Power, Corruption & Lies

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Power, Corruption & Lies
Studio album by
Released2 May 1983 (1983-05-02)
RecordedOctober–November 1982
StudioBritannia Row (Islington)
ProducerNew Order
New Order chronology
Power, Corruption & Lies
Singles from Power, Corruption & Lies
  1. "Blue Monday"
    Released: 7 March 1983
    Note: the single "Blue Monday" does not appear on the vinyl release[7]

Power, Corruption & Lies is the second studio album by the English rock band New Order, released on 2 May 1983 by Factory Records. The album features more electronic tracks than their 1981 debut Movement, with heavier use of synthesisers. The album was met with widespread acclaim, and has been included in music industry lists of the greatest albums of the 1980s and of all time. The cover artwork was by Peter Saville, and in 2010 it was one of ten classic album covers from British artists commemorated on a UK postage stamp issued by the Royal Mail.[8][9]


Peter Saville's design for the album had a colour-based code to represent the band's name and the title of the album, but they were not actually written on the original UK sleeve itself (they were present on some non-UK versions), although the catalogue number "FACT 75" does appear on the top-right corner. The decoder for the code was featured prominently on the back cover of the album and can also be seen on the "Blue Monday" and "Confusion" singles and for Section 25's third studio album From the Hip (1984).

The cover is a reproduction of the painting A Basket of Roses by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour, which is part of the National Gallery's permanent collection in London.[10] Saville had originally planned to use a Renaissance portrait of a dark prince to tie in with the Machiavellian theme of the title,[11] but could not find a suitable portrait. At the gallery Saville picked up a postcard with Fantin-Latour's painting, and his girlfriend mockingly asked him if he was going to use it for the cover. Saville then realised it was a great idea.[11] Saville suggested that the flowers "suggested the means by which power, corruption and lies infiltrate our lives. They're seductive."[11]

The cover was also intended to create a collision between the overly romantic and classic image that made a stark contrast to the typography based on the modular, colour-coded alphabet. Saville and Tony Wilson, the head of New Order's label Factory Records, also said[12] that the owner of the painting (The National Heritage Trust) first refused the label access to it. Wilson then called up the gallery director to ask who actually owned the painting and was given the answer that the Trust belonged to the people of Britain, at some point. Wilson then replied, "I believe the people want it." The director then replied, "If you put it like that, Mr Wilson, I'm sure we can make an exception in this case."[11]

The cover was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.[13][14] Influential fashion designer Raf Simons used the album's cover art on one of his most coveted pieces from the Autumn/Winter 2003 "Closer" collection, ultimately producing four fishtail parkas in varying colours with various pieces of New Order/Joy Division artwork spread around the pieces. The street-fashion label Supreme included the album's floral motif as part of their Spring–Summer 2013 collection.[15][16]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The A.V. ClubA[17]
Entertainment WeeklyA[19]
Rolling Stone[22]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[23]
The Village VoiceB+[25]

Power, Corruption & Lies was praised critically on its release, and is still well regarded. In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, Steve Pond felt that the band had finally separated themselves from their past Joy Division associations, calling the album a "remarkable declaration of independence" and a "quantum leap" over Movement.[22] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice found it "relatively gentle and melodic in its ambient postindustrial polyrhythms, their nicest record ever", but also "pretty much like the others."[25] The album placed at number 23 in The Village Voice's 1983 Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[26] In a retrospective review, Josh Modell of The A.V. Club called Power, Corruption & Lies "the sound of a band coming out of the shadows, retaining some of the pop elements of older days, but also embracing happiness and a whole new world of sequencers," crediting the album's humanity as a part of its charm.[17] John Bush of AllMusic stated that the album "cemented New Order's place as the most exciting dance-rock hybrid in music."[5]

In 1989, Power, Corruption & Lies was ranked number 94 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, with the magazine citing it as "a landmark album of danceable, post-punk music".[3] Rolling Stone also placed the album at number 262 on the 2020 edition of its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time (it was not included on the original 2003 and 2012 lists).[27] It was placed at number 28 on Pitchfork's list of the best albums of the 1980s, with William Bowers' accompanying write-up for the album citing it as "the peak of the New Order's stellar 80s output."[28] Slant Magazine listed the album at number 23 on its list of the best albums of the 1980s and stated that it "marks the real beginning of New Order's career" and was "their first perfect pop record".[29] In 2013, it was ranked at number 216 on NME's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[30] 

