New Order’s second full-length achieves a fine balance between electronic and guitar-based music. While the preceding Movement LP was the work of a band who couldn’t quite shake off the weight of their past as Joy Division, Power, Corruption and Lies and the contemporary Blue Monday 12” saw them define a singular identity. We All Stand and Leave Me Alone still have the guitar-driven angst of old, but the Blue Monday variation 5 8 6 and Ecstasy were ground-breaking forays into a Hi-NRG-influenced sequencer-driven style, enhanced by the unmistakable lead basslines of Peter Hook. Also Barney got over his reticence and became a proper lead singer.
Housed in a high-concept, die-cut Peter Saville sleeve, it’s still an utter joy today.