Procession

Denial < Procession > Everything’s Gone Green

A wonderful track and a wonderfully eclectic release from Factory – with the single released in 9 different sleeves: black, red, blue, brown, yellow, orange, green, aqua or purple design, each on a grey card background; highlighting Peter Saville’s futurist references of the time.

By my reckoning Procession was recorded earlier (Mar ’81) than the Movement sessions (Apr-May ’81), and in fact the Procession 7″ was released a month earlier than the album – so maybe I’ve got the order of these reviews out of kilter. Only people of a certain disposition (like me) would really care…

This song has real class. It’s one of New Order’s best tracks from their ‘early period’, with beautiful phased atmospheric synth layers offering a dark yet strangely peaceful wash over the whole song, a cracking bass performance from Hooky (one of his best?), restrained guitar highlights, and a top vocal performance (and lyrics) from Bernard (with subtle backing from Gillian on the “alone… alone…” line). Martin Hannett delivers another remarkable production filled with space, emotion and tone; and I feel that here is where the band paid a lot of attention because they would build on this experience to great effect as they took over production control in the coming year.

Procession bristles, and live outings of the track from back in the day are a study in pent-up angst; all members showing little emotion from the neck up, yet delivering a chanelled, intense performance – like a band possessed. Their hearts are indeed beating them… furiously.

One final comment. Just how remarkable is Procession / Everything’s Gone Green as a single; the band’s first ‘own’ in fact. Its the first in a long line of New Order singles where you could toss the coin on whether the A-side or B-side is better, and this attests to their respect for the punters listening in. Contrast this with almost any other of their contemporaries and you can understand one of the reasons for their fans’ dedication.

Rating: xxxxi

Currently available on: Singles

2 thoughts on “Procession

  1. 8 out of 10.

    Was Stephen not responsible for these lyrics?

    Regardless, pairing it with EGG initially made sense in that this was the band showing yet another, softer texture that they had not revealed before.

    Like

  2. you say synth layers. more specific this is a string synth, which has more to do with an organ than a real synth (like a prophet or moog). In this case it could be the arp omni 2 used a lot on JD or the string section of the arp quadra they would start to use. NO used stringers a lot into the mid 80s where proper polyphonic synths were supposed to take over, but they don’t sound the same. culminating with other the last few years Waldorf has made a digital copy of old stringers callled the Striechfett and are just about to release a new keyboard version of this and Behringer are re-issuing a copy of the old roland vp-330. the stringer’s time is back!

    Liked by 1 person

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