1 Jun 2004
The New Order single Confusion was the result of an extraordinary collaboration bringing together the opposing temperaments represented by New Order's methodical pursuit of excellence and Baker's poltergeist spirit. Though it began as an uneasy experiment, New Order rose to the challenge of working at speeds and in conditions unknown to them.

In this classic NME interview with New Order from 1983 the band explain how Confusion came about.

"It's the only time we ever sat down to write," recalls bassist Peter Hook with a shudder. "And God, was it hard! Arthur Baker just stood there staring at us, sort of going, 'go on, write something', and we were walking around in circles thinking, 'fucking hell, isn't it time to go home yet?' We don't normally work well under pressure."

"He'd start a drum machine off and send one of us in saying, 'have a go on that synthesiser'," expands guitarist Bernard Albrecht (née Dicken, now Sumner). "See what you can come up with. So you're standing there thinking 'what the fucking hell am I doing?' You'd do something and he'd go, 'that's alright', turn off the drum machine, start the tape rolling and say, 'right play it again'. And even though there'd be a minute's worth of mistakes in it, he'd just say, 'Fuck it. It's alright'.

"The one thing he doesn't like about English records, he told us, is they're too neat and clean. And I agree."

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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