Paul Morley

(Extract from his Introduction)

"I can very much understand someone having an obsession with New Order. Their music, the intense combination of the abstract and the focussed, the delirious and the precise, the rhythmic and the cryptic, the mechanical and the decorative, is itself a compelling, ecstatically repetitive soundtrack to the very idea of obsessions...

"The fan(atic) symbolises the idea that without obsession, life is nothing. Happiness can be the bi-product of a certain sort of absorption, which includes the close connection a fan develops for their favourite pop groups. For the fan, New Order are an ideal object of desire, the perfect pop group - in the form of a perfect puzzle, an actual sign of fluid intelligence - to obsess over, to collect, analyse, interpret, treasure and ultimately possess. Great pop groups never contain normal, ordinary people, and the fans of such groups, those that passionately engage with them, and make them an important part of their lives, are themselves rarely normal, ordinary people. They are needing something in their lives, some sort of existential energy, context and consolation, some sort of special, questioning belief system, that they detect members of their favourite pop groups are also in need of, and singing about, and even to some extent finding. One look at  a poetic New Order sleeve, one listen to one of their touchy, driven albums, a sighting of one of their absurd, moving videos, attending one of their electric performances, and for a certain sort of obsessive with certain sorts of interests there will be considerable identification with how the group process, programme and present their own particular unstable obsessions... "

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