Number Ones: #88


  • NEW ORDER Bizarre Love Triangle (Factory)
  • Week Ending 22nd November 1986
  • 1 Week At #1


The second of my New Order chart-toppers in 1986, Bizarre Love Triangle was in a completely different league to Shell Shock and easily their finest moment since Thieves Like Us. Sadly, it was in that awkward period of the band’s career where some iffy singles and the messy Brotherhood album sent their commercial profile into a temporary freefall.

BLT (in typical New Order style, the mystique-dispelling sandwich reference is deliberate) shuns the frantic dancefloor stylings of so many of its immediate predecessors (and the hellish dirge of State Of The Nation) and goes all out electronic pop. Celestial electronic pop. It’s direct, and concise, and has a chorus with the classic chord progression which has been scientifically proven to be the most perfect in pop music (as a 15-year old, even I managed to compose a listenable song around it!).

Depending on the version / edit / mix you choose, there are varying levels of the glorious chiming synths in the arrangement; I have at least three, if not four, so-called “single versions” or “7” edits” in my collection and yet I still probably know and love the original LP incarnation the best.

(There is, it goes without saying, no bad version of BLT).

Given its pitiful chart performance on release in November 1986, when it popped its head around the Top 75 chart door at #56, and then quietly snuck out again, it was a surprise that nobody thought to hand it a second bite at the cherry. There were opportunities; first, after the Substance 1981-1987 set – sandwiched (sorry) just between True Faith and Touched By The Hand Of God – and then more realistically during the ? (Best Of) compilation campaign in 1994/1995. There was even an updated 1994 remix done for that particular release.

Still, for a track which never made the Top 40 it is probably one of the better-regarded singles in the New Order canon, a sort of cult-hit-that-everyone-knows.

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