New Order just can't get a break in the US this week. Vh1 broadcast the recent UK Music Hall Of Fame ceremony that inducted the band over the weekend and again throughout the week. What did they cut out? Only a tribute to John Peel and New Order. While the lack of Peel is regrettable it is understandable that a tribute to a late BBC deejay might not translate across the Atlantic, but to completely ignore New Order? Totally inexcusable. The only indication that the band was even at the ceremony was Peter Hook in the background of a reaction shot of someone else. The two hours of the ceremony that vh1 broadcast included two performances from Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath, an extended medley from Eurythmics, an “all star” tribute to Jimi Hendrix, and confusingly for the UK Music Hall Of Fame Canadian Alanis Morissette performing a tribute to American Bob Dylan. What the hell happened? My guess is a bizarre commitment to cross promotional efforts on behalf of mtv-networks’ no-longer-in-production “The Osbournes” and a heavy case of Boomer-ism. As Tony Blair’s appearance in the band’s introduction indicates, the Eurythmics peaked about the last time the baby boomer generation paid any attention to new music and while they were a decent singles band they have been quick to follow the winds of stylistic change to whatever friendly MOR-paths they take. Just in case we didn’t notice the generational bias of vh1’s special, we were treated to Woody Harrelson, who was 9 when the 60’s ended, presenting an award to the absent Dylan refer to him as the voice of the 60's and we later learned from a grey-haired retired rocker that when he first heard some underplayed song he felt that The Who were really talking about their generation. Fantastic. Actually, there were some good parts to the ceremony namely the brief “thank you”’s from what’s left of The Who and the emphasis on the multi-media aspects of Pink Floyd. But to completely ignore New Order (who were inducted as Joy Division/New Order) who continue to influence everyone from Interpol/Editors/She Wants Revenge to the entire electronic genre (see George Acosta’s recent “Blue Monday” cover as an example of how wide a net they cast) and give two songs to Ozzy?
Thanks to the wonders of the internet I was able to track down the band’s induction. Some of the usual suspects were interviewed in the introduction video piece namely Bobby Gillespie, Moby and Billy Corgan (wearing the same fishing hat that he wore when touring as a member of the band during the few Area: One dates back in 2001) once given time for an acceptance speech Bernard gave props to the guys fatter than him in the audience, namely Shaun Ryder and Arthur Baker, then took a swipe at the Slash’s guitar solo during the Hendrix tribute. Priceless.
Then there is New Order's latest single and the best electronic track on their new album "Guilt Is A Useless Emotion" had it's digital-only release today. Didn't notice it on itunes? In a week that essentially recycled last week’s “new releases” in the dance and electronic sections of the online store there is no mention the new remixes on the service unless you search specifically for the band.