New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies (Vinyl)

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Power, Corruption & Lies is the second studio album by English rock band New Order, released on 2 May 1983 by Factory Records. The album features more electronic tracks than their 1981 debut Movement, with heavier use of synthesizers. The album was met with widespread acclaim, and has been included in music industry lists of the greatest albums of the 1980s and of all time. The cover artwork was by Peter Saville, and in 2010 it was one of ten classic album covers from British artists commemorated on a UK postage stamp issued by the Royal Mail.

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 seen on the "Blue Monday" and "Confusion" singles and for Section 25's album From the Hip (1984).

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. Saville had originally planned to use a Renaissance portrait of a dark prince to tie in with the Machiavellian theme of the title, but could not 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.[9] Saville suggested that the flowers "suggested the means by which power, corruption and lies infiltrate our lives. They're seductive."

The cover was also intended to create a collision between the overly romantic and classic image that made a stark contrast to the typography based on the modular, colour-coded alphabet. Saville and Tony Wilson, the head of New Order's label Factory Records, also said that the owner of the painting (The National Heritage Trust) first refused the label 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 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."


Power, Corruption And Lies arrived at a pivotal time in my life, when it's exquisitely packaged themes of loss, sadness and isolation were able to make a direct hit to my heart. Four tracks in particular had that delicate intelligence, uniqueness of style and emotional rush which made them as good as anything I'd ever heard. "Age Of Consent" is highly charged power pop, or maybe electric folk; "The Village", the album's one truly joyful track, is pure pop, but so English, arty and progressive. "Your Silent Face" turned the "disco sound" into a sublime experience of introverted, understated beauty that was truly art rock for the eighties; and "Leave Me Alone" closed the album on an epiphany of pure multi-layered guitar-pop perfection.

New Order had an unparalleled knack for crafting simple melodies that pricked the heart like rose thorns, and lodged in the brain permanently. It was a gift that was to make them my favourite band of the eighties. The band was grieving the loss of their close friend Ian, a fact that is quietly but explicitly stated in this recording. Consequently there is a real sense of death and renewal about this album. It was during the time of this album that I literally, truly found God. As a postscript, I've always believed that "Leave Me Alone" was "borrowed" for The Dream Academy's beautiful hit, "Life In A Northern Town." One of my favourite albums.

By: Slipyoursoul

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
1. "Your Silent Face" 6:00
2. "Ultraviolence" 4:52
3. "Ecstasy" 4:25
4. "Leave Me Alone" 4:40

Total length: 42:35

Phonographic Copyright ℗ – London Records 90 Ltd.
Copyright © – London Records 90 Ltd.
Published By – Be Music (2)
Lacquer Cut At – Metropolis Mastering
Pressed By – Optimal Media Production – B973714
Artwork – Peter Saville (2)
Engineer – Michael Johnson
Engineer [Assistant] – Barry Sage, Mark Boyne
Lacquer Cut By – Frank* (tracks: A1 to A4), F.A.* (tracks: B1 to B4)
Painting [Cover Painting] – Fantin-Latour*
Producer – New Order