I remember distinctly, in my first year of living in Massachusetts, the autumn of 1982, and going to Newbury Comics on Newbury Street in Boston and buying the New Order tape Power, Corruption, and Lies, which I was burning to have ever since I had heard “Age of Consent” and “Blue Monday” on the radio. I had never latched on to much synth-based stuff. But if it was a good meld of guitars and keys, like even the Cars, I could dig it. But this brought “short on the back and sides, long in the front” melancholy to a whole new level. This was a huge record in my life. It reminded me of later-’70s Bowie but stripped of the overt irony and posing found in some of his work of that period. This was more like “Ashes to Ashes.” But it was also more dance-y in an odd way. And I never danced. Back then, that is. You should see me on the floor now.
Yes, a tape: a black cassette with gray writing on it. And a cool fold-out J-card. I was briefly getting in the habit of going straight to cassette for Walkman ease, I guess. But I later bought the beautiful LP, with that stunning and austere artwork that Factory Records was known for, the sort that hammered home the melancholy post-punk-art-rock vibe. And of course, I later delved onto N.O.’s previous incarnation as Joy Division, had the huge Closer poster on my dorm room wall, and had the aforementioned haircut. I even had my ear pierced by my drunken buddy, the late Joe C. Then I came home in the wee small hours of the morning to my parents’ house in Medfield only to find it locked. I passed out and woke up on the stoop. It was maybe one of thee times, max, that I have slept outside. I have never camped — intentionally, anyway.
My parents found me there, newly pierced ear and were not psyched. Neither was I, truth be told. My ears stick out like Obama’s. So I didn’t put up much of a fight when they suggested I remove it. I was hardly in a state to argue anyway. But man, a big deal over a pierced ear? That was what I got for being first born. And that’s what they got, as well. Two of my brothers are tattooed like the