Technique (album)

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Technique
New Order Technique.jpg
Studio album by
Released30 January 1989
Recorded1988
Studio
Genre
Length39:32
LabelFactory
ProducerNew Order
New Order chronology
Brotherhood
(1986)
Technique
(1989)
Republic
(1993)
Singles from Technique
  1. "Fine Time"
    Released: 28 November 1988
  2. "Round and Round"
    Released: 27 February 1989
  3. "Run 2"
    Released: 28 August 1989

Technique is the fifth studio album by English rock band New Order, released on 30 January 1989 by Factory Records. Partly recorded on the island of Ibiza, it incorporates Balearic beat and acid house influences into the group's dance-rock sound. The album was influenced by the then growing acid scene, and Sumner's experiences in the 500 Club in New York and Shroom in London. It was the first in a few of their albums where Peter Hook's bass sound was predominant. Technique was also New Order's final studio album to be released under Factory Records (though not their final Factory release, that being the following year's "World in Motion"); the label would declare bankruptcy in 1992 following a severe financial downturn caused primarily by the significant commercial failure of Happy Mondays' Yes Please!

Technique was the first New Order album to reach number one on the UK charts, and "Fine Time", the first single from the album, reached number 11. Remixed versions of "Round & Round" and "Run" were also released as singles.

Music and background[edit]

In the late 1980s, the band felt that they had to keep on playing with dance-electronic rhythms. Bernard Sumner reflected; "We were in this position of being known for this dance-electronic sound and it would have been daft to have just stopped doing it. That was the nature of the time. The way I saw it was we were still writing band music as well, so we'd reached a compromise."[4] Peter Hook joked that the album was "an epic power struggle between the sequencers and me. I was resisting it valiantly, because I still wanted us to be a rock band."[4]

Sumner also wrote all of the lyrics. When recording on the island of Ibiza, the band was heavily influenced by the environment around them and became fascinated by Balearic club music.[4] Gillian Gilbert recalled, "We had Mike (Johnson, engineer) with us, so there was always somebody doing something, but it was the beginning of us not being together in the studio when we were doing things. It was like, 'oh you do your drums today, and I'll do the vocals tonight...' The songs were sort of there but there were huge chunks missing. You'd leave blocks and say, 'will you fill that in? I'm off now.'"[4] The band had chosen to record in Ibiza at Hook's urging after a series of records made in "dark and horrible" London studios.[5] Stephen Morris described the sound of the Balearic beat clubs on the island they began to visit as "mad! They'd put an acid record on and then the next one would be a Queen one—it was schizophrenic, really. It'd be something really Spanish and then something really daft. It was a really odd mix but it all seemed to make sense when you were there. I don't why that was. Maybe because we were all a bit out of our brains."[6]

Following four months spent in Ibiza (with the album "20% complete", according to Sumner), the band shifted to Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios to finish recording, which Sumner referred to as a "much more sober atmosphere".[4]

For Hook, "Technique sounds fantastic [...] considering it's not an Ibizan dance record. I think it catches a summer sound really brilliantly."[4] Morris mentioned that the album had an "end of term, last day of school feel about it".[4] To promote the album, music videos were produced for the three singles. An instrumental version of "Vanishing Point" was used at the time on the BBC series Making Out.

John Denver's publishing company later filed a lawsuit, alleging that the guitar break in "Run" too closely resembled Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane".[7] The case was settled out of court.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. ClubB+[8]
Blender4/5 stars[9]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[10]
NME9/10[11]
Pitchfork9.2/10[12]
Q5/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[15]
The Village VoiceB+[16]

Technique received generally positive reviews from music critics upon its release. Melody Maker's Chris Roberts hailed the album as "a rare and ravishing triumph",[17] while NME wrote that the band had "fashioned an LP of unflinching honesty, free from the masks of false identities of their past."[11] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice called New Order a "lot franker and happier (hence smarter) than Depeche Mode" and felt that the band had "lightened up".[16] Craig Lee of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "with the exception of 'Fine Time,' there may be little new ground broken here, but when it comes to the sound of a broken psyche, New Order never misses a beat."[10] Ira Robbins, writing in Rolling Stone, stated that Technique "delivers a solid blast of sonic presence with immaculate playing" and called it a "surprisingly inviting album from this generally reserved outfit".[14]

Technique has since garnered critical acclaim in retrospective reviews. John Bush of AllMusic referred to the album as "another classic record" by New Order and stated that their "instincts for blending rock and contemporary dance resulted in another confident, superb LP."[2] Spin magazine's 1995 Alternative Record Guide cited Technique as New Order's best album because it represented the perfect synthesis of the band's abilities as a punk-influenced rock band and as synthpop pioneers.[18] David Quantick of Uncut called it a "powerfully contradictory album: not only is it an Ibiza record that's New Order's least techno-ey, but it's a chirpy, upbeat album with mature lyrics".[19] The A.V. Club's Josh Modell referred to Technique as New Order's "last truly great album",[8] as did BBC Music's Ian Wade, who added that the album showed "a New Order ready for the next decade, adding to their already superb reputation."[20] Keith Gwillim of Stylus Magazine contended that New Order "may have made better records, but none of them defines them, sounds so quintessentially like what they were always reaching for, quite as well as Technique."[3]

Tom Ewing of Pitchfork labelled Technique as "magnificent" in 2008 and stated that the album "takes the easy interplay and full-band sound of Brotherhood and drenches it in good Ibiza vibes".[12] However, he criticised the Collector's Edition bonus material as containing only "listless B-sides and instrumentals, and merely functional remixes".[12]

