New Order – Regret (1993)
Because do I really need an excuse? To discuss this monster tune? Yeah, I said ‘monster’, a phrase not used outside of naff out of touch DJ’s, fantasy/sci-fi writers, young children at play and people who are growing old but can’t quite admit that they are just naff and past it. A bit like David Hasselhoff in fact! Brilliant segueway on my part there huh? Yep, me writing the word ‘monster’ to describe a New Order single from 1993 is probably just as uncool with the Hoff and his 1990’s global TV Phenom Baywatch somewhat redundant in the current pop culture universe. Until of course, they are not. But this isn’t about me and my passe, unhip writing style readers. This is about the song. The song is the thing. Oh, I’ve done it again sounding like some veteran/inside showbiz comic/actor with ‘the thing is the thing’, so inside, so cheesy and a bit pompous if you don’t mind me saying.
(No excuses needed of course to discuss the sublime but seeing as New Order recently signed with the legendary pioneers of uk electronic music Mute Records -sans Peter Hook – to record their 10th album, it seemed as good a time as any.)
Anyway, Regret is I reckon one of the great New Order songs and one of the greatest singles of the past twenty years. Yeah, that’s what I think but what is this opinion based on aside from a biased predisposition to their music from a young age? Well, there are few bands who can make music that makes you feel so inspired and so despondent at the same time. Quite a trick. I’m not sure if I like being tricked in general but if it’s New Order then it’s fine by me. So, this ‘juxtaposition’ (ding! ding! ding!) of moods in their songs is here in this video brought to its logical/farcical conclusion as five pasty-faced Mancunians perform on a beach along Hasselhoff and his tanned mannequin minions; the bittersweet sentiments of lead singer Bernard Sumners lyrics lost amidst the blazing white light of Hasselhoffs ego.
Why did this happen? How? Synergy most random? Someone knows and they can keep it to themselves frankly. Or maybe evidence of a band fighting against the resignation of the songs protagonist, grabbing a ridiculous opportunity while they can because why the hell not? Before you fall apart, allow yourself the chance to chat up pamela anderson for goodness sake!