Saturday, 3 February 2018

Out On Blue Six: New Order

Amused by the wall-to-wall poodle haired rock and movie tie-in videos that swamped MTV at the time, New Order's manager Rob Gretton hit upon the idea of their next video seeing them adopt a glam metal persona in a performance intercut with footage from a fictional movie - the resulting outcome allowed them to step out from the unfair and inaccurate dour, cold perception many had about the band since the days of Joy Division to reveal instead their natural sense of fun. 

The video was directed by Kathryn Bigelow who at the time had just a couple of movies under her belt, including Loveless and Near Dark. She brought along one of the stars from the latter, Bill Paxton, to appear alongside The Living Daylights Bond girl Femi Gardiner for scenes of the spoof movie. The footage of Paxton running across Battersea Bridge at night in pursuit of Gardiner at the wheel of her car, forcing her to crash before smashing the windscreen to climb in and commence some passionate kissing is certainly an atmospheric if peculiar and quite disturbing love sequence (and especially from a female director, with the outcome being a ban on the video from the lucrative Saturday morning TV market here in the UK) but it adds to the parodic nature of the piece.

The band scenes are nothing short of hilarious; dressed in outlandish Europe style wigs, leather, studs and chains, leaping slo-mo onto the stage as the sparks started flying, Barney catching a guitar to play a solo before tossing it back, and pointing at a keytar playing Gillian (on the precipice of pissing herself laughing throughout) as he utters the line "I have never looked at you in a sexual way before" (speak for yourself Barney!) all shows a band that - at this stage at least - didn't take itself or the industry too seriously. The upshot of it was of course that the American market did take the video seriously: the video was a hit on MTV and New Order's 1988 US tour saw several punters turn up expecting a Motley Crue style band, only to demand their money back when they learned the truth. That's the trouble with jokes I guess, they don't always translate well and some people just won't be able to get them.

End Transmission

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