Some of you may disagree with me here.
Morning Night And Day is New Order’s third-best tune (after Crystal and Waiting For The Sirens’ Call) between their 1998 reformation and Music Complete.
There I said it.
“You’re nuts!”… I hear you cry – across the vast oceans of New Order fandom.
To which I pithily reply… “says you!”.
I’m up for the fight on this one.
Parking for a moment Bernard’s autobiographical tale of dipsomania and poor public transport, let’s consider the music. IMHO this tune is a fantastically produced, beautifully balanced, and well-programmed piece of New Order signature electronic rock. For me it sits right up there with the likes of Technique’s Mr Disco and is one of those non-single-yet-singular album gems that we’ve become accustomed to from our intrepid musicians.
Like Mr Disco (or Vanishing Point, or PC&L’s Age Of Consent, or Music Complete’s Plastic, or indeed any number of album-only jewels), MN&D is a delicious dichotomy because on the one hand it remains pure – in the sense that it was never released as a single and subject to remix interference (and possible corruption) – but on the other hand it’s a missed trick for the very same reason. Put simply: I reckon this would have made a great single, but I’m glad that it isn’t!
Right from the outset there is so much I sonically love about Morning Night And Day, opening as it does with soaring arcs of synths & choral tones that would soundtrack the startup of something large and foreboding very nicely. Quickly these elemental tones converge onto the main electronic bass sequence and pile-driving drums. Man… those snares and rolls: Morris in jackhammer mode! I’m not sure if it’s Bernard or Phil, but the stabs of metallic guitar that precede the verses also work a treat, particularly where they sit in the mix – offering additional texture and colour. There’s a subtle sequencer addition in the 2nd part of each verse that crackles with energy and heralds each chorus and its properly good guitar rock-out.
It’s on public record that Bernard has had many many nights on the tiles, and for someone so apparently reluctant to ‘share’ here Sumner offers in no uncertain terms a view through Pernod-goggles of his rockstar life; blameless though that he claims to be. Those “other people” – so much to answer for eh? Too-much-information aside, Bernard pulls off a great vocal performance; singing in his inimitable style, and with a real oomph – particularly in the choruses. Feels like old-school Barney for some reason. I also like his subtle switching of lines in the final chorus.
But above all the real genius of Morning Night And Day lies in its second half. The instrumental break is so propulsive; due mainly to the classic combination of Hook and Morris. Peter is given the spotlight to solo with a driving bassline that seems to be racing alongside Morris, who has shifted his own performance / program into high gear. Then it all careens into a final chorus with guitars at full tilt, but there’s no stopping just yet… The song blends into a new lead guitar riff, then drops down into some pure electronica with dirty bass and sparkling arpeggiating synth, and then yet another Hooky motif, then more rapid fire drum rolls, guitar stabs, and finally ending on some isolated cello. Just stunning.
I love this song*, and I’m not afraid to say it. Tell me I’m wrong 😉
* As it seems did The Guardian, who I reckon made a good call to include this for promotion. Or was it the band and/or management who secretly felt that Morning Night And Day was their real guilty pleasure on WFTSC?
Available on: Waiting For The Sirens’ Call