Run Wild

Close Range < Run Wild > Here To Stay

I recall on my first listen through Get Ready being REALLY disappointed with this song. 17 years on and I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps because of all the Jesus references, or maybe because of the sheer blandness in naming a song ‘Run Wild’. Hooky says in his book that “…we used to take our titles from novels and arty foreign films and the Sunday Times. The more abstract the better.” A quick scan of novels with this title suggests to me that the same couldn’t be said in 2001, unless of course the reading material at Real World left a lot to be desired…

And yet this is one of those songs on the album that I’ve given myself time to reevaluate, and I’ve come to some new conclusions.

  1. Certain lyrics aside, Bernard sings this beautifully. As does Dawn Zee.
  2. It’s a very sweet song. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Bernard be more protective or in admiration. Any New Order song that makes me think immediately of my better half is one that hits the mark: “You’re the kind of person that I always wanted to be with. Well you’re really cool and you always say the right things to me. But now I’ll tell you something, for my heart beats for you deep inside: You’ll never be a burden, and my love for you will never die. ” Couldn’t have put it better myself. In fact it’s one of those times when I can easily let Bernard speak on my behalf; something which I’ve done with Anna since 1990 when my New Order mix-tapes for her were code for feelings I couldn’t properly articulate.
  3. The (real) strings are properly gorgeous. The song really opens out during the middle eight instrumental break.
  4. Welcome back melodica!
  5. The final lines close out the album perfectly. If Get Ready was going to be the band’s swansong, then “I’m gonna live till I die. I’m gonna live to get high.” was a pretty decent bookend.

I actually prefer Steve Osbourne’s Original Mix of Run Wild on the Retro box set bonus disc to that on GR, with its additional ambiences and electronic tones. Zee’s vocals are more prominent in the mix, and there’s a different reverb used on the acoustic guitar. Overall this version feels smoother (and more satisfying?) than the album version. The other version worth noting is the iTunes Originals recording from 2007, which has a much harder edge to it, and I like the less-produced feel to Bernard’s vocal performance. Pretty good actually…

How can I summarise Get Ready?

A very welcome comeback; one that – by the late ’90s – I never thought would eventuate, with so much water having passed under the bridge. A shift away from electronic dance and distinctively-alternative pop towards a more ‘mature’ (largely guitar-based) formula that – although cohesive across the album – wasn’t entirely to my liking. The band – for so long powered by a self belief, DIY style-setting uniqueness, Mancunian specialness, and seemingly unbreakable bond between the four original members, their situationist label, 1 top class manager, and their city – were now operating in a different form, for (and with) different people, and in a different presentation space. For me it took time to adjust to these changes, and in hindsight explains my (and probably others’) initial reactions to the album.

Aside from the sheer brilliance of Crystal, Get Ready is a mostly-quite-good album; one that I have now mentally retrieved from the circular file of so-so albums that I’d long relegated it to; and as Run Wild attests, there were indeed “Good times around the corner“…

Rating: xxxio

Available on: Get Ready

12 thoughts on “Run Wild

  1. I’m fond of this track. Like you, I didn’t really take to it for a while. I can do without the ‘Jesus/Jehovah’ lyrics for sure. But it’s a heartfelt song, and has real meaning. Whereas some of the songs on GR sound a bit empty – essentially coming from jams with some fairly vacuous lyrics on top, this seems to come from a place close to Bernard’s heart. And the melodica is great. The song was an unexpected highlight of a lacklustre set at Hyde Park in London in 2005 when I really began to think that after all, the band were losing it. Bernard f*cked up the lyrics of course, like he did on many songs that night (most unforgiveably, She’s Lost Control), but it still shone through.

    As for GR, when I first heard it they could have parcelled up a turd after 8 years and I’d still have probably loved it, but I got the new rockier direction, saw it as a throwback to JD and Brotherhood era. I’ve cooled on it a bit, and would say GR is my least favourite NO album except Lost Sirens (if we count that). It’s just too conventional and although solid and consistent, sometimes a bit dull. NO as an ordinary rock band. But ‘mostly-quite-good’ about does it. If I’d have given it 8 out of 10 on release, I’d now say 6-7. Even the weaker songs still have some saving graces. So not a fantastic album by their standards, but a good one by that of most other bands.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. New Order as an ok rock band. It doesn’t even add up to being adventurous. At least WFTSC has the feeling of adventurousness.

    All the rationalizing in the world doesn’t change this product, or what your impressions were of it in 2000. All of the waters passing under the bridge did not actually forbid them from still being the band they were in 1990. If they were able to create Crystal, they were able to create additional topnotch NO songs. Have to accept there were demons at work here, and we can only guess as to what they were. Maybe Hooky? I dunno.

    sorry for being negative.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As with all your reviews, you’ve got me re-listening and re-assessing these tracks. I don’t think my feelings towards Get Ready have much changed over time. If they’d released the superb Crystal with Vicious Streak as the b-side I would’ve rated the output of my favourite band as high as ever, but the rest still doesn’t excite me. Thankfully we know now that it wasn’t the end and there were plenty more gems to come…

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  4. I hate to leave this album on a negative note but I have problems with this track.
    The lyrics grate on me and I just find it too saccharin-sweet for my liking. I really can’t get through the track without feeling slightly nauseated.
    ‘When Jesus comes to take your hand, I won’t let go…’ Bleurghhh!

    But, you’re right about the melodica. A welcome return and probably the only thing about the song I really like. Is Bernard the most famous melodica player in popular music? He’s got to be, surely…

    Summing up the album, I was quite disappointed with it at the time, but I’m not really sure why anymore. It’s probably due to three of their worst (in my eyes) songs being on it, including this one, plus the car crashes that are SJ and RTS.
    But the rest of the songs range from good (60mph, Turn My Way, Close Range etc..), through great (SLY and Primitive Notion), all the way up to ‘classic New Order’ (the sublime Crystal).

    So a pretty solid LP, all things considered. Quite possibly a little ahead of Republic / WFTSC in my ranking of NO LPs, but quite a way behind their 80s output and Music Complete.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Always had a soft spot for this soft song. Interesting that ‘when Jesus comes to takes your hand’ lyric causes so much reaction but ‘touched by the hand of God’ doesn’t raise an eyebrow. Hooky’s bass is a real highlight on this, real (or really good imitation) strings are something I’d really looked forward to hearing on a New Order record, and the melodica is always welcomed back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With me, it’s not so much the religious implication of the line. It’s more the sappy, syrupy nature of it.
      In contrast, ‘Touched by the hand of God’ is a strong, majestic line, in my opinion, conjuring up images of being ‘chosen’, ‘powerful’ etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. No problem with an expression of faith, but in RW the syrup flowed freely…
        The TBTHOG name was more in reference to Diego Maradona anyway.

        NB: some comments added re other versions of RW.


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