Happy Monday. A dubious day to announce a comeback but we’ll do one nonetheless because it feels like my best songs lists have taken a back seat of late. And of course, comebacks don’t get any better than this song.
“Crystal” was the iconic New Wave band’s first single since the standalone, “Video 5 8 6”, in 1997. But more significantly, it was also the first single released off “Get ready”, New Order’s first studio album in eight years and the last to feature all of its original members. Shortly afterwards, keyboard player Gillian Gilbert would go on a second hiatus to take care of her and drummer Stephen Morris’s kids. And then, there was the famously acrimonious departure of standout bassist Peter Hook in 2007.
But in 2001, all the pistons were firing and New Order was welcomed back to the music world with open arms by fans and critics alike. “Crystal” (as well as the rest of the album) was some of the fastest, upbeat, jubilant, and guitar-driven material we had heard from a band that cut its teeth filling dance floors in the eighties with its synth heavy tunes. The keys and effects and danceable beats are still here but this feels like rock. And of course, when I first heard it, I recognized it as New Order but felt its differences deep within my soul. I loved it and immediately clamoured to hear the rest of the album. A good quality for a first single for sure.
As an aside, the video for the song is notable for inspiring the name of what is arguably one of the biggest bands in rock in the new millennia. Just have a look at the bass drum of the fictional band performing the song in the video and you’ll have a chuckle I’m sure. That is, if you’re not already smiling along with the song. Enjoy.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 2001 list, click here.