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Peter Hook’s Top 10 Joy Division and New Order Bass Lines

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In a Stereo Embers exclusive, legendary bassist and songwriter, Peter Hook, reveals to Paul Gleason the Top 10 bass lines that he wrote for Joy Division and New Order.

1. “Leave Me Alone,” New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies, 1983

I love the mood of this song and how Barney’s [Bernard Sumner’s] guitar works around the bass line.

2. “Twenty Four Hours,” Joy Division, Closer, 1980

I’m very proud of this one; I love the tempo changes.

3. “Sunrise,” New Order, Low-Life, 1985

The bass line every bass player would love to have! It really drives the whole song and is New Order at their most rocky.


4. “The Eternal,” Joy Division, Closer, 1980

A truly beautiful song.

5. “Everything’s Gone Green,” New Order, Single, 1981 (Rereleased on Substance, 1987)

This song signalled the beginning of dance and electronica becoming an influence on us.

6. “Wilderness,” Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures, 1979

This is really fun to play live, with three different riffs all combining to make quite a menacing tune.


7. “At a Later Date,” Joy Division, Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus, 1978

Simply because it was one of the first complete songs we ever wrote!

8. “Cries and Whispers,” New Order, Single, 1981 (Rereleased on Substance, 1987)

I loved exploring the use of harmonics on this track to be layered over the actual bass line.

9. “Denial,” New Order, Movement, 1981

One of the most intense New Order songs ever and a fitting end to Movement.


10. “Hurt,” New Order, Single, 1982  (Rereleased on Substance, 1987)

I could never manage to come in in the right key back then! But I think I’ve nailed it now…


Listen to a sample of Live at Christ Church Cathedral in Macclesfield (in which Peter Hook & The Light perform Joy Division’s two LPs – 1979’s Unknown Pleasures and 1980’s Closer – in their entirety) here. The album comes out on September 2, and CITC will review it on Thursday. Stay tuned.

And click here for a free download of Hooky & The Light’s version of the Closer classic “Heart and Soul” – which appears on the Christ Church LP.

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