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by New Order

Side one
1."Age of Consent"5:15
2."We All Stand"5:14
3."The Village"4:37
4."5 8 6"7:31
Side two
1."Your Silent Face"5:59
4."Leave Me Alone"4:41
Total length:42:34
Qwest Records additional tracks
5."Blue Monday"7:29
10."The Beach"7:18
Total length:57:21
  • "Blue Monday" only appears on certain cassette and CD versions of Power, Corruption & Lies.[7]


New Order


  • New Order – production
  • Michael Johnson – engineering
  • Barry Sage and Mark Boyne – assistants

Release details[edit]

  • UK 12" – Factory Records (FACT 75)
  • UK cassette – Factory Records (FACT 75C)
  • US 12" – Factory Records/Rough Trade Records (FACTUS 12)
  • US CD – Factory Records/Qwest Records (9  25308-2)
  • UK CD (1993 re-release) – London Records (520,019-2)
  • GR 12" – Factory Records (VG50085)

After the release of Music Complete, the album was remastered and re-released for the US iTunes Store.



Certifications for Power, Corruption & Lies
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Silver 60,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gwillim, Keith (16 September 2002). "New Order: Shot Right Through With a Bolt of Blue". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  2. ^ Jackson, Josh (8 September 2016). "The 50 Best New Wave Albums". Paste. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Azerrad, Michael; DeCurtis, Anthony (16 November 1989). "The 100 Best Albums of the Eighties – New Order, 'Power, Corruption & Lies'". Rolling Stone. No. 565. p. 53. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  4. ^ Modell, Josh (3 May 2005). "New Order: Waiting For The Sirens' Call". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Bush, John. "Power, Corruption & Lies – New Order". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  6. ^ EW Staff (27 September 2012). "Top 100 Albums". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  7. ^ a b "New Order, 'Power, Corruption & Lies' | 100 Best Albums of the Eighties". Rolling Stone. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Royal Mail unveil classic album cover stamps". The Independent. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Royal Mail puts classic albums on to stamps". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Ignance-Henri-Théodore Fantin-Latour". The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d Grundy, Gareth (29 May 2011). "Peter Saville on his album cover artwork". The Observer. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  12. ^ Saville, Peter; Wilson, Tony (2002). 24 Hour Party People (DVD (commentary)). Pathé.
  13. ^ "Classic Album Covers: Issue Date – 7 January 2010". Royal Mail. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  14. ^ Michaels, Sean (8 January 2010). "Coldplay album gets stamp of approval from Royal Mail". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Peter Saville: From New Order to Supreme". Hypebeast. 18 March 2013.
  16. ^ "Supreme x Vans 2013 Spring/Summer Collection". Hypebeast. 4 March 2013.
  17. ^ a b Modell, Josh (10 November 2008). "New Order". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  18. ^ Sheffield, Rob (February 2009). "Let's Dance". Blender. Vol. 8, no. 1. p. 66. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  19. ^ Howe, Sean (7 November 2008). "New Order: Reissues". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  20. ^ Ewing, Tom (10 November 2008). "New Order: Movement / Power, Corruption and Lies / Low-Life / Brotherhood / Technique [Collector's Editions]". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  21. ^ Maconie, Stuart (May 1993). "Smile!". Q. No. 80. pp. 66–72.
  22. ^ a b Pond, Steve (18 August 1983). "New Order: Power, Corruption & Lies". Rolling Stone. No. 402. Archived from the original on 2 October 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  23. ^ Gross, Joe (2004). "New Order". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 582–583. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  24. ^ Dalton, Stephen (November 2020). "New Order: Power Corruption & Lies – Definitive Edition". Uncut. No. 282. p. 48.
  25. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (28 June 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  26. ^ "The 1983 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. 28 February 1984. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  27. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  28. ^ "The Top 100 Albums of the 1980s". Pitchfork. 21 November 2002. p. 8. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  29. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s". Slant Magazine. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  30. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 300–201". NME. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  31. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 215. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  32. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 6324b". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  33. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  34. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  35. ^ "Charts.nz – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  36. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  37. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  38. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). "New Order". Indie Hits 1980–1989: The Complete U.K. Independent Charts (Singles & Albums). Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-95172-069-4. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  39. ^ "Ultratop.be – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  40. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2020. 41. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  41. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1983". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  42. ^ "British album certifications – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 May 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Power, Corruption & Lies in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]