“Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order (1986)

3 06 2009

Some folks I know would describe New Order as a band that makes “dance music,” but they’re much more than that, at least to me. They wrote some great songs, and their arrangements—relying heavily on electronic instruments—are terrific. Unlike some dance music, there is real heft, musicality, and integrity in New Order’s work.

Although it’s not really my scene, there’s nothing like being in a club when the DJ spins some New Order. The sound is amazing, and the crowd is electrified by the music. Not bad for a day’s work.

I also wanted to tell you what I think a good song is. A good song doesn’t rely on production value alone, it can stand up on its own and be heard in any context. This song is a perfect example. It sounds great in its original form, as a so-called dance track, but it also sounds great stripped down to the bare essentials. The Australian band Frente! did a cover of this song with just voice and acoustic guitar, and you can really hear the song shine through.

That’s kind of a test for me. Could a person play the song around a campfire? Would it just sound stupid and repetitious? Or would it still move you?

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