Certain Songs #1319: New Order – “Every Little Counts”

Album: Brotherhood
Year: 1986

The closing track on Brotherhood was as close to a ballad as New Order was ever going to get, and was also perhaps the silliest, most light-hearted track that they ever did: not only does Bernard Sumner crack himself up during the opening verse — not quite to the level that Bob Dylan did on “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” — because he was very aware of the silliness.

And of course, none of this mattered because “Every Second Counts” was a near-perfect closing track for Brotherhood, one more comedown after the near-psychedelic coda of “Angel Dust,” and also closing the “disco” side of the record with a slow dance song.

With Stephen Morris augmenting the drum machine with some Mo Tucker style floor tom hits, Sumner sings about a relationship that he seems to be surprised to be in, though I’m probably thinking harder about the lyrics than he did when he wrote them.

Every second counts
When I am with you
I think you are a pig
You should be in a zoo
I guess I should’ve known
I’d end up on my own
Every second counts when I am with you
Every second counts

Never picking up beyond a slow crawl, “Every Little Counts” gets over on Hook’s bassline, the cool little guitar touches, and of course, the usual grand edifice of keyboards toward the end, as well as an interesting “Day in the Life” style ending that required Sumner to use both arms to hold down every single key of the Emulator II at the same time.

And while it wasn’t nearly as grand and dramatic as what The Beatles did, it was way way cheaper than hiring all of those string players; and when followed up by a truly annoying record scratch to end the song, album and phase of their career all at once: New Order still had great songs in them — and their American breakthrough was just beginning to happen — but they never made a record as good ever again.

“Every Little Counts”

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