Bernard Sumner Vocalist with New Order and member of Joy Division was born 4th January 1956. Joy Division were formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion). They evolved from their initial punk rock influences to develop a sound and style that pioneered the post-punk movement of the late 1970s. They self-released their debut EP, An Ideal for Living in 1978 and an album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 which drew critical acclaim from the British press. Despite the band’s growing success, vocalist Ian Curtis was beset with depression and personal difficulties, including a dissolving marriage and his diagnosis of epilepsy and found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, and often having seizures during performances. On the eve of the band’s first American tour in May 1980, Curtis committed suicide. Joy Division’s posthumously released second album, Closer (1980), and the single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” became the band’s highest charting releases.
After the untimely demise of Curtis in 1980, the remaining members formed New Order, with Bernard Sumner on vocals, guitars, synthesisers), Peter Hook playing bass, synthesisers and Stephen Morris playing drums, electronic drums, synthesisers, they were also joined by Gillian Gilbert playing keyboards, guitars, synthesizers. By combining post-punk and New Wave with electronic dance music, New Order became one of the most critically acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s. Though the band’s early years were shadowed by the legacy and basic sound of Joy Division, their experience of the early 1980s New York City club scene increased their knowledge of dance music and saw them incorporate elements of that style into their work. The band’s 1983 hit Blue Monday”, the best-selling 12-inch single of all time, is one example of how the band transformed their sound. Thanks to fantastic albums like SUBSTANCE and TECHNIQUE New Order became the flagship band for Factory Records.
Their minimalist album sleeves and “non-image” (the band rarely gave interviews and were known for performing short concert sets with no encores) reflected the label’s aesthetic of doing whatever the relevant parties wanted to do, including an aversion to including singles as album tracks. Sadly In 1993 the band broke-up amidst tension between bandmembers, but reformed in 1998. In 2001, Phil Cunningham (guitars, synthesisers) replaced Gilbert, who left the group due to family commitments. In 2007, Peter Hook left the band and the band broke-up again, with Sumner saying in 2009 that he no longer wishes to make music as New Order. The band reunited in 2011 with Gilbert returning and Tom Chapman replacing Hook on bass. During the band’s career and in between lengthy breaks, band members have also been involved in several solo projects, such as Sumner’s Electronic and Bad Lieutenant; Hook’s Monaco and Revenge and Gilbert’s and Morris’ The Other Two. New Order’s latest albums include Music Complete and Nomc15(Live).