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Watch New Order Perform 'Ceremony' In Rare Footage From 1981

New Order, one of the most influential U.K. bands of the 20th century, formed in the long shadow of Joy Division, which disbanded following the 1980 death of singer Ian Curtis. Joy Division's surviving members — Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris — formed New Order the same year and soon began carving out their own rich creative legacy, which spanned several decades and a string of massive singles.

The first of those singles, "Ceremony," was actually written with Joy Division prior to Curtis' suicide. It popped up as a single in advance of New Order's 1981 debut album, Movement, which is about to receive the deluxe-reissue treatment; to commemorate the occasion, the band is circulating a little-seen performance of "Ceremony," recorded live at Manchester's CoManCHE Student Union.

Recorded on Feb. 6, 1981, it's a marvelous document of New Order's early years — steeped in tragedy but alive with possibility.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)