New Order ‎– Low-life

Factory ‎– Fact 100
Vinyl, LP, Album


A1 Love Vigilantes
A2 The Perfect Kiss
A3 This Time Of Night
A4 Sunrise
B1 Elegia
B2 Sooner Than You Think
B3 Sub-Culture
B4 Face Up

Companies, etc.



Cover comes wrapped in onion skin paper.
Printed inner sleeve.
Recorded and mixed in London, at Jam and Britannia Row Studios.
Published by Bemusic/Warner Bros. Music.
A Factory record.
Lyntone matrix (LYN) pressing here New Order - Low-life
AGI matrix (AGI) version here New Order - Low-life

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A runout - variation 1): MPO FAC 100 A5x DMM
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B runout - variation 1): MPO FAC 100 B5x DMM

Other Versions (5 of 126) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
WPCR-13170/1, WPCR-13585~6 New Order Low-life(CD, Album, Promo, RE + CD, Comp, Promo + Dlx, RE, ) London Records, London Records WPCR-13170/1, WPCR-13585~6 Japan 2010 Sell This Version
R2 516184 New Order Low-life(CD, Album, RE + CD, Comp + RM, Col) Rhino Records (2) R2 516184 US 2008 Sell This Version
8573 813132 New Order Low-life(CD, Album) London Records 8573 813132 Australia 2001 Sell This Version
670.8001, 31.000 New Order Low-life(LP, Album) WEA, Factory, WEA, Factory 670.8001, 31.000 Brazil 1987 Sell This Version
Fact 100 New Order Low-life(LP, Album, AGI) Factory Fact 100 UK 1985 Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 18 Reviews

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August 9, 2018
The best New Order album no doubt, with this they did a proper house cleaning and got rid of any Joy Division link. Every song is a celebration.


April 17, 2017

Despite what others may say or infer, especially dropping the word ‘intelligent’ into the mix, New Order step into ‘intelligent’ synth pop dance and electronica was not the logical progression from their roots as part of Joy Division, it was simply the path that they chose, even if at times the music is darkly laced. And I ask you sincerely, just what made New Order ‘intelligent’ [?] … only the fact that they rose from the ashes of Joy Division.

There was a humanness to the music of Joy Division, even if tragically so, causing me at this stage to attempt to discern the difference between New Order and the Pet Shop Boys, or even the Eurythmics for that matter, with the genesis for their huge success being the capitalization of the fact that Ian Curtis had once stood on the stage in front of them. This was not indie music, it wasn’t even alternative music, perhaps alternative dancehall music, but it was nothing more than a fusion of a lost dream with heavily sampled sequenced and synthesized sounds that were constructed to counter the melodic bass of Peter Hook, along with the guitar generated by Bernard Summer. There are those who will suggest that following the death of Ian Curtis, that New Order decided to make a frontal attack on the lightness of synth pop dance music, turning that music on its head, and delivering some of the murkiest depressing gloom and doom dance music the world had ever heard. Though in all honesty, New Order had nothing to be so tragically smitten with, other than the death of Curtis, with the music they put out resounding as emotionally untrue, as they were simply repackaging the atmosphere of Joy Division, capitalizing on Ian’s death, and marketing the hell out of their themselves, though nothing, try as they might, could even come close to “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” because they did not own the emotional atmosphere they were attempting lay down, an atmosphere and attitude that was so readily picked up by listeners, who wanted just a bit more, hoping that through New Order, the life of Joy Division could be extended. But it couldn’t.

As to the music itself … implications have been pushed around for years that the album was sublime, an effortlessly blended organic mix of alternative rock with dance pop. Of course the first question I would always pose to those comments, is to ask the speaker to define the word ‘organic,’ which when they do, does not at all coexist with the sounds of New Order, a band who even by the time of this hit album were still sounding unsure of themselves, still lurking in the dark corners hoping to create the perfect release, one that they should have been able to deliver, yet never could. The proof of this is self-evident, and easily discovered in the ratings.

