Monday, October 11, 2010

1963 by New Order

As a B-side to 1987's "True Faith" one would think that New Order's "1963" would be a rather ignominous and poorly known song, but it got a release on disc 2 of the Substance compilation and a new version and even a single release in conjunction with 1994's Best of New Order. As original producer Stephen Hague once said of the song, it's the most danceable song about domestic violence ever produced. Lead singer, guitar player, and lyricist for New Order, Bernard Sumner, inadvertently ruined some of the poignant mystique of the song by claiming that it's about the JFK assassination, introducing a theory that JFK's death was a botched assassination attempt on Jackie instead, commissioned by none other than the President himself. As a devout Catholic, he didn't believe in divorce, and wanted an excuse to spend more time with his lover Marilyn Monroe. On hearing the news that JFK had died instead of Jackie, Marilyn Monroe committed suicide.

Presumably this theory wasn't meant to be taken seriously, as it conveniently ignores the fact that Monroe actually died a year earlier than JFK. All in all, that story is best ignored, as it actually detracts from the song rather than adding to it, and it's a lesson to all artists out there that talking too much about the creative process isn't necessarily a good thing.

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