For a group of guys who’ve spent the last 5 years bickering bitterly, New Order has been through a lot together over the last three and a half decades. They wasted no time forming New Order after May of 1980 when Ian Curtis committed suicide, abruptly ending Joy Division on the cusp of a US tour that was almost guaranteed to send their fame into the stratosphere, as if continuing on without Curtis was never even considered.
Five years into what turned out to be a charmed career as New Order, the trio recorded a tribute to their fallen bandmate. Written as a 20-minute epic, Stereogum points out “Elegia” was released on the “Low-Life” LP in a truncated 5-minute version and will now appear on a vinyl release in its full 20-minute form.
And I’m sorry to say, it’s pretty damned boring.
It’s a bit dark, set in a minor key (of course—it is a requiem, after all) but without any real sadness. A gorgeous guitar sound hints at what Robert Smith would later do but without any pathos. It’s instrumental (a classy and deferential nod to Curtis) and has some overlap with The Cure’s “Disintegration” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” but it’s fairly monotonous, and, well, boring.
Apparently the track is being released now on a 3-track vinyl EP, though with Peter Hook threatening to sue the new incarnation of New Order just for possibly miming his bass track live I have no idea how they’ve come to a legal compromise to release a record. At any rate, take a listen below.