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.
Currently available on: Singles