Behind Closed Doors

Crystal < Behind Closed Doors > 60 Miles An Hour

That’s it.
I’m done with Bernard.
Finished.

The bubble has burst.
My faith is shot.

Why?

I listen to The Coors behind closed doors.

That’s like saying the band rates Lionel Richie!!! Oh… hang on…

Back in 2001 it took me at least a minute or two to get over the initial shock of it all, but it’s a modern world and tolerance is a positive force innit?

___

One of the genuinely great things about the 2001-2002 period was that each single (except SLY) carried a bespoke B-side; previously an inconsistent thing, depending on how productive the band was in the studio at any given time. By my reckoning only the Technique-period singles, Ruined In A Day, True Faith, Ceremony, Procession, Temptation, and ‘Thieves qualify. All other singles feature dub/instrumental versions and/or remixes. With Get Ready and Waiting For The Siren’s Call the band were obviously on a roll, although as we know the surfeit of recordings for ‘Sirens ended up not as B-sides but as a whole other album. Predictability was never their strong point*

Being Arthur Baker’s only production contribution of the period (except for his Confusion 2002 remixes), Behind Closed Doors sounds quite removed from Crystal and Get Ready, and – although its not a 100% success – the track is better for it. It has a distinctive passive-aggressive tone, with Bernard’s whispered sinisterisms as per the title, touching on domestic violence, lack of parental responsibility, not coping without drugs, and his slightly deranged “open up your eye” lyric; all placed alongside the near-hush of Hooky’s bass, Morris’s agitated snare/hi-hat patterns, reverbed wind chimes, and the minimal piano and organ notes. Behind Closed Doors really does sound like those very late hours, when certain sounds in the neighborhood leave you unsettled. Small wonder then that when the song shifts to a more robust frame Bernard’s thoughts turn to a more optimistic Coor-filled future!

Some quality Baker-beats and industrial sequencing closes out what is a pretty decent song; a track that – partnering as it did the incredible Crystal – value-added to one of New Order’s best ever singles.

* Compare that with Depeche Mode, against whom you can pretty much set your watch to these days; and – Nostradamus-like – predict the look / sound / feel / touch / and smell of each quadrennial album. Safe Mode if you ask me.

Rating: xxxio

Most recently available on: Crystal

audio
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10 thoughts on “Behind Closed Doors

  1. I quite like BCD – its a bit different – but refreshing to get a brand new B-side. Really enjoyed the rendition at the MIF this year. It really was quite a bouncy number at the gig. Some questionable lyrics – but can’t win them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this track quite a bit.
    Has a nice dark edge to it.

    Hooky’s bass is understated but effective.
    Also I really like Sumner’s weird (almost flat) vocals on the ‘open up your eyes’ lyric.

    Great to have a proper b-side following the relative drought of the Republic/Best Of/Rest Of era.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Decent, atmospheric track, and much my favourite of the GR-era b-sides. Indeed it’s one of their best original b-sides since 1963 (track not year. Given that the competition is a handful of songs this isn’t saying so much!) Would have loved to have seen it at MIF, as it’s an inspired left-field choice for a setlist.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. good track, great review. But the comments about Depeche Mode gave me pause, and I just dont know what I think about that. DM, PSB, and Erasure, all have been quite prolific throughout since the mid 80’s. From each, there are great albums, good albums, and not so good albums. Just like New Order, from Republic forward. Is it really being SAFE to put out new material at respectable intervals, like we all wish that New Order would?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My gripe is not so much about the 4 year cycle, which is being meticulously managed, but more about their output. Here’s what I said on the NOOL forums a while back:

      For me nothing beats their Masses / Violator / Devotion trilogy of LPs, and although post-Wilder there have been some top quality tunes, overall to me there have been diminishing returns album on album.

      Spirit… I have to say the dour tone of this and the last few albums is wearing thin, and the band can’t seem to break away from a modus operandi that’s now 20 years old: abrasive electronic with an emphasis on distorted tone and texture rather than melody and hooks. Depeche at their best = Melody.

      The artwork is yet more of the same from a seemingly bored Anton Corbijn; grey and lifeless with yet another bandname ‘logo’ and photos of them all looking miserable and gaunt in a staged setting, holding some sort of prop (in this case sledgehammers and – slightly ridiculously – chopper motorcycles). There are a couple of exceptions, the back sleeve photo is good and one of the photos inside with them standing in front a red backdrop is good, otherwise I’m over their ‘look’ – particularly Fletch. FFS he hasn’t contributed in a meaningful way for 30 years and has kept the same sourpuss expression throughout that time. What I wouldn’t give for Wilder’s return.

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      1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Dennis.

        I am a massive DM fan, but they’ve been treading water for almost a quarter of a century. Your post sums up exactly what has been wrong with the band for decades.

        They always used to be all about melody, but it’s rare to hear a solid ‘tune’ anymore. Where are the Strangelove, Question Of Time, Personal Jesus and Never Let Me Down Again-type keyboard riffs anymore? Gone. Completely.

        Those sledgehammer etc. photos were utterly ridiculous. Not befitting a bunch of men in their 50s / 60s.
        They were also compounded by having Fletch there. They might as well have had the guy who makes the sandwiches for the tour in the photos. At least he does something productive. Fletch swinging a sledgehammer is probably the most he’s done since the early 80s.

        And those ‘collage’ logos / album covers. Dear, oh dear.
        Much as I love Corbijn, he’s no Saville, is he? Yeah, his photos / film / videos are mostly excellent, but he needs to leave graphic design to the likes of Saville and Farrow.
        But, to be fair, DM have always struggled with record sleeves, even pre-Anton. They’re mostly terrible. Black Celebration / Speak & Spell covers, anyone?

        Going back to the music, I guess that DM’s lack-lustre material might have something to do with the fact that the band are, effectively, a duo and there isn’t the same level of critical-reflection that you get in larger bands.
        I agree with you again that there is a very important missing factor though;
        DM is not DM without Wilder. When New Order have been down a member (Gillian, Hooky), they’re still definitely New Order (albeit not quite at full strength).

        Anyway, re-reading my post, I feel a little ashamed that I’ve severely bad-mouthed a group that has given me so much over the years. I just feel exasperated by them. Let down.
        At least, we’ll always have New Order, eh?; still producing bloody brilliant music 40 years later.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I fully agree with you about DM’s sound lacking melody and being abrasive. I like Playing the Angel a lot, I consider it a very decent album, but taking the same sonic direction in the next 3 albums has been a big mistake. At least Spirit sounds way better to my ears than Sounds of the Universe (what a ridiculous and pompous title!) and Delta Machine (I’m still trying to find the blues influence in it), so there’s still hope.

        You’re also right about the artwork.

        MFTM / Violator / SOFAD are also my favourite albums, with Black Celebration and Ultra coming next.

        Like

  5. Behind Closed Doors is definitely one of my favourite songs of the Get Ready sessions, and a great B-side to a fabulous single. Sabotage is another song that I like a lot.

    Like

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