New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
Peter Saville said he chose the romantic portrait of flowers for the cover of Power, Corruption & Lies because it represented a sort of seduction. A way the elements of the album’s title “infiltrate our lives” via seduction. It was actually his girlfriend jokingly asking if he was going to use the painting as the album’s cover when he bought a postcard of Henri Fantin-Latour’s “A Basket of Roses” at the National Gallery in London. It is a seductive album cover. The mash-up of the classical with the color-coded typography has always been eye-catching. I have a little Steve Keene painting of it that I bought from some vendor at SXSW for the same reason I bought the album at work a few days ago. It is iconic, and it represents something: my favorite New Order record. The first one I listened to after being enamored with a best-of burnt by a friend in high school. I was baffled. It was nothing like the singles! It was dark and twisty, and at that point I hadn’t even discovered Joy Division yet. Listening to it now after years of trying to decode the album’s particular magic, I realize there are still things I’m going to be discovering years from now. Like “Your Silent Face,” which I sort of latched onto the first time I listened to Power, Corruption & Lies in its entirety for the first time years back. I did that because the only song I knew was the mighty (and seductive) “Age of Consent” and was feeling a bit out of my depth in the dance music injected post-punk. Things are better now; I am better equipped to handle such things. But I still love “Your Silent Face.” I love how the synthesizers sound wholly inorganic yet convey this warm, emotional resonance. On the whole, Power, Corruption & Lies is a weird masterwork and a great example of how great things can be born from tragedy.
"Age of Consent"
"Your Silent Face"