New Order were a fashion statement at best, a romantic aspiration for the post punk movie “Pretty In Pink,” a bit of accepted expected wholesome bleakness and teen angst despair, held to a light that revealed nothing of their past, nothing of substance, a total 180 degrees from all aspirations and motivations of Joy Division, ever linked to Joy Division, yet brandishing a defiance to those truthful days, nearly forever refusing to give interviews for fear of incarnation references.

In the end, those were very uncomfortable times, the 1980’s were a ball of depression and confusion on a variety of levels, filled with untruth, a clampdown by authorities, with the 60’s and 70’s but a distant memory. I don’t believe that much of substance rose out of that decade, not REM, surely not The Smiths, and certainly not U2. Fans seemed to be looking for something, anything that would be lasting, but all and all, everything was transient, even gallery worthy artwork was a fashion, lasting but moments, people were dying of drugs [Crack & Heroin] and AIDS, there seemed no hope, and artists such as New Order and those mentioned, seemed to reflect this hopelessness. Am I glad that New Order where there to counterbalance the likes of Eddie Money, and The Romantics [?] … of course I am, yet thirty some years out, I’m not listening to any of it, because I don’t need or want that much significantly depressing pain in my life.

The Facts: Joy Division took their name from the 1955 novella “House of Dolls” [credit from a diary kept by a young girl] by Ka-tazetnik [tattoo number 135633], citing Joy Divisions as groups of Jewish women in concentration camps during World War II, who were kept alive for the sexual pleasure of Nazi soldiers, so it’s no wonder that New Order drew their name yet again from Nazi ideals, with New Order referring to Hitler’s planned reorganization of Europe under Nazi rule.

And as a testament to the depressing nation of these post punk dancehall songs: According to Bernard Sumner, “Love Vigilantes” is one of the few songs for which he started out wanting to tell a story rather than his usual method of listening to a newly composed piece and writing lyrics to match the mood of the music. Sumner's lyrics tell a rather tongue in cheek tale of a soldier returning home from Vietnam only to find that his wife had received a telegram informing her that he had died. Sumner further relates that the ending is open to interpretation. Either the soldier had actually died and returns as a ghost or the telegram was sent mistakenly and he is quite alive. Regardless, he finds her lying on the floor having committed suicide with the telegram in her hand.

The New Order album entitled Power Corruption & Lies also has a German reference, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.

Review by Jenell Kesler


April 5, 2015
This album may have been the peak of the darker NO times, an early "Substance", finally getting independent from the Joy Division origin, referencing to the past and already pointing into the future at the same time, which includes Sumners singing as well as their cinematic keyboard layers and Hooky's great bass treatment, with all the great lyrics in a collection of slow-growing hits that you not get to hear until you tried them several times... - and suddenly they stay forever. The only major "faults" are these crappy versions of "Sub-culture" and "The Perfect Kiss", to be put in a definite forms at last in 1987. Absolutely underestimated: these great songs "This Time Of Night" and "Sunrise", which make the A-Side one of the best treats you could ever to be gotten in and after the 80's.


October 29, 2014
New Order seem a little tired here. Don't get me wrong, there's good stuff on Low-Life, it's just that for the first time, the group's straight-ahead rock material dominates. And despite reaching musical heights with "Perfect Kiss," on this LP you get the edited version which omits the entire third verse and chorus. Come to think of it, this is also the first time the group included their recent singles in an album release. Re-hashed singles, so-so rockers and an epic length instrumental on side two add to a feeling that NO were starting to tread water. By next year's similar-sounding Brotherhood, that feeling gave rise to the notion that they may have needed a lifebuoy.


October 30, 2010

I got this on cassette around 1988 having heard it from sister. I had recently got into New Order probobly 1986 when I was about 10 years old. I rarely played this album because when Substance came out it made these original version of Subculture and Perfect Kiss seem like demos and were allot longer. Perfect Kiss version on Substance inparticular makes there really no reason to go back this album except Elegia which is wonderful. I know I will get slack on this but this may be the weakest full length New Order release from 1983 - 1993. The inbetween tracks are really one note ideas which are nearing on dreadful and the edits in Perfect Kiss are horrible. Besides the tracks mentioned and Love Vigilantes (good song but not my taste) it's really a sparse album. Not too mention the weakest Bernard "singing" ever.