The band was formed in 1980 by Sumner (vocals, guitars, keyboards & synthesisers), Peter Hook (bass, vocals) and Morris (drums, electronic drums, keyboards & synthesisers) - the remaining members of Joy Division, following the suicide of vocalist Ian Curtis - with the addition of Gilbert (keyboards & synthesisers, guitars). In 1993 the band broke-up amidst tension between bandmembers, but reformed in 1998. In 2001, Cunningham (guitars, keyboards & synthesisers) replaced Gilbert, who left the group due to family commitments. In 2007, Peter Hook left the band and the band broke-up again, with Sumner stating in 2009 that he no longer wishes to make music as New Order. The band reunited in 2011 without Hook, with Gilbert returning to the fold and Chapman replacing Hook on bass. During the band's career and in between lengthy breaks, band members have been involved in several solo projects, such as Sumner's Electronic and Bad Lieutenant; Hook's Monaco and Revenge and Gilbert and Morris' The Other Two. Cunningham was previously a member of Marion and with Sumner and Chapman was a member of Bad Lieutenant.
By combining New Wave and electronic dance music, New Order became one of the most critically acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s. Though the band's early years were shadowed by the legacy and basic sound of Joy Division, their experience of the early 1980s New York City club scene increased their knowledge of dance music and saw them incorporate elements of that style into their work. The band's 1983 hit "Blue Monday", the best-selling 12-inch single of all time, is one example of how the band transformed their sound.
New Order were the flagship band for Factory Records. Their minimalist album sleeves and "non-image" (the band rarely gave interviews and were known for performing short concert sets with no encores) reflected the label's aesthetic of doing whatever the relevant parties wanted to do, including an aversion to including singles as album tracks.
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