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.
- Certain lyrics aside, Bernard sings this beautifully. As does Dawn Zee.
- 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.
- The (real) strings are properly gorgeous. The song really opens out during the middle eight instrumental break.
- Welcome back melodica!
- 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“…
Available on: Get Ready