes were more "New Romantic" (which New Order never was), and, in 1988, my tastes were much much darker. New Order aren't typically known as a "dark" band, but their lyrics can be quite so, even if the beat isn't.

My choice was more along the darker aspects of New Order. It was never released as a single (which is why there isn't a video and I had to go with an audio only option). Granted, it was still made up of that dance-level techno, but the lyrics were the level of dark I liked and hit a bit too close to home (as any influential song should). My Aspergers was full-blown by the late 80's and my OCD was completely out of control (and both were still undiagnosed at that point). I was trying so hard to "fit in" and be "normal" even though every fiber in my being didn't want to. But despite wanting to be completely isolated and alone (even though I didn't want to be lonely...there is a difference), everyone was screaming at me (not literally, but definitely figuratively) that I MUST be part of society. It's a strange dichotomy to want to be alone yet hating being alone. This song epitomizes that.

But, True Faith is the song that has become my New Order mantra song as the years have gone by. "When I was a very small boy, very small boys talked to me, now that we've grown up together, they're afraid of what they see"...story of my life (well, not the boy part obviously). As children, there were no popular kids or nerds or weirdos or geeks, we were all just kids. Yes, I was still weird then and my issues were just starting to manifest, but it didn't matter to the other little kids. As we got older, it mattered...a lot, especially in those pesky teen years. Even today, it still matters to others, I've just learned not to obsess about how others see me and it's made my life so much better (although I still have bad moments). But this song was the one that really made New Order massively popular (a curse that ruined all the greats). The video was played all the time on MTV and I can remember the kids at school finally starting to dip their toes into my musical pond at this point (much to my chagrin).

New Order have been off and on for years. I've kept up with them all, at least all of the ones with Bernard Sumpter involved. He went off and did a "super-group" with Johnny Marr from the Smiths and with a little help from Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe from the Pet Shop Boys (called, aptly enough, Electronic), and, to me, it was more of a New Order sound than the later New Order albums (even though the Electronic albums (yes, there was more than one) were mostly done in the late 80's, early 90's). So, as this Chapter's bonus (and since it didn't make the book and should be included)...

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