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Title: Low-Life  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Love Vigilantes, Elegia, New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies, State of the Nation (New Order song)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Cover of UK vinyl issue
Studio album by New Order
Released 13 May 1985
Recorded 1984, Jam and Britannia Row, London
Length 40:05
Label Factory FACT 100
Producer New Order
New Order chronology
Power, Corruption & Lies

Low-Life is the third studio album by English rock band New Order. Released in May 1985 by Factory Records, Low-Life is considered to be among New Order's strongest work, displaying the moment in which the band completed its transformation from post-punk hold-overs to dance rock. The album shows New Order's increased incorporation of synthesizers and samplers, while still preserving the rock aspects of their earlier work. The original Factory release (Japan and UK) CD versions of this album are mastered with pre-emphasis.

The songs on this album formed the basis of New Order's live concert video, Pumped Full of Drugs, filmed in Tokyo shortly before the album's release. The track This Time of Night was originally titled "Pumped Full of Drugs".

The music video for "The Perfect Kiss" was directed by Jonathan Demme. The song "Elegia" was featured in the Academy Award-nominated short film More by Mark Osborne, and was also used in the final trailer for the video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

On 2015, the album was rereleased and remastered for the US iTunes Store.


  • Artwork 1
  • Singles and re-releases 2
  • Reception 3
  • Track listing 4
  • Personnel 5
  • Release details 6
  • Chart positions 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The album's artwork is the only New Order release to feature photographs of the band members on its cover. By default, drummer/keyboardist Stephen Morris is on the front cover, but the CD version features four photographs inside the case and a semi-transparent piece of paper with the band's name. Owners can choose which band member is seen through the sleeve.

Singles and re-releases

The album was preceded by the release of the full-length version of "The Perfect Kiss" as a single (only an edited version appears on the album). John Robie's remix of "Sub-culture" was also released as a 12" single. Both of these extended versions eventually were included on 1987's Substance.

In 2008, the album was re-released in a Collector's Edition with a bonus disc, including the rare 17-minute version of "Elegia" and, for the first time in digital format, the unedited 12" mix of "The Perfect Kiss".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [3]
The A.V. Club A–[4]
Blender [5]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music [6]
Pitchfork Media 9.0/10[1]
Q [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [8]
Select [9]
Uncut [10]
The Village Voice B+[11]

In 2000, Q magazine placed Low-Life at number 97 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. Low-Life (alongside New Order's 1989 album Technique) was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Love Vigilantes"   4:16
2. "The Perfect Kiss"   4:51
3. "This Time of Night"   4:45
4. "Sunrise"   6:01
5. "Elegia"   4:56
6. "Sooner Than You Think"   5:12
7. "Sub-culture"   4:58
8. "Face Up"   5:02


  • Bernard Sumner – vocals, guitars, melodica, synthesizers, electronics and programming, percussion
  • Peter Hook – 4 and 6-stringed bass, electronic percussion, backing vocals on "This Time of Night"
  • Stephen Morris – drums, synthesizers, electronics and programming
  • Gillian Gilbert – synthesizers, electronics and programming, guitars
  • New Order – production
  • Michael Johnson – engineering
  • Mark, Penny and Tim – tape operators

Release details

  • UK 12" – Factory Records (FACT 100)
  • UK cassette – Factory Records (FACT 100C)
  • US 12" – Qwest (25289-1)
  • US cassette – Qwest (9 25289-4)
  • UK CD (1993 re-release) – London Records (520 020-2)

Chart positions

Chart (1985) Peak
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[12] 70
Canadian RPM Albums Chart 26
New Zealand RIANZ Album Chart[13] 11
Swedish Sverigetopplistan[14] 20
UK Albums Chart[15] 7
UK Independent Albums Chart[16] 1
US Billboard 200[17] 94


  1. ^ a b Ewing, Tom (10 November 2008). [Collector's Editions]"Technique / Brotherhood / Low-Life / Power, Corruption and Lies / Movement"New Order: .  
  2. ^ a b Ulyatt, Jonathan (28 September 2014). "Peter Hook & The Light @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London - 27/09/2014".  
  3. ^ a b Bush, John. – New Order"Low-Life".  
  4. ^ Modell, Josh (10 November 2008). "New Order".  
  5. ^ "Back catalogue: New Order".  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ "Low-Life".  
  8. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004).  
  9. ^ Harrison, Andrew (August 1993). "Republish".  
  10. ^ Quantick, David (24 September 2008). "New Order – Reissues".  
  11. ^  
  12. ^ "Discography New Order". Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "Discography New Order". Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "Discography New Order". Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  15. ^ "Chart Stats: New Order". Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  16. ^ """Indie Hits "N. Cherry Red Records. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "New Order > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums".  

External links

  • Low-Life (Adobe Flash) at Radio3Net (streamed copy where licensed)
  • on New Order OnlineLow-Life
  • on World in MotionLow-Life
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