|Birth name||Bernard Edward Sumner|
4 January 1956 |
Lower Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, England
Bernard Edward Sumner (born 4 January 1956), also known as Bernard Albrecht, is an English musician, singer and songwriter. He was a founding member of both Joy Division and New Order, and is widely credited with the latter band's move towards electronica and synthpop, not forgetting their original post-punk roots.
Sumner is widely credited in advancing UK dance music and the popularisation and technological advancement of sequencers. Despite his influential status, he remains a reticent character who rarely gives interviews. In the early 1990s he recorded with Johnny Marr as Electronic.
Sumner was a founding member of Joy Division, a post-punk band formed in 1976. The band is widely considered one of the most influential bands of the era. Primarily known as the band's lead guitarist (his main guitars were a Gibson SG and a Shergold Custom Masquerader), Sumner also played keyboards for synth parts and made his first vocal appearance on record singing the chorus of "They Walked In Line" on the Warsaw album. In May 1980, the band's vocalist, Ian Curtis, committed suicide, resulting in Joy Division's end.
Sumner and remaining bandmates Peter Hook and Stephen Morris started a new band named New Order, joined by Gillian Gilbert in October 1980. Though Hook, Morris and Gilbert also contributed vocals on some early tracks, Sumner emerged as the band's permanent vocalist and lyricist, alongside playing guitar and keyboards. Following a series of splits and reformations, the band have released nine studio albums.
In 1989, Sumner joined up with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr to form Electronic. The Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant collaborated on two tracks on their debut eponymous album, providing vocals. Sumner was vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and lyricist.
Bad Lieutenant included fellow New Order member Phil Cunningham and Jake Evans of Rambo & Leroy. Stephen Morris of New Order and Blur bassist Alex James also performed on the band's debut album. Sumner provided vocals, guitar and lyrics.
On 2 July 2009, Bernard Sumner confirmed that single "Sink or Swim" would be released on 28 September 2009 and would be the first off their album Never Cry Another Tear. The single was hosted for free on the band's website prior to its physical release, it was followed by a digital bundle release with remixes of the song by Mark Reeder, James Bright and Teenagers.
In 1981, Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls released their last single "Searching For Heaven", which included a guitar solo by Sumner, although he was not credited in the sleeves of its 7" and 10" edition at the time. In 1983, Sumner co-produced, with Donald Johnson, the single "The Great Divide"/"Love in a Strange Place" by the band Foreign Press. Foreign Press (aka Emergency) had had a long history with Sumner through both Joy Division and New Order.
In 1990, he worked with former Factory Records labelmates A Certain Ratio remixing their song "Won't Stop Loving You". He has also recorded tracks with fellow Mancunians 808 State and Sub Sub. Sumner appeared as guest vocalist and guitarist (alongside Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie) on The Chemical Brothers' 1999 album Surrender, on the track "Out of Control"; and in a 2005 Chemical Brothers show at the Brixton Academy, Sumner appeared live on stage as a special guest on this track. He has also lent vocals and guitar to a track ("Miracle Cure") on German trance outfit Blank & Jones 2008 release, "The Logic of Pleasure." Sumner also appeared on the Primal Scream track "Shoot Speed Kill Light" from their 2000 album XTRMNTR.
He has done several remixes for tracks such as Technotronic's "Rockin' Over the Beat" (which was featured in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III soundtrack) and served as a record producer for other Factory Records acts including Happy Mondays (whose second single "Freaky Dancin' "he produced in 1986), Shark Vegas, Abecedarians, 52nd Street and Section 25. It is said that he will be contributing a remix to Depeche Mode's upcoming remix album.
Sumner was educated at Salford Grammar School. From 1976 to 1979, Sumner was employed at the animation studio Cosgrove Hall Films as an artist on Jamie and the Magic Torch. He married Sue Barlow (born 1956) on 28 October 1978. They have a son James Christopher (born 1983). The couple divorced in 1989, just before the release of Technique, an experience reflected in the song "Round & Round."
He is commonly known as "Barney", although he is reportedly not fond of the name. An early Joy Division bootleg credited him as "Barney Rubble". Brandon Flowers (of The Killers) has dubbed him "The Chairman of the Beat". Sumner's autobiography Chapter and Verse was published in 2014.
Sumner has been portrayed on film twice. John Simm played him in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, which focused on Factory Records. In the Ian Curtis biopic, Control, he is played by James Anthony Pearson.
(Singles featuring Bernard Sumner on guest vocals and/or guitar)
- 808 State – "Spanish Heart" (vocals, 1991)
- Sub Sub feat: Bernard Sumner – "This Time I'm Not Wrong" (vocals, guitar, 1997)
- Chemical Brothers – "Out Of Control" (vocals, guitar, 1999)
- Primal Scream – "Shoot Speed Kill Light" (guitar, 2000)
- Blank & Jones feat. Bernard Sumner – "Miracle Cure" (vocals, guitar, 2008)
- Hot Chip, Bernard Sumner & Hot City – "Didn't Know What Love Was" (vocals, keyboards, production, 2010)
- Bernard Sumner: Confusion – Joy Division, Electronic and New Order Versus the World, David Nolan, 2007
- Chapter and Verse - New Order, Joy Division and Me, Bernard Sumner, 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bernard Sumner.|
- Coplan, Chris (10 July 2014). "Joy Division/New Order’s Bernard Sumner to release autobiography". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- Sutton, Michael. "Bernard Sumner". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- James, Martin (23 October 2011). "Music: Live: Electronica veterans move with the times". The Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Peter Hook on Ian Curtis & Gibson Basses". Gibson. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Shergold". Shergold. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Rambali, Pauli (July 1983). "A Rare Glimpse into a Private World". The Face.
- Foley, Ryan (5 March 2007). ""Blue Monday" - New Order". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- David Nolan Bernard Sumner Confusion (Church Stretton: IMP, 2007), p. 15
-  Archived 28 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "Sink Or Swim Reeder - Bad Lieutenant - Official Site". Badlieutenant.net. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Pauline Murray And Invisible Girls, The – Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls". Discogs.com. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Nice, James (September 2014). "Pauline Murray \ Biography". Les Disques du Crépuscule. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- "Short bio at JoyDiv.org". Joydiv.org. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Bernard Sumner interview". RedCafe.net. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Watch Brandon Flowers, Bernard Sumner Play New Order Classic - Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone.
- Bernard Sumner at the Internet Movie Database
- New Order Online – semi-official website, endorsed by the band
- Full list of recordings featuring or remixed by Bernard Sumner.