New Order – Every Little Counts.
I love this song, from its warm, enveloping, confidently laid back opening bass line, through the giggles and the synths to the record-skidding crash at the end. It sounds like a band completely at ease with itself, doing exactly what it wants with measured and even-tempered control.
Brotherhood was a Christmas present, that I think I got in 1986, when I was already strongly into New Order and eagerly awaiting every new release. Living in Brussels, I scoured the record shops for previously-released product, but having already got Lowlife, I fully expected the next album to be as full of great songs as Perfect Kiss and Subculture. This was a band growing and improving with every fabulous new record.
Bizarre Love Triangle lived up to that expectation, but there were many other tracks of the album that weren’t quite the full-on dance barnstormers that that song was. As It Is When It Was, All Day Long and this track are more subdued, reflective pieces.
But when I played the record to a friend, it was this track with the pig/zoo line which won her over to the band. A touch of self-aware silliness, and all the better for being left in, as is the speeding up instrument crash at the end – a tribute to a Day in A Life?
And in more than just the ending there are similarities. That the song breaks neatly into two, with the vocals and resonant bass dominating the first section switching to glorious synths at the 2.44 mark. By rights, a New Order song should progress to a triumphant climax, all instruments blaring out their unique melody. Here that is a wasted dream as the whole song folds in on itself., disappearing into a black hole and figuratively crashing your turntable.
But the song cycles round again to the resonant bass, the jolly vocals, the recorder notes, the gently tapping percussion, the cello bow strokes, the guitar/ bass duelling, the warping tones and for a while, the world is a happy, friendly place.
A song with far more soul in it than the sneering sound of Everything Counts.