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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 263
Tuesday, Oct. 02, 2012

“Run 2”
New Order

1989

“♫ Answer
me/ why don’t
you answer
me/ I can’t recall
the day/ I last
heard from
you
♫”

Have you ever been confused when listening to a New Order song, wondering what was singer and lyricist Bernard Sumner thinking when he wrote that? I had those same thoughts listening to “Run” from my favorite New Order album 1989’s Technique. Sumner explained his song writing method with Ben Thompson from The Independent UK, when he said, “It’s not in my nature to be too literal, if I watch a film for instance, say it’s an action film where you just see all these things going on – he did this, he did that, and there’s no need for any interpretation – I might walk away from it thinking, `That was quite fun’, but the next day I’ll have completely forgotten it. But if you leave thinking, `What the f— was that about?’, and you have to spend an hour afterwards working it all out, that’s much more stimulating. You’re a participant within the creativity of that film and that’s what I try to do with my lyrics.”

Now estranged bassist Peter Hook once admitted that Technique was his favorite New Order album. Hook discussed why, in a 2011 interview with Slicing Up Eyeballs, when he said, “Because we recorded it in Ibiza, and it’s all about acid house and Madchester and those Hacienda wild years, that really was one naughty period in your life, that period. And I think when I sit back and reflect in my pipe and slippers, it’s always Technique and the period around it. I thought we captured a sound on Technique — of Ibiza, the summery, bright very upbeat sound. And I thought it was amazing, because we completely lost it on Republic—which was even more shocking that we lost the sound so completely.”

“Run 2” has an infamous history because New Order was legally forced to give co-songwriting credit to singer/songwriter John Denver. Apparently, the guitar riff from the chorus of “Run” is exactly the same as Denver’s from “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Regardless, “Run 2” is one of the great lost New Order singles. Withdrawn because of the lawsuit by John Denver. One of the most underrated songs in New Order discography. Unique because it’s one of the least dance inspired cuts on Technique. Sumner has never explained his inspiration from “Run.” When Bernard sings “♫ What the hell is happening?/ I can’t think of everything/ I don’t know what day it is/ or who I’m talking to, ♫” “Run” actually sounds like Sumner is talking to himself as he’s singing about someone in the midst of a panic attack. I’ve had many and Bernard captures how it feels to experience an actual panic attack.

With lyrics like “♫ But I know that I’m okay/ ’cause you’re here with me today/ I haven’t got a single problem/ now that I’m with you, ♫ ”“Run 2” made me feel less abnormal. Because of this the songs from Technique were my lyrical companions; songs like “Run 2” were like personal song films that I imagined with my headphones on; Technique was the soundtrack of a very lonesome time and Bernard Sumner’s songs were my touchstones of strength. They are the songs I’ve always come back to. They are the ones who sheltered me with their rhythmic honesty when I needed some lyrical reassurance in my younger days. All I had to do is put on my cassette version of Technique and listen to “Run” heed the advice of Bernard Sumner. When I felt like I had nowhere to go, Technique was my safe space with the songs, the rhythms, the guitar riffed glory of New Order as “Run 2” reflected the sound of my life beating, deeply, dancing— a little less alone.

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