Temptation (New Order song)

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Temptation single.jpg
Single by New Order
B-side "Hurt"
Released 10 May 1982
Recorded Advision studios, London 1981
Length 5:21 (7")
8:47 (12")
7:00 (1987 version)
Label FactoryFAC 63
Producer(s) New Order
New Order singles chronology
"Everything's Gone Green"
"Blue Monday"

"Temptation" is a stand-alone single released by English band New Order on Factory Records. The single reached #29 on the UK Singles Chart on its release in 1982.

Original release

The two tracks were recorded as 12" long versions and later edited to 7" by engineer Peter Woolliscroft, using one of the first Sony PCM 1610 Digital editing systems available in the UK.[citation needed] The single is unique in that the 7" version of "Temptation" fades out exactly when the 12" version begins, owing to both being recorded in one take.[citation needed]

The 7" version is a more structured version with a commercial synthpop feel; the 12" is more chaotic with the emphasis on electronic rhythms rather than melody. The 7" version plays at 33⅓ rpm to accommodate its length of around five and a half minutes. Both versions bear the same catalogue number "FAC 63" despite these differences.

The 12" versions of both "Temptation" and its B-side, "Hurt", appear on New Order's mopping-up EP 1981–1982, released a few months after the single itself.

Neither version mentioned the band's name on the sleeve; instead the song title and catalogue number FAC 63 were embossed into the cover.[4]

The vocal track on the original 12" version features an audible "startled yelp" during the song's intro. Vocalist Bernard Sumner has since explained that the scream was from him due to bandmates thrusting a snowball down his shirt during recording.[5]

Music video

In 2006 the song was interpreted in a video entitled The Temptation of Victoria by filmmaker Michael Shamberg, who had directed a number of music videos for New Order. Victoria Bergsman of Swedish band The Concretes acted the role of the protagonist in the video. Set to the song's 1987 re-recording the film features a young woman in a French town who steals a vinyl copy of the song's original 12-inch release from a vintage record shop, along with a bouquet from a flower shop, before returning to her apartment. On arrival home she puts the flowers in a vase and the record on to a player, and begins dancing to its music. At this point video shifts from black and white to full color, starting with the bouquet before quickly encompassing the whole scene. The film plays out with her dancing alone, self-absorbed in the rhythm of the music, with the camera focusing on the pre-occupation and sensuousness of youth.

The storyline of the video may refer to Ian Curtis, the late frontman/singer of Joy Division, New Order's previous formation, who used to shoplift records.

The Temptation of Victoria was one of two videos that New Order commissioned Shamberg to direct in 2005, and is dedicated to the memory of film director Michael Powell.[6]

Track listing

All tracks written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner.

7": FAC 63 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Temptation" 5:21
2. "Hurt" 4:47
12": FAC 63 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Temptation" 8:47
2. "Hurt" 8:13

Other versions

The song was completely re-recorded and released on 1987 singles compilation Substance, sometimes known as "Temptation '87". This version is now one of New Order's best-known recordings, partly due to its appearance on the best-selling Trainspotting soundtrack; in the film the lyrics are sung by Diane while she's showering, heard very faintly in the background during breakfast not much later and again during the scene where Renton is locked in his room.

Later, after five years of inactivity, another new version of "Temptation" was recorded by the band in 1998. This recording is similar to the earlier 1987 version, but omits the long intro and a portion of the lyric beginning "Bolts from above...". This did not represent an official rejection of these elements, as they were retained in live performances (such as that recorded at the 1998 Reading Festival and later issued on the Australian 60 Miles an Hour EP). Running at 4:08, this version is known as "Temptation '98" and eventually saw official release on the Retro boxset.

"Temptation" also holds the record for the most played live song in their catalogue.

A different mix of "Temptation" appeared on the soundtrack for the 1986 film Something Wild. That version clocks in at 3:30.

Cover versions

  • Moby (Hotel, 2005)
  • Cobra Verde (Copycat Killers, 2005), which was later featured in the pilot episode of The Carrie Diaries.
  • The Weakerthans incorporated some "Temptation" lyrics in their song "Wellington's Wednesdays" on their debut album Fallow.
  • Bis covered "Hurt" on their FACT2002 EP
  • During live sets, The Chemical Brothers have mixed riffs from "Temptation" into the beginning of their song Star Guitar. A live recording from a performance at the Brixton Academy was officially released on AmericanEP.
  • During live sets, Hot Chip sing the chorus to "Temptation" for the last two minutes of their song "No Fit State".
  • Jeremy Warmsley recorded a cover of "Temptation" which appears on the B-side of the 7" single for "The Boat Song".
  • The postmodern cabaret duo Kiki & Herb performed the song in their Carnegie Hall concert, released on CD as Kiki & Herb Will Die For You.
  • Jukebox the Ghost recorded a cover which appears as a bonus track on the vinyl re-release of their 2008 Let Live & Let Ghosts.
  • Handsome Furs used the lyrics from the first verse in their song "All We Want, Baby, Is Everything" from 2009's "Face Control". They also used a verse as the basis for their single, "Agony".
  • Pop Noir often incorporate a cover version of "Temptation" in their live sets. They performed it on the 10th Anniversary of late New Order manager Rob Gretton's death, May 15, 2009, while opening for Doves at the House of Blues, Anaheim.
  • The Limousines covered "Temptation" and provided the song as a free download on their band page in 2012



Introducing the song at a performance at the Zurich Volkshaus in 1984, Bernard Sumner told the audience, "This next song's called 'Temptation'. It's a story about long lost love."


Both the 7" and 12" versions of "Temptation" can now be found on the 2008 Collector's Edition of New Order's 1981 album Movement.


Chart (1982) Peak
UK Singles Chart[7] 29
UK Independent Singles Chart[8] 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[9] 68


  1. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Various Artists – The Indie Scene 1982: The Story of British Independent Music". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  2. ^ Hsu, Hua. "Better Than Prozac". Slate. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  3. ^ ASCAP entry
  4. ^ "FAC 63 Temptation". Cerysmatic Factory. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  5. ^ "We've had it large". The Guardian. 2002-11-22. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  6. ^ "The Temptation of Victoria". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  7. ^ "Chart Stats: New Order". ChartStats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  8. ^ "Indie Hits "N"". Cherry Red Records. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
  9. ^ "New Order: Billboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-11-23.

External links

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