5 8 6

Power, Corruption & Lies
New Order
Released 2 May 1983
Recorded November 1982, Britannia Row, Islington
Genre Post-punk, alternative dance, synthpop
Length 42:35
Label Factory
UK – FACT 75
Producer New Order
New Order chronology

1981 – 1982
Power, Corruption & Lies

Power, Corruption & Lies is the second studio album by New Order, released in May 1983 on Factory Recordings. It is more electronic-based than their previous album Movement, with heavier use of synthesizers. The album was included in the top 100 albums of the 1980s lists in both Rolling Stone magazine and Pitchfork Media.

In 2008, the album was re-released in a Collector's Edition with a bonus disc.


The title of the album was chosen by Bernard Sumner from a 1981 conceptual art exhibition in Cologne, Germany. On the opening night of the exhibition the artist Gerhard Richter vandalised the exterior of the Kunsthalle by spray painting the text, "Power, Corruption, and Lies".


Peter Saville's design for the album had a colour-based code to represent the band's name and the title of the album, but they were not actually written on the original UK sleeve itself (they were present on some non-UK versions), although the catalogue number "FACT 75" does appear on the top-right corner. The decoder for the code was featured prominently on the back cover of the album and can also be used for the "Blue Monday" and "Confusion" singles and for Section 25's album From the Hip.

The cover is a reproduction of the painting "A Basket of Roses" by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour, which is part of the National Gallery's permanent collection in London.[1] Saville had originally planned to use a Renaissance portrait of a dark prince to tie in with the Machiavellian theme of the title,[2] but couldn't find a suitable portrait. At the gallery Saville picked up a postcard with Fantin-Latour's painting, and his girlfriend mockingly asked him if he was going to use it for the cover. Saville then realised it was a great idea.[2] Saville suggested that the flowers "suggested the means by which power, corruption and lies infiltrate our lives. They're seductive."[2] The cover was also intended to create a collision between the overly romantic and classic image which made a stark contrast to the typography based on the modular, colour-coded alphabet. Saville and Tony Wilson, the head of the label, also said[3] that the owner of the painting (The National Heritage Trust) first refused Factory Records access to it. Wilson then called up the gallery director to ask who actually owned the painting and was given the answer that the Trust belonged to the people of Britain, at some point. Wilson then famously replied, "I believe the people want it." The director then replied, "If you put it like that, Mr Wilson, I'm sure we can make an exception in this case."[2]

The cover was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.[4][5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[6]
Blender 5/5 stars[7]
Pitchfork Media (9.6/10)[8]
Robert Christgau (B+)[9]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[10]
World of Music 4.5/5 stars[11]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[12]

Power, Corruption & Lies was generally well received on its release, and is still well-regarded. In 1989, the album was ranked No. 94 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s citing it as "a landmark album of danceable, post-punk music".[13] In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 23 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s" saying "Power, Corruption & Lies marks the real beginning of New Order's career" and "their first perfect pop record".[14]  

Track listing

All songs written and composed by New Order; except where indicated. 
Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Age of Consent"   5:16
2. "We All Stand"   5:14
3. "The Village"   4:37
4. "5 8 6"   7:31
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Your Silent Face"   6:00
6. "Ultraviolence"   4:52
7. "Ecstasy"   4:25
8. "Leave Me Alone"   4:40

American versions of the cassette and CD editions up until the Collector's Edition featured "Blue Monday" at the end of side one, and "The Beach" at the end of side two. The Australia/New Zealand cassette edition (available 1983–1992) featured "Blue Monday" at the end of side one.

2008 Collector's Edition bonus disc:
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Blue Monday"    7:32
2. "The Beach"    7:22
3. "Confusion"  New Order, Arthur Baker 8:15
4. "Thieves Like Us"  New Order, Arthur Baker 6:38
5. "Lonesome Tonight"    5:13
6. "Murder"    3:57
7. "Thieves Like Us" (instrumental)New Order, Arthur Baker 6:59
8. "Confusion" (instrumental)New Order, Arthur Baker 7:36
Total length:


  • Bernard Sumner – vocals, guitars, melodica, synthesizers and programming
  • Peter Hook – 4 and 6-stringed bass, electronic percussion
  • Stephen Morris – drums, synthesizers and programming
  • Gillian Gilbert – synthesizers and programming, guitars
  • New Order – production
  • Michael Johnson – engineering
  • Barry Sage and Mark Boyne – assistants

Release details

  • UK 12" – Factory Records (FACT 75)
  • UK cassette – Factory Records (FACT 75C)
  • US 12" – Factory Records/Rough Trade Records (FACTUS 12)
  • UK CD (1993 re-release) – London Records (520,019-2)
  • GR 12" Factory Records VG50085


Chart (1983) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[15] 38
Canadian Albums (RPM)[16] 66
German Albums (Media Control)[17] 18
scope="row" Template:Albumchart
scope="row" Template:Albumchart
UK Albums (OCC)[18] 4
UK Independent Albums (OCC) 1

See also

External links

  • on New Order Online
  • on World in Motion


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