Certain Songs #1309: New Order – “Dreams Never End”

Album: Movement
Year: 1981

It took a little over a year from when I purchased Joy Division’s Still in late 1981 to get fully caught up on all the music that Joy Divsion / New Order had released.

And since I had started with Still, I didn’t buy any of this music in any kind of order, meaning for awhile, it was all jumbled up in my head, especially since the last thing I bought in that period was the most radical — the singles that were collected as the 1981-1982 EP (more on that tomorrow) — it took me a while to process New Order as their own thing.

Right in the middle of all of that was Movement, New Order’s debut album, recorded during the spring of 1981, but not released until November of that year. I got it in March of 1982, and whether or not that was before or after I bought the “Ceremony” twelve-inch, I simply don’t know or remember.

I do remember this: I listened to Movement a lot, trying to suss it all out, especially because it was relatively short — though there weren’t any song times or even song titles on the record label — and my favorite songs on the record were the opener, “Dreams Never End” and the closer “Denial.”

Opening with another high-end Peter Hook bass riff that could easily be mistaken for a guitar, dueling with Stephen Morris’ stellar hi-hat work, building into a full-blown guitar-driven rock and roll song featuring a rare Peter Hook vocal lead.

Normally, this is where I would quote you some lyrics, but honestly, I’ve never been able to understand a single word that Hooky has ever song on this tune — or actually a single word on the whole album. And I think the issue was Martin Hannett’s obscurantist production. A singer as powerful and unique as Ian Curtis could cut through all of the gauze and FX Hannett specialized in, but not so much Hook or Sumner.

So while the steady beat and long loping guitar leads of “Dreams Never End” made it a great, attention-getting opener, especially for a transitional album, after that, it was mostly mush. And indeed, the band realized it to: when they next convened in a recording studio to recorded their true breakthrough (more on that tomorrow), Hannett was nowhere to be found.

So I kinda think of Movement as perhaps the only debut album that was also simultaneously a transitional album and a final album to boot. Because what was coming next was going to be revolutionary.

“Dreams Never End”

“Dreams Never End” Peel Session, 1981 (Audio Only)

“Dreams Never End” Live in Manchester, 1981

“Dreams Never End” Live NYC 1981

“Dreams Never End” Live London 1987

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