New Order's "1963"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mr Sam, Oct 9, 2007.

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  1. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam "...don't look so good no more" Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Anyone familiar with that record?
    Until recently, I didn't know what the song was about...until I found some comments on a youtube page.

    Member Djcyric writes: "1963 is actually not about domestic violence. According to the band, the song is a hypothetical theory about the JFK assasination. In this theory, a gunman was hired to kill Jacki Onassis so that John F. Kennedy could be with Marilyn Monroe."

    Could somebody confirm this? (the origins of the song, not the Kennedy theory ;) )
     
  2. Jeff H.

    Jeff H. Senior Member

    Location:
    Northern, OR
    Great track! "1963" was originally the B-side of New Order's 1987 single "True Faith". Lyrically I have no idea that they based the song on what you mentioned.
     
  3. sf74

    sf74 Active Member

    Location:
    Rosemead, CA
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  4. agentk7

    agentk7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The hypothetical theory would almost make sense...had Marilyn Monroe been alive. She died over a year before Kennedy was assasinated.

    (However using this theory's logic, maybe that is why Kennedy was assasinated so he could be with Monroe :) )
     
  5. captgriff

    captgriff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Unfortunately, I have nothing that corroborates this theory. This is, however, a damn great song. I bought the True Faith 12" back in the day and played "1963" more than the A side. In some ways the ambiguity of the lyric (as it exists on its own) improves the song, IMHO. The song's speaker is not the gunman, and his emotional mercy plea during the chorus, as well as his concern for the naive gun-wielding Johnny (who "never meant to hurt me, Oh God") make the song's moment of confrontation almost unbearable, freezing it in time -- did the narrator survive, or is this somehow delivered from beyond the grave? The Kennedy backdrop is interesting, but the song stands powerfully on its own.
     
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  6. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    The most logical explanation for the lyrics, and subsequent "notes" about this song is that New Order did a LOT of drugs.
     
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  7. Mike the Fish

    Mike the Fish SeƱor Member

    Location:
    England
    I gather at the time that the two tracks were being recorded it was not known which would be the a-side.
     
  8. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam "...don't look so good no more" Thread Starter

    Location:
    France
    Thanks for the link to Barney's handwritten note :righton:
     
  9. serge

    serge Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    the song is confusing as hell.. for a while ithought it was a song about homosexuals....

    its just so confusing..

    its a great b side though... new order just ruled back then..
     
  10. 905

    905 Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Great song, I heard it for the first time recently. I was wondering what the lyrics mean.
     
  11. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Not sure about the lyrics theory, but both 1963 and True Faith are great songs.
     
  12. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    Location:
    New England
    There are three different versions of 1963: original (Substance), 1963-94 (UK best of), and 1963-95 (US best of) and the second of these was released as an A-side with assorted (IMO) horrid remixes too.
     
  13. frank010

    frank010 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    A song about domestic violence you can dance to.

    Brilliant song, with one of Barney's greatest ever lyrics:

    "There are too many ways that you can kill someone/Like in a love affair when the love has gone".
     
  14. frank010

    frank010 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK

    I prefer the original. The '95 version is horrible, the 94 remix too short. Why tamper with perfection?
     
  15. Theadmans

    Theadmans Forum Resident

    Not sure about the meaning of the lyrics but have always enjoyed it.

    At the time of release I remember Steve Morris saying that he felt that buyers of singles should get two great songs on one single. I thoroughly agreed as I remembered when around the time of Blue Monday they started putting remixes on the B-Side - I always felt kind of short changed by this. Joy Division and early New Order always had distinct A and B sides which were of high quality.

    Another thing that got my goat was when around the same time New Order copped out and started putting singles on albums. The earlier albums were better for having separate singles in my opinion.
     
  16. ukozcd

    ukozcd Jedi

    Location:
    Australia
    Yeah I always thought it was about JFK etc when I first put substance on heavy rotation....
     
  17. Norm Apter

    Norm Apter Well-Known Member In Memoriam

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    :agree: Maybe that explains in part why the second disc in the two-disc Movement Collector's set is something I enjoy even more than the proper album. What a phenomenal group of songs and, to think, it wasn't even an album.
     
  18. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    Location:
    New England
    The early singles are unbelievable and dwarf the first two albums for me. I used to have something called 1981-82 EP and I loved the artwork and tracklisting, and the live Taras Shevchenko (sp?) concert from 1981 in New York is fantastic too.
     
  19. Norm Apter

    Norm Apter Well-Known Member In Memoriam

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    I'm curious about this/these. Are these separate releases? Was it/were they put out by Factory or some other label.

    A couple of weeks ago I finally picked up New Order's John Peel Sessions. Love the alternative versions. They're different enough to be really interesting.
     
  20. bw

    bw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH, US
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  21. Norm Apter

    Norm Apter Well-Known Member In Memoriam

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    Thanks for providing a link.

    As soon as I clicked on it and saw the cover, it took me back 23 years or whatever to my experience browsing in record/CD stores. I was moderately into New Order at the time, but remember with crystal clarity that album cover while flipping through longbox encased CDs at my old record store of the time (though I never made the purchase).

    So even though I believe I have each of these songs/versions elsewhere, I just made a total nostalgia purchase. In the mean time, I'm going to have to look up the cover in Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album.
     
  22. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    Location:
    New England
    that 1981-1982 album cover art may be my favorite Peter Saville work of all-time.

    Used to have tha EP back in the day, and a good friend of mine has that on vinyl.
     
  23. fortherecord

    fortherecord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    I've always liked this odd and quirky song, the B side to what was probably their best single.
     
  24. Theadmans

    Theadmans Forum Resident

    ...the second Peel session is one of my all time favourite late night listens (the original Peel show aired in the UK at 10pm). The tracks on this are superb - I love the version of "We all stand". You also get two songs which are unique to this release "Turn the Heater on" (Ian Curtis was big fan of Keith Hudson) and the excellent "Too Late".

    I've got the sessions separated (one session on each disc) on the original Strange Fruit CD EPs.
     
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  25. dougotte

    dougotte Petty, Annoying Dilettante

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    My wife thinks it's about a gay couple, too.

    I've always been confused about its meaning, but looking for coherent meaning in New Order lyrics can lead to madness. Bernard seems to just sing random, vaguely rhyming lines, at times. I don't know if he has any concrete themes in mind. And, it's well known that their music often evolves from jams in the studio. You can tell that musically, as well. I remember reading about the Technique sessions, where they fooled around recording the instrumental tracks and Bernie reluctantly realized he'd finally have to write some lyrics and sing them so they could finish the album. Now, that link to his notes makes me rethink this...

    Anyway, whenever I hear 1963, I vacillate between it having to do w/ JFK and/or domestic violence.

    Doug
     
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