Peter Hook No Longer with New Order -- So Why Does the Band Play On?

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So, it appears that bassist Peter Hook has decided to leave New Order. (That, apparently, was news to the rest of the band.) Drummer Stephen Morris and vocalist Bernard Sumner are (ostensibly) carrying on under the New Order name.

My question is: Why? Look, I love New Order as much as the next person. I've been rocking "Regret" all weekend. But I have zero -- no, make that less than zero -- desire to hear a New Order album without Hook's liquid bass. I mean, does anyone?

Since Joy Division, for pete's sake, Hook has been the anchor of the group, the person that made New Order distinctive. Sure, Sumner's vocals are completely distinctive too -- but as Electronic proved, his voice is fluid enough to work in different contexts. In fact, if I want to listen to Sumner sing without Hook, I'd listen to Electronic. ("Getting Away With It," yo.) But Hook's bass -- which he uses as much for melody and texture, as rhythm -- made New Order great.

I beg the band, retire the New Order name. At this point, any future albums will have an asterisk. Or the qualification: "Well, it's post-Hook New Order." How can they not? Countless bands insist on tarnishing their legacy by releasing sub-par albums with replacements (cough, Echo and the Bunnymen). Continue recording together, Sumner and Morris; just find another name for yourselves.

Maybe Hook will reform Monaco, which was basically New Order lite; according to Wikipedia, its two albums should be reissued soon. And "What Do You Want From Me?" was one of the best singles of 1997.

Whatever, here's a video for "Regret." Which the band is bizarrely playing on the beach. With the cast of Baywatch. (The Peach Pit must have already been booked.) David Hasselhoff swoops in at 2:30 in a most hilarious way. God, I miss the 1990s.

-- Annie Zaleski

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