379 to 50: #17 “True Faith” by New Order

New Order True Faith

Another band where it’s difficult to pick just one song for my 379 to 50 favourite tunes countdown: today it’s New Order and “True Faith”, their number 4 hit from 1987.

A consistently brilliant and massively influential act, there’s a huge array of both singles and album tracks I could have chosen, with “Temptation” and “Love Vigilantes” particularly close to selection.  However, ultimately it had to be “True Faith”, their joint signature tune along with “Blue Monday”. As it’s so familiar, “True Faith” can often be taken for granted these days, but it remains a terrific pop distillation of everything that makes New Order so essential – Steven Morris’ man/machine drum beats, Hooky’s churning bass, the song’s gorgeous crystalline melodies, all topped off with Barney’s wistful vocals.  “True Faith” was also the first New Order song I truly loved back in the day, so served as my initial personal key to their many rich treasures.

New Order photo

As a keen student of Top Of The Pops, one “True Faith” story that’s hard to understand is why New Order decided to play the song completely live on the show, especially after having technical problems when previously doing the same with Blue Monday in 1983 – as Steven Morris recalled “Blue Monday was never the easiest song to perform, anyway, and everything went wrong. The synthesisers went awry. It sounded awful”.  The “True Faith” TOTP performance is also far from a triumph, despite the fact New Order are a massively exhilarating band when playing live with a proper set-up.  By the time of 1993’s “Regret”, New Order went in a very different direction for their TOTP slot, miming on a Los Angeles beach in front of David Hasselhoff and assorted Baywatch extras, much more entertaining.  This occurred at a time when TOTP seemed oddly obsessed by “satellite link-ups” to the USA for some associated glamour, so a gang of pasty Manc indie ravers in jeans and leather trousers stage front surrounded by sun kissed, bikini-clad LA types playing volleyball is a suitably incongruent illustration of our respective Transatlantic differences.


New Order ticket


2 thoughts on “379 to 50: #17 “True Faith” by New Order

  1. Pingback: B100: #57 “Transmission” by Joy Division | No Longer Teenage Fan Club

  2. Pingback: Jumping Fences To Wichita: my 100 favourite songs | No Longer Teenage Fan Club

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