Power, Corruption & Lies

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Power, Corruption & Lies
Studio album by New Order
Released 2 May 1983
Recorded November 1982, Britannia Row, Islington
Length 42:35
Label Factory
UK – FACT 75
Producer New Order
New Order chronology
1981 – 1982
Power, Corruption & Lies

Power, Corruption & Lies is the second studio album by the English rock band New Order, released in May 1983 on Factory Records. The album features more electronic-based tracks than their previous album Movement, with heavier use of synthesizers. It was included in the top 100 albums of the 1980s lists in both Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media.

In 2008, the album was re-released in a Collector's Edition with a bonus disc.

After Music Complete's release, the album was remastered and rereleased for the US iTunes Store.


The title of the album was chosen by Bernard Sumner from a 1981 conceptual art exhibition in Cologne, Germany. On the opening night of the exhibition the artist Gerhard Richter vandalised the exterior of the Kunsthalle by spray painting the text, "Power, Corruption, and Lies".[citation needed]


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 used for the "Blue Monday" and "Confusion" singles and for Section 25's album From the Hip.

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.[5] Saville had originally planned to use a Renaissance portrait of a dark prince to tie in with the Machiavellian theme of the title,[6] but couldn't 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.[6] Saville suggested that the flowers "suggested the means by which power, corruption and lies infiltrate our lives. They're seductive."[6] The cover was also intended to create a collision between the overly romantic and classic image which made a stark contrast to the typography based on the modular, colour-coded alphabet. Saville and Tony Wilson, the head of the label, also said[7] that the owner of the painting (The National Heritage Trust) first refused Factory Records 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 famously 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."[6]

The cover was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.[8][9]

The street-fashion label Supreme included the album's floral motif as part of their Spring-Summer 2013 collection.[10] Pieces with the motif included three pairs of sneakers made in collaboration with Vans, an "all over print" hooded sweatshirt, a pocket tee, and a skateboard deck, among other things.[11] The collection, abbreviated "PCL," was immensely popular and remains highly sought after by fans and collectors.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
The A.V. Club A[12]
Blender 4/5 stars[13]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[14]
Pitchfork Media 9.6/10[15]
Q 4/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[17]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[18]
Select 4/5 medals[19]
The Village Voice B+[20]

Power, Corruption & Lies was well-received 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.[17] The album was placed number 23 on the The Village Voice 1983 Pazz & Jop critics poll.[21] In a retrospective review of the band's first five albums, 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.[12] John Bush of AllMusic stated that that the album "cemented New Order's place as the most exciting dance-rock hybrid in music."[3]

In 1989, the album 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".[4] Power, Corruption & Lies was ranked at 216 on the NME list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[22] It was placed at number 28 on Pitchfork Media'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."[23] In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at number 23 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s" and stated that the album "marks the real beginning of New Order's career" and was "their first perfect pop record".[24]  

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by New Order, except where indicated. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Age of Consent"   5:16
2. "We All Stand"   5:14
3. "The Village"   4:37
4. "5 8 6"   7:31
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Your Silent Face"   6:00
6. "Ultraviolence"   4:52
7. "Ecstasy"   4:25
8. "Leave Me Alone"   4:40
American CD bonus tracks[25]
No. Title Length
1. "Age of Consent"   5:16
2. "We All Stand"   5:14
3. "The Village"   4:37
4. "5 8 6"   7:31
5. "Blue Monday"   7:32
6. "Your Silent Face"   6:00
7. "Ultraviolence"   4:52
8. "Ecstasy"   4:25
9. "Leave Me Alone"   4:40
10. "The Beach"   7:22

The Australia/New Zealand cassette edition (available 1983–92) featured "Blue Monday" at the end of side one.

2008 Collector's Edition bonus disc
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Blue Monday"     7:32
2. "The Beach"     7:22
3. "Confusion"   New Order, Arthur Baker 8:15
4. "Thieves Like Us"   New Order, Arthur Baker 6:38
5. "Lonesome Tonight"     5:13
6. "Murder"     3:57
7. "Thieves Like Us" (instrumental) New Order, Arthur Baker 6:59
8. "Confusion" (instrumental) New Order, Arthur Baker 7:36
Total length:


  • Bernard Sumner – vocals, guitars, melodica, synthesizers and programming
  • Peter Hook – 4- and 6-stringed bass, electronic percussion
  • Stephen Morris – drums, synthesizers and programming
  • Gillian Gilbert – synthesizers and programming, guitars
  • 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)
  • UK CD (1993 re-release) – London Records (520,019-2)
  • GR 12" Factory Records VG50085


Chart (1983) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[26] 38
Canadian Albums (RPM)[27] 66
German Albums (Media Control)[28] 18
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[29] 3
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[30] 16
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 4
UK Independent Albums (OCC) 1

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Gwillim, Keith (16 June 2002). "New Order: Shot Right Through With a Bolt of Blue". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Modell, Josh (3 May 2005). "New Order: Waiting For The Sirens' Call". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Bush, John. "Power, Corruption & Lies – New Order". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Azerrad, Michael; DeCurtis, Anthony (16 November 1989). "The 100 Best Albums of the Eighties: New Order, 'Power, Corruption & Lies'". Rolling Stone (565): 53.  Citation posted at "100 Best Albums of the Eighties: 94 | New Order, 'Power, Corruption & Lies'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ignance-Henri-Théodore Fantin-Latour". The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d Grundy, Gareth (29 May 2011). "Peter Saville on his classic Joy Division and New Order artwork". London: the Observer. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Peter Saville, Tony Wilson (2002). 24 Hour Party People (DVD (commentary)). Pathé. 
  8. ^ "Classic Album Covers: Issue Date – 7 January 2010". Royal Mail. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Michaels, Sean (8 January 2010). "Coldplay album gets stamp of approval from Royal Mail". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  10. ^ http://hypebeast.com/2013/3/peter-savile-from-new-order-to-supreme
  11. ^ http://hypebeast.com/2013/3/supreme-x-vans-2013-spring-collection?_locale=en
  12. ^ a b Modell, Josh (10 November 2008). "New Order". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Back catalogue: New Order". Blender. 29 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-857-12595-8. 
  15. ^ Ewing, Tom (10 November 2008). "New Order: Movement / Power, Corruption and Lies / Low-Life / Brotherhood / Technique [Collector's Editions]". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "New Order: Power, Corruption & Lies". Q (84): 97. September 1993. 
  17. ^ a b Pond, Steve (18 August 1983). "New Order: Power, Corruption & Lies". Rolling Stone (402). Archived from the original on 2 October 2007. 
  18. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 582–83. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  19. ^ Harrison, Andrew (August 1993). "Republish". Select (38). 
  20. ^ Christgau, Robert (28 June 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Christgau, Robert (28 February 1984). "The 1983 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 300–201 – 216. New Order, 'Power, Corruption And Lies' (1983)". NME. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the 1980s". Pitchfork Media. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Best Albums of the 1980s". Slant Magazine. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  25. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/power-corruption-lies-mw0000195060
  26. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  27. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums". RPM 38 (20). 16 July 1983. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  28. ^ "Discographie New Order". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  29. ^ "Charts.org.nz – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  31. ^ "New Order | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 January 2013.