Technique has been listed by several publications as one of the best albums of the 1980s and of all time. In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at number 21 on its list of the "40 Best Albums of the '80s".[21] NME ranked the album at number 122 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all-time in 2013.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by New Order except where indicated.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Fine Time"Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris4:42
2."All the Way"Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris3:22
3."Love Less"Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris2:58
4."Round & Round"Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris4:29
5."Guilty Partner"Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris4:44
6."Run"John Denver, Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris4:29
7."Mr. Disco"Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris4:20
8."Vanishing Point"Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris5:15
9."Dream Attack"Sumner, Gilbert, Hook, Morris5:13
2008 Collector's Edition bonus disc
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Don't Do It" 4:34
2."Fine Line" 4:45
3."Round & Round" (12" Version) 6:52
4."Best & Marsh" 4:32
5."Run 2" (extended version)New Order, John Denver5:26
6."MTO" (Minus Mix) 5:27
7."Fine Time" (Silk Mix) 6:19
8."Vanishing Point" (Instrumental Making Out Mix) 5:12
9."World in Motion" (Carabinieri Mix)New Order, Keith Allen5:52

Personnel[edit]

New Order
  • Bernard Sumner – vocals, guitars, melodica, synthesizers and programming
  • Peter Hook – 4 and 6-stringed bass, electronic percussion, synthesizers and programming
  • Stephen Morris – drums, synthesizers and programming
  • Gillian Gilbert – synthesizers, guitars and programming
Technical
  • New Order – production
  • Michael Johnson – engineer
  • Richard Chappell – assistant engineer
  • Aaron Denson – assistant engineer
  • Richard Evans – assistant engineer
  • Trevor Key – cover design
  • Alan Meyerson – mixing
  • Peter Saville – cover design

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[23] 25
Canadian RPM Albums Chart 28
German Media Control Albums Chart[24][25] 25
New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart[26] 11
Swedish Sverigetopplistan[27] 23
Swiss Albums Chart[28] 15
UK Albums Chart[29] 1
UK Independent Albums Chart[30] 1
US Billboard 200[31] 32

Singles[edit]

Single Territory/Chart (1988/9) Peak
position
"Fine Time" UK Singles Chart[29] 11
"Fine Time" US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[32] 2
"Fine Time" US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[32] 3
"Fine Time" US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[32] 3
"Round & Round" UK Singles Chart[29] 21
"Round & Round" US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[32] 1
"Round & Round" US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[32] 6
"Round & Round" US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[32] 6
"Round & Round" US Billboard Hot 100[32] 64
"Run 2" (limited release) UK Singles Chart[29] 49

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[33] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[34] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[35] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[36] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (11 September 2015). "New Order Return to the Clubs on 'Music Complete' (But Not in Real Life)". Spin. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bush, John. "Technique – New Order". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b Gwillim, Keith (1 September 2003). "New Order – Technique – Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Harrison, Ian (2008). Technique (booklet). New Order. London Records. pp. 8–10.
  5. ^ McLean, Craig. "New Order interview: have they stopped arguing at last?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  6. ^ Saxelby, Ruth. "New Order: "It Made You Feel Like Dancing, That's The Thing That Came Back With Us From Ibiza"". The Fader. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  7. ^ Mack, Bob (11 January 1991). "Plane Tiff". EW. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  8. ^ a b Modell, Josh (10 November 2008). "New Order". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  9. ^ Sheffield, Rob (9 December 2008). "Let's Dance". Blender. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  10. ^ a b Lee, Craig (29 January 1989). "The Albums of Winter". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b "New Order: Technique". NME. 28 January 1989.
  12. ^ a b c Ewing, Tom (10 November 2008). "New Order: Movement / Power, Corruption and Lies / Low-Life / Brotherhood / Technique [Collector's Editions]". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  13. ^ "New Order: Technique". Q (84): 97. September 1993.
  14. ^ a b Robbins, Ira (23 March 1989). "New Order: Technique". Rolling Stone (548). Archived from the original on 18 October 2007.
  15. ^ Gross, Joe (2004). "New Order". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 582–83. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  16. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (25 April 1989). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  17. ^ Roberts, Chris (28 January 1989). "Perfect Visions". Melody Maker.
  18. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  19. ^ Quantick, David (24 September 2008). "New Order – Reissues". Uncut. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  20. ^ Wade, Ian. "New Order Technique Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  21. ^ "40 Best Albums of the '80s". Q (241). August 2006.
  22. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 200–101". NME. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Discography New Order". Australian-Charts.com. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  24. ^ "German chart positions". Charts-Surfer.de. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2008. Note: User must define 'Quicksearch' search parameter as "New Order".
  25. ^ "Chartverfolgung / New Order / Longplay". MusicLine.de. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  26. ^ "Discography New Order". Charts.ord.nz. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  27. ^ "Discography New Order". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  28. ^ "Discography New Order". SwissCharts.com. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  29. ^ a b c d "Chart Stats: New Order". ChartStats.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
  30. ^ "Indie Hits "N"". Cherry Red Records. Archived from the original on 26 September 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  31. ^ "New Order > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g "New Order: Billboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  33. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – New Order – Technique" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  34. ^ "Canadian album certifications – New Order – Technique". Music Canada. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  35. ^ "British album certifications – New Order – Technique". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 17 November 2018. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Technique in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  36. ^ "American album certifications – New Order – Technique". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 November 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]