Key tracks: Hooky plays his timeless tunes and takes us behind the music
Andrew Trendell and Ed Keeble

14:40 30th September 2014

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Fractured the history of Joy Division and New Order may be, but one thing is certain: their remarkable records have lost none of their power. That's why we sat down with bassist Peter Hook, ahead of his gig with new band The Light, to get some unique insights into the tracks that defined him. 

Watch Peter Hook playing and performing classic Joy Division and New Order tracks in the video above

"I've never stopped writing, I write all the time, it's just that I don't write as The Light," Hooky told us, before he and his current outfit dazzled on the Shepherds Bush Empire Stage. "I view The Light as a project that hopefully plays all of my back catalogue that I've ever written and recorded, before I go up to join Ian."

"I'm going to do Technique, Republic and Substance, for as long as I can get away with it really, because it's so enjoyable to do it. It's something that I could never do with Barney and Steve. They just wouldn't play the old stuff and I didn't understand it. It was very frustrating, they just wanted to play the same tracks over and over again and I'm amazed that they're still playing the same set that we were playing in 2006, same set that we were playing in 2000, it's a bit bizarre. So it's nice to get this stuff out as this is the music that got you your fans."

With just his bass and the stage at London's Shepherds Bush Emmpire, we delve into the 'frightening' bittersweet beauty of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', his 'favourite' Joy Division song '24 Hours' and the 'edge'-driven New Order gem 'As It Is When It Was' as we ask Hooky to give his Key Tracks. 

Watch Peter Hook playing and performing classic Joy Division and New Order tracks in the video above

Peter Hook and The Light's full upcoming UK and world tour dates are below:

Saturday 4th K17, Berlin*
Sunday 5th Musikzentrum, Hannover*
Tuesday 7th La Machine du Moulin Rouge, Paris*
Wednesday 8th Big Band Cafe, Caen*
Thursday 9th La BAM, Metz *
Saturday 25th Teatro Italia, Santiago*
Tuesday 28th La Trastienda, Montevideo*
Wednesday 29th Niceto Club, Buenos Aires*
Friday 31st Clash Club, Sao Paulo*

Sunday 2nd Jose Cuervo Salon, Mexico City**
Tuesday 4th The Mohawk, Austin *
Thursday 6th The Trocadero, Philadelphia*
Friday 7th Irving Plaza, New York *
Saturday 8th Royale, Boston *
Monday 10th Club Soda, Montreal*
Tuesday 11th Danforth Music Hall, Toronto*
Thursday 13th The Magic Bag, Ferndale *
Friday 14th Metro, Chicago *
Saturday 15th Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis*
Monday 17th Venue, Vancouver *
Tuesday 18th Neumos, Seattle*
Thursday 20th Wonder Ballroom, Portland*
Friday 21st Mezzanine, San Francisco *
Saturday 22nd The Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles*
Monday 24th The Glasshouse, Pomona, California #
Tuesday 25th The Roxy, Los Angeles**
Wednesday 26th House Of Blues, San Diego*
Friday 28th The Republik, Honolulu*

Monday 8th The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge **
Tuesday 9th The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge # 
Wednesday 10th The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge *

* Performing Low-Life and Brotherhood
** Performing Unknown Pleasures and Closer
# Performing Movement and Power Corruption and Lies

Below: Joy Division's 12 best tracks, ranked in order of greatness

  • 12. 'The Eternal': This is suggestive of the musical direction that Joy Division were expanding towards. This penultimate track on their second album and shows a mature edge. They introduce keys, and unusual samples to create an other-worldly, but majestic cut.

  • 11. 'A Means To An End': Proof that Peter Hooks cyclical riffs have a trance-like quality that absorbs the listener allowing a meander closer to Ian Curtis' intriguing lyrics.

  • 10.'Twenty Four Hours': This has a desolate feel and evokes a lot of the depression Curtis was experiencing in his life.The music that accompany his deep poetic introspective lyrics is equally moving. (Photo: Kevin Cummins)

  • 9. 'New Dawn Fades': The same descending bass riff is looped throughout the track. Curtis' vocals rise and have a wide atmosphere . He really throws himself into this track. The guitar solo at the end has a majestic Led Zeppelin-esque power.

  • 8. 'Transmission': NME places this as No.20 of greatest indie anthems of all time and it shows the band at their most anthemic and danceable. We can't help but agree.

  • 7. 'Disorder': Taken from the 1979 debut album Unknown Pleasures that was released via Factory Records. This is quintessential listening for anyone into the post punk pioneers.

  • 6. 'Digital': This shows Joy Division at their punkiest. It's Buzzcocks-esque fun with angular riffs that are hard not to imagine a room full of punks losing themselves to and throwing each other around the room.

  • 5. 'Shadowplay': A catchy repetitive bass riff, and occasional flashy solos on the lead guitar interact to create a poignant sound that feels very informed by the post-industrial financial decay of Northern England in the time of Thatcher.

  • 4. 'Isolation': This is a highlight from their second album, Closer. The LP wasn't released until after Curtis passed away. However, it showed the band not succumbing to that difficult second album narrative that so many bands today appear to suffer and ensured they'll be remembered as one of the greatest bands of all time.

  • 3. 'Candidate': A dark and experimental track that evokes Curtis' influence Jim Morrison at his angriest and bluesiest. It's got a slow tempo and has an intensely emotional bleak, Gothic, and psychedelic sound.

  • 2. 'She's Lost Control': Bassist Peter Hook's tendency to play high melodies on the bass informs a lot of Joy Division's sound and he's at his catchiest here. In combination with Curtis' simple lyrics (which document a girl having an epileptic seizure - a condition Curtis himself famously struggled with) it creates a powerful and ominous mood.

  • 1. 'Love Will Tear Us Apart': This is their most well-known and influential song, ranking among Echo And The Bunnymen's 'Killing Moon' as one of the greatest alternative pop songs ever. It's sheer miserably majesty is unparalleled - setting the template for the dizzying heights that alternative pop was capable of reaching. A true masterpiece.

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