Oldie of The Week: ‘Ceremony’, New Order (1981)

Music and Art News

Oldie of The Week 05/05/17: ‘Ceremony’ (1981) Rereleased in 1987 on the compilation album ‘Substance’.

A current housemate of mine was notorious in first year for his semi-spiritual devotion to The Killers’ iconic 2004 single ‘Mr Brightside’. When the song would inevitably always come on in Wahoo (may it rest in peace), he would fling his arms wide, turn his face to the heavens, and belt out the lyrics with happy abandon. It’s a modern classic: that emotional, pumping chorus feels like a gut-punch, it’s so good.

Unfortunately, The Killers owe it all to New Order. ‘Ceremony’ is everything ‘Mr Brightside’ is trying to be, and more. It was their first single since Ian Curtis’ death and the dissolution of Joy Division, and it pleads with its listener in heart-rending desperation. Beginning with a lilting barebones guitar line, post-punk fire comes screeching in and devastates you.

‘Oh, I’ll break them down, no mercy shown,

Heaven knows, it’s got to be this time,

Avenues all lined with trees

Picture me and then you start watching

Watching forever, forever,

Watching love grow, forever,

Letting me know, forever.’

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