Leave Me Alone is one of those New Order tracks that – either by way of its sad-yet-soaring musical allure, melancholy lyrics, or context – seems to grab my spirit and effect it deeply. This is a dark song seemingly about an apocalyptic ending: a thousand islands in the sea where sailor’s once ‘trod’, people living underground – walking and falling in rows, visions from words in ‘the book’, and wanting to be taken away and left alone in these ‘last few days’. Brrr…
Musically, Leave Me Alone is one of New Order’s finest guitar-driven pieces. Just listen as Bernard’s repeated cries of ‘leave me alone…’ fade into glorious avalanches of reverbed guitar playing simple but sublime octaves, followed by both guitars and bass intertwining through descending riffs that just sound so sad… The production is rich and deep – as per the whole album – and at the end you’re left feeling emotionally drained; praying that this vision of the future is a path we never follow.
This song also makes me reflect again on Bernard as a lyricist, and how – even more so than Ian at times – he focuses on the impact to the self of the subject of his thoughts. Whether it’s his observations on life, love, dreams, friends, the future, or the past, he will often reference his (or his target’s) senses: eyes/sight, ears/sound, touch, etc. The emotional and sensory context that he gives to his songs, often delivered sparingly, is one reason why we connect so strongly to so much of New Order’s work. Elementary messages delivered powerfully.
Power Corruption & Lies is (in my opinion) New Order’s masterpiece, and is an album whose quality, impact and influence fails to diminish even after nearly 35 years.
Available on: Power Corruption & Lies