New Order - Low-Life

This week, almost 30 years to the date from their first, and only, college radio No. 1, New Order announced their upcoming album Music Complete. There are few bands that were topping the charts 30 years ago and still putting out music today, and even fewer that still garner the attention of college radio if and when they do put out a new album. But despite the time that has passed and the gaps between albums, 30 years after they reached topped the CMJ charts New Order still are relevant.

On June 28, 1985 New Order’s Low-Life hit No. 1 on the CMJ charts, the first and only No. 1 for the band throughout their extensive career.

CMJ Chart For The Week Of June 28, 1985

1 NEW ORDER Low-Life Factory
2 EURYTHMICS Be Yourself Tonight RCA
3 THREE O’CLOCK Arrive Without Traveling I.R.S
4 R.E.M Fables Of The Reconstruction I.R.S
5 TEARS FOR FEARS Songs From The Big Chair Phonogram/ Mercury
7 SISTERS OF MERCY First And Last And Always Merciful Release
8 GREEN ON RED Gas Food Lodging Enigma
9 DIRE STRAITS Brothers In Arms Vertigo/ Warner Bros.
10 HOWARAD JONES Dream Into Action WEA/ Elektra
11 STYLE COUNCIL Internationalists Polydor
12 BRYAN FERRY Boys And Girls E.G
13 TRANSLATOR Translator 415/ Columbia
14 TALKING HEADS Little Creatures Sire
15 BOOMTOWN RATS In The Long Grass Columbia
16 LONE JUSTICE Lone Justice Geffen
17 MINUTEMEN Project: Mersh [EP] SST
18 NINA HAGEN In Ekstasy Columbia
19 KATRINA AND THE WAVES Katrina And The Waves Capitol
20 EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL Love Not Money Blanco Y Negro

Following Low-Life’s success, Brotherhood peaked at No. 2 on November 7, 1986. Over the next 15 years they would have four more albums that landed in the top 10. Substance, a singles collection (not to be confused by the Joy Division singles collection of the same name that hit No. 3 the following year) peaked at No. 6 on September 11, 1987. It is not often that a singles collection, especially of a still active band, sees this kind of success on the college radio charts.

New Order’s next studio albums Technique reached No. 4 on February 24, 1989 and was followed four years later with Republic making it to No. 6 on May 31, 1993 prior to their first break-up.

After reforming in the late-’90s, Get Ready peaked at No. 3 on October 30, 2001, their highest chart position since Brotherhood. Two decades after their formation New Order still was able to see college radio success that matched their earlier years. While Waiting For The Siren’s Call, didn’t see the success of their earlier albums it still hit No. 19 on May 24, 2005. Lost Siren, a follow up of sorts to Waiting For The Siren’s Call, did not make the CMJ charts. Now that New Order is back with a new record and a new label we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer to see if 30 years after Low-Life hit No. 1 they still have what it takes to win over college radio.