Movement by New Order: The Electrifying Symphony of Post-Punk Revolution
Movement by New Order: The Electrifying Symphony of Post-Punk Revolution

Movement by New Order: The Electrifying Symphony of Post-Punk Revolution

Introduction: A Journey Begins

In the vast landscape of music history, certain albums shine brightly as beacons of innovation and creativity. One such masterpiece is “Movement” by New Order, a British band that emerged from the ashes of Joy Division, another influential post-punk group. Released in 1981, “Movement” marked a significant turning point in music, introducing a groundbreaking amalgamation of post-punk energy and the burgeoning electronic soundscape. This article takes you on a captivating voyage through the genesis of New Order, the making of “Movement,” and its lasting legacy in the realm of alternative and electronic music.

The Genesis of New Order

Before delving into the magnetic allure of “Movement,” it’s essential to understand the genesis of New Order. The band’s roots trace back to the late 1970s in Manchester, England. Joy Division, an enigmatic post-punk band, stood as one of the most prominent groups in the burgeoning scene. However, tragedy struck in 1980 when Joy Division’s lead vocalist, Ian Curtis, tragically took his own life.

Devastated by the loss of their friend and frontman, the remaining members of Joy Division—Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris—faced a defining moment. Instead of succumbing to grief, they chose to channel their emotions into creating something new and meaningful. Joined by keyboardist and guitarist Gillian Gilbert, the trio transformed into New Order, emerging like a phoenix from the ashes of their former selves.

The Evolution of “Movement”

As New Order took shape, their musical direction began to evolve. “Movement” came to life as the band’s debut studio album, but it wasn’t a complete departure from Joy Division’s haunting and melancholic sound. The album retained some of Joy Division’s characteristics, such as Sumner’s distinct baritone vocals and the resonating basslines of Peter Hook. However, “Movement” was a clear transition toward a more electronic and dance-oriented sound, foreshadowing the band’s groundbreaking future.

The album’s eight tracks were a reflection of the band’s turbulent emotional state during that period. Songs like “Dreams Never End” and “Truth” showcased the melancholic essence of Joy Division, while “Chosen Time” and “ICB” hinted at the impending electronic exploration. “Movement” served as a bridge, connecting the remnants of Joy Division with the uncharted territory of New Order’s musical voyage.

The Creative Process Behind “Movement”

Creating “Movement” was no easy task. The band faced immense pressure to both honor Joy Division’s legacy and establish their own identity as New Order. The studio became a melting pot of emotions and creativity, where the band members would often engage in passionate discussions about the direction their music should take.

One of the defining aspects of the creative process was the integration of electronic instruments and synthesizers. They were fascinated by the possibilities that these instruments offered, allowing them to expand their sonic palette beyond traditional rock instrumentation. It was during this period that Gillian Gilbert’s role as a keyboardist became crucial, contributing to the band’s distinct electronic sound.

The band’s collaboration with producer Stephen Hague was also pivotal. Hague’s expertise in electronic music and production techniques played a vital role in shaping the album’s overall sound. His guidance allowed New Order to fully embrace their experimental side and push the boundaries of what was possible in the early 1980s music scene.

“Movement” Unleashed: A Track-by-Track Exploration

  • “Dreams Never End”: The album opens with an ethereal soundscape, where Bernard Sumner’s soulful vocals intertwine with delicate guitar riffs and electronic pulses. The lyrics, a poignant reflection on life’s uncertainties, serve as a tribute to Joy Division’s past while paving the way for New Order’s future.
  • “Truth”: Embracing their post-punk roots, “Truth” delves into themes of personal struggles and emotional conflicts. Peter Hook’s signature bassline dominates the track, providing a captivating rhythm that complements Sumner’s evocative vocals.
  • “Senses”: This track marks a notable shift toward electronic experimentation. Gillian Gilbert’s synthesizers take center stage, creating an otherworldly atmosphere that carries listeners on a captivating sonic journey.
  • “Chosen Time”: With its upbeat tempo and infectious melody, “Chosen Time” embodies the new direction New Order was pursuing. The song’s energy and danceability foreshadow the band’s future success in the electronic and dance genres.
  • “ICB”: Short for “International Couriers Business”, but universally taken to really mean Ian Curtis Buried this track is a poignant homage to Ian Curtis, conveying emotions that words could never fully express.
  • “The Him”: “The Him” is an enigmatic and atmospheric track, luring listeners into a dreamscape of ambient sounds and intricate synth arrangements. It serves as a testament to New Order’s growing prowess in crafting electronic symphonies.
  • “Doubts Even Here”: Lyrically intense and musically intricate, “Doubts Even Here” delves into themes of inner conflict and uncertainty. The fusion of rock and electronic elements weaves a mesmerizing tapestry of sound.
  • “Denial”: Closing the album with a burst of energy, “Denial” encapsulates New Order’s newfound creative direction. Driving rhythms, synth-laden hooks, and Sumner’s evocative voice unite to create a powerful and memorable finale.

The Impact of “Movement”

Upon its release, “Movement” received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised the band’s ambition and the album’s experimentation, while others longed for a more definitive departure from Joy Division’s shadow. Despite the initial reception, “Movement” laid the groundwork for New Order’s legendary career and the subsequent rise of electronic and dance music.

In hindsight, “Movement” is now celebrated as a groundbreaking album that bridged the gap between post-punk and the emerging electronic scene. It served as a blueprint for the band’s future success, setting the stage for their subsequent albums to achieve greater recognition and commercial acclaim.

The fusion of electronic and traditional rock elements within “Movement” left a profound impact on the music industry. It inspired countless musicians and bands to explore the uncharted territory of electronic music, leading to the rise of alternative and dance genres that continue to thrive to this day.

The Evolution of New Order

In the wake of “Movement,” New Order’s evolution continued to flourish. The band embraced their electronic inclinations, giving rise to a series of seminal albums that solidified their status as pioneers of alternative and dance music.

  • “Power, Corruption & Lies” (1983): This album marked a pivotal moment for New Order, as they fully embraced their electronic destiny. Tracks like “Blue Monday” and “Age of Consent” showcased the band’s newfound electronic expertise, propelling them into the mainstream and becoming iconic anthems.
  • “Low-Life” (1985): With “Low-Life,” New Order solidified their position as one of the most innovative bands of the 1980s. The album displayed a perfect balance between rock and electronic elements, creating a unique and memorable sonic experience.
  • “Brotherhood” (1986): Continuing their sonic exploration, “Brotherhood” further exemplified New Order’s ability to seamlessly blend genres. From the mesmerizing “Bizarre Love Triangle” to the introspective “All Day Long,” the album showcased the band’s maturation as songwriters.
  • “Technique” (1989): As the 1980s drew to a close, New Order released “Technique,” a triumph of dance-oriented alternative music. The album’s pulsating beats and euphoric melodies cemented its place as a dancefloor favorite, solidifying the band’s impact on the electronic music scene.

New Order’s Enduring Legacy

Throughout their career, New Order’s music became synonymous with innovation and artistic excellence. Their seamless fusion of post-punk, new wave, and electronic sounds not only inspired a generation of musicians but also transformed the way people experienced and perceived music.

The band’s influence extended far beyond their contemporaries, reaching into the realms of alternative, dance, and even pop music. New Order’s ability to create emotionally charged, yet danceable, music set them apart from their peers and created a lasting impact that reverberates in modern music to this day.


In conclusion, “Movement” by New Order stands as a remarkable testament to the band’s resilience, creativity, and artistic evolution. It marked the beginning of a captivating journey that traversed the landscapes of post-punk, electronic music, and alternative rock. The album’s experimental spirit and forward-thinking approach continue to inspire musicians and music enthusiasts, keeping New Order’s legacy alive and thriving.

So, take a trip back in time, immerse yourself in the electrifying symphony of “Movement,” and experience the revolutionary sound that changed the course of music history forever. From the ashes of Joy Division arose New Order, and from “Movement” emerged a musical odyssey that will forever resonate in the hearts of music lovers across the globe.