In the summer of 1976, the Sex Pistols played at Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall in front of forty people. Many of those in the crowd went on to form bands of their own. These included Peter Hook (bass) and Bernard Sumner (guitar & keyboards), formed Joy Division by recruiting vocalist Ian Curtis and drummer Stephen Morris. They released two critically acclaimed albums, Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980), and had a top 20 single in the UK charts: 'Love Will Tear Us Apart.'
This success turned to tragedy in the early hours of 18th May 1980 when Curtis hanged himself. The remaining members of the band decided to continue under a new name, New Order, recruiting Gillian Gilbert while Sumner took over as vocalist. The band initially failed to recapture the critical and sales success of Joy Division, but a change of musical direction to a more dance based sound reaped rewards.
In March 1983, they released 'Blue Monday', which reached number 9 in the UK singles chart and remains the best selling 12" single of all time. They continued to have modest chart success before releasing 'True Faith' in July 1987, which reached number 4, due in no small part to a surreal promotional video. New Order went on to reach the number one spot with the official 1990 single for the England football team's FIFA World Cup campaign.
The band went on hiatus between 1993 and 1998. In 2001, Gilbert left the band due to family commitments (she had married Morris in 1993) being replaced by Phil Cunningham. The band broke up again following Hook's departure in 2007, but they reformed again in 2011 with Gilbert returning and Tom Chapman taking over the bass role.
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