My favourite track on Low Life and a highlight of their mid-’80s output. Certainly in my top 10 New Order tracks of all time.
This Time Of Night – originally called Pumped Full of Drugs – sparks and growls with its low register sequencer basslines, industrial flourishes, vocal edginess, guitar strikes, drum rolls and double snares, and that sinister sounding 4-note rotating synth/string riff; sometimes forefront and sometimes just sitting back in the mix, adding drama. Hooky’s bass – weaving in and out of the sequencer lines – is also a highlight, as are his intense backing vocals. The overall production is first class.
In my opinion this track contains some of Bernard’s finest songwriting; particularly the incredibly honest, visceral and passionately delivered “without you…” consequences, the “wooden heart” / “empty brain” lines, and the sterling “what good’s a lie when you’ve nothing to hide” and “join our world and play our game” directives.
This Time Of Night – and it really does feel like the dark hours long after midnight – is one of a handful of New Order songs that have as strong an emotional impact as anything Joy Division produced, and yet they (All Day Long on Brotherhood being another) continue to fly well under the radar; rarely finding room in the limited space of modern-day live sets. Tracks like these must be eye-opening gems for newcomers to New Order as they discover the classics and then (hopefully so-inclined) delve deeper into the archive.
Ageing Viking to newbie: “…of course Blue Monday is brilliant… but listen to this!”…
Available on: Low Life