Ten of the Best: Joy Division & New Order According To Peter Hook

One of the joys of holidays is catching up on reading. This summer’s jaunt permitted time to read three tomes on Joy Division and New Order. Namely, Bernard Sumner’s Chapter and Verse – New Order, Joy Division and Me, and two by Peter Hook, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, and, Substance: Inside New Order. For what its worth, Hook’s The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, is an entertaining read and will leave your mind boggled at the enthusiastic incompetence which drove Factory Records and the Hacienda forward.

The books on the bands are full of ego, as well as he said, she said – or judging by the contempt in which Hook relates his and Sumner’s opinion of Gillian Gilbert – she didn’t say. Of the pair, Hook is by far a more seasoned raconteur. Neither party hides their contempt for the other although Sumner claims he doesn’t understand why Hook despises him. Read the chapter titles, Barney; “Here Comes Twatto”, gives it away.

Which is a shame really since there is an incredible amount of professional respect but artistic temperaments don’t accommodate egos this size. Reading both books it’s a surprise that New Order made any released any records in the latter years. The tortuous process of musical demos being recorded by Hook, Morris and Gilbert, subsequently sent to Sumner for completing is painful reading; Hook leaves you in no doubt about his view on it. What a contrast to Joy Division, gelled together by Ian Curtis’ ear for the riffs which worked musically.

With Stephen Morris and Gilbert releasing their version of events next year, the truth is sure to be out there between the three or four books.

The fresher in my memory, these are the tracks Hooky listed as his favourites by New Order while the Joy Division list is drawn from his ‘track-by-track’ commentary. And being an ego-driven blogger, mine are included as well.


Two tracks of Hooky’s New Order ten are unfortunately not on Spotify are luckily on YouTube.

The first is Homage, a previously unreleased track. Well, not officially as far as I can recall. It appears on the bootleg, Western Works, which also features the late Rob Gretton on vocals on Are You Ready?

Completing the ten tracks is Too Late, from a 1982 Peel Session.

my top ten Joy division / new order songs

And for my top ten, I’ve avoided his ten but to be honest, only Temptation and Age of Consent would be duplicated. So I’ve got a top 12!!


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