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New Order – Item (A Music Video Review)

New Order – Item


Starring Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris, Ian Curtis, Tony Wilson, Bono, Arthur Baker, John Barnes, Rob Gretton, Quincy Jones, John Robie, Jon Savage, Peter Saville, Neil Tennant, Pete Tong and the voice of Jenny Seagrove.

Screenplay by Pascal Laugier.

Directed by Kevin Hewitt (New Order Story) and Various (A Collection).

Distributed by Rhino Home Video. 280 minutes. Not Rated.

Item is not so much a new video from pioneering synth-pop band New Order as it is an updated repackaging of two older videos, the clips compilation A Collection and the documentary series New Order Story

The music has aged incredibly, but as A Collection shows, the videos not quite as well. The goofy people bouncing around dressed like the Michelin Man may have been hip back in 1987 (although I thought they were goofy even back then, even when they reappeared in Fine Young Cannibal’s “She Drives Me Crazy” video) but they just look goofy now, and because of this, the video to the band’s most perfect song “True Faith” looks silly. The clip for “Ceremony” looks like it was filmed for ten quid (and probably was) and the hair metal parody of “Touched By the Hand of God” looks horribly dated now. The band’s music worked much better with the workmanlike no-frills clips like “Shellshock” and “State of the Nation” or slightly arty, colorful shorts like “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “Blue Monday ’88.” Still it is nice that they have updated the collection to include three clips from this year’s terrific comeback CD Waiting for the Siren’s Call. 

New Order Story holds up better, giving an interesting (if very British) overview of the band. Originally filmed for TV (and broken up into specific episodes), it is a pretty standard rock documentary, though it does dig a little deeper than the old VH1 Behind the Music series.Talking head interviews with band members, friends, execs and the others that lived through the band’s career give you a nice hands-on feel for the recording of the songs while rock journalists and fellow musicians (including the ubiquitous Bono) pay tribute to the musical revolution which New Order jump-started.

If you are looking for a concise and intriguing history of this seminal band, you’re not likely to do better. (10/05)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2005 All rights reserved. Posted: October 22, 2005.

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