Lawsuit Creates "New Disorder"

by Joshua B. Hoe Low-Life by New Order

I have mentioned many times my love of Joy Division and New Order.

My love of Peter Hook's bass playing goes beyond simple fandom, to me, his bass is the one indispensable sound in post-punk.

The easiest way to describe why it is so important, Hook's bass generally carries the melody line of the song while Sumner et al wiggle around the outside filling in the rest of the song.

If you want to understand, just listen to Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" yup, that is almost all Hook.

Listen to most Joy Division or great New Order songs and the thing you will remember is likely a Hook bass line.

Another thing in Hook's favor for me is he has written some really often riotously funny books about his time in Joy Division and New Order during the Hacienda phase (when they helped open the landmark but financial disaster of a club called The Hacienda)

The Hook-Sumner Feud

As a result of my life-long love of Hook's bass, I tend to take his side in his long running feud with Singer/Guitarist Bernard Sumner.

As near as I can figure out, the whole thing started over Bernard writing all the signs and using that power to consistently try to reduce Bernard's role (which is literally insane - the ONLY thing that stops New Order songs from turning into window dressing is the urgency of Hook's bass lines).

The Lawsuit

Anyway, in 2011, the current New Order (or as Hook calls them New Odeur) Sumner, Stephen Morris, Some New Bass dude, and Gillian Gilbert established a new company called "New Order" to look after the bands finances.

Not only did the band forget to inform Hooky, they also paid him at a royalty rate of 1.25%. Remember, he was part of New Order from the inception and is now not part of "New Order" legally because of the incorporation not including him.

In response, Sumner et al. claim that Hooky still gets all his royalties at his normal 12.5% rate and it is only new material produced without him that results in the 1.25% rate.

Except that when they play live they are not just playing the new material. And as everyone knows, concerts are where the money is these days.

So, New Odeur plays the full greatest hits catalog and pays the bassist that added most of the hooks (no pun intended) 1.25% of the profits.

So far, the suit has gone well for Hook, in round one, the judge found that Hook's lawsuit essentially was not frivolous (Sumner et al were trying to claim that Hook just wanted to be back in the band).

The judge also made New Odeur pay the court costs and urged NO to settle.

In my understanding of law, that seems like a pretty strong suggestion that Sumner et al. are not going to win.

So Good On You Hooky!

Music Complete

I have seen a bunch of reviews lauding Music Complete, the latest post-Hook album by NO.

I listened to it a few times and found it bad. Certainly not the "return to greatness" some of the critics were lauding it with.

Obviously, I am a bit biased.

New order - Power, Corruption, and Lies

Anyway, what do you think about the dispute? What did you think about Music Complete? Let me know, leave a comment!

OpinionJoshua B. HoeComment