On this day in music history: May 13, 1985 – “Low-Life”, the third studio album by New Order is released. Produced by New Order, it is recorded at Jam and Brittania Row Studios in London from Mid – Late 1984. Continuing the musical evolution begun on their previous album “Power, Corruption And Lies”, New Order incorporate more synthesizers, sequencers, and samplers into their traditionally instrument based post-punk sound. With these changes they break new ground in the dance music genre, setting the course for their greatest successes throughout the rest of the decade. Upon its release, it is regarded as one of their best albums, spinning off two singles including “The Perfect Kiss” (#46 UK, #5 US Club Play) (video directed by Oscar winning director Jonathan Demme), and “Sub-culture” (#63 UK, #35 US Club Play). The original UK pressing of the LP features a transparent paper outer sleeve with the band name printed on it, with the jacket featuring individual photos of the band members. Drummer Stephen Morris is featured on the front, though the photos may be interchanged to show any of the other three through the transparency. It is the only New Order album to feature pictures of the band.
The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2008 as a two disc collector’s edition. The first disc features the original eight song album. Disc two includes B-sides, dub mixes and the full 12" mixes of “The Perfect Kiss”, “Sub-Culture” and the single “Shellshock”, originally issued on the “Pretty In Pink” soundtrack in early 1986. Out of print on vinyl for twenty years, “Low-Life” is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2009.
“Low-Life” peaks at number seven on the UK album chart, and ninety four on the Billboard Top 200.