Electronic - Electronic w/ Ltd Edition Black Cover (Vinyl)

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Electronic is the debut studio album by the British group Electronic, consisting of Bernard Sumner, the former guitarist and keyboardist of Joy Division and the lead singer and guitarist of New Order and Johnny Marr, the former guitarist of the Smiths. It was first released in May 1991 on the Factory label.

The album was a commercial and critical success, reaching number 2 in the United Kingdom and selling over a million copies worldwide.

The bulk of Electronic was written in 1990, with sessions beginning that January at Johnny Marr's home studio in Manchester. "Gangster" dated from an aborted solo album that Bernard Sumner had begun working on in the mid-eighties, while "Reality" was written around 1988 when he and Marr first began working together. "The Patience of a Saint" also predated the album, having been written with Pet Shop Boys soon after their collaboration with singer Neil Tennant on "Getting Away with It" in 1989.

Several other songs were also completed by August 1990 (namely "Idiot Country", "Tighten Up", "Soviet", "Get the Message" and "Try All You Want"), as they were performed live at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles when Electronic supported Depeche Mode[6] (although "Try All You Want" was played as an instrumental[7] and several songs had working titles).

The LP subtly fused Marr's guitar playing with Sumner's synthesiser expertise, most prominently on "Idiot Country", "Feel Every Beat", "Tighten Up" and "Get the Message". Lyrically the subject matter was varied, from the aggressive targeting of rave culture by police in Britain ("Idiot Country" and "Feel Every Beat") to monogamy and emotional ambivalence ("Reality", "Try All You Want"). "The Patience of a Saint" featured a witty, sardonic duet between Sumner and Tennant.


At a period when New Order was at odds with each other. Even though they came through critically with the release of 1989’s Technique. The band decided to explore other options, meaning solo ventures. This one may be the most well known of the New Order side projects.

Electronic is the duo of New Order’s Bernard Summer and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. The two sounds coming together and easily meld into the Madchester sound of the late 80s and early 90s. Though Johnny Marr is renowned for his guitar skills, they are conservatively used here amidst the amass of electronic programming. The final product could be compared to New Order’s follow up album Republic. The only difference being that the material here sounds more polished, less commercial and all around more engaging. A good majority of the songs sound like New Order tracks. With that typical musical chord structure on tracks like Reality, the very simple yet unusually profound lyrics on Get The Message. Even certain song titles wouldn’t be out of place on a NO record. That thought came to me just upon glancing at the back track list, where names like Soviet and Gangster sounded like classic NO one word songs (I.e. Weirdo and Ecstasy).

The Madchester sound might be most intense on the opening track Idiot Country. Where Bernard does a rap over thunderous beats and the sweet guitar licks of Johnny Marr. Now, being that this is 1991 and Marr is featured on a contemporary Synth-Pop project, you may not be surprised to find the Pet Shop Boys presence on both The Patience Of A Saint and Getting Away With It. Though they make themselves known on those two tracks their brief encounter on the record doesn’t take away from any consistency or create any distractions.

The eponymous debut clearly showcases that Summer and Marr are a dynamic duo. Even if they paint themselves into the limitations of early 90s rave. For anyone who may have been disappointed with Republic. I would point them to this record as a great stop for listening pleasure. While the 90s clichés are present, they aren’t as dull as what would be tried and exhausted in 1993.


1. "Idiot Country" 5:02
2. "Reality" 5:39
3. "Tighten Up" 4:38
4. "The Patience of a Saint" 4:11
5. "Getting Away with It" 5:14
6. "Gangster" 5:24
7. "Soviet" 2:00
8. "Get the Message" 5:20
9. "Try All You Want" 5:37
10. "Some Distant Memory" 4:09
11. "Feel Every Beat" 4:01

Artwork [Original Sleeve] – Johnson Panas
Engineer – Owen Morris
Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By, Producer – Johnny Marr
Lacquer Cut By – FA*
Mastered By, Remastered By – Frank Arkwright
Photography By [Picture] – Todd*
Programmed By [Additional] – Andrew Robinson*
Vocals, Keyboards, Programmed By, Producer – Bernard Sumner
Written-By – Sumner* (tracks: A1 to A3, B1 to B6), Marr* (tracks: A1 to A3, B1 to B6)
This 2020 reissue has a black cover design with a plain silver cardboard inner.
The black cover design was previously only used on the 1994 Parlophone CD reissue.

℗ 2013 The copyright in these sound recordings is owned by Warner Records Inc. for World ex Europe and Clear Productions Ltd. under exclusive license to Parlophone Records Ltd. for Europe
© 2020 Clear Productions Ltd.
Made in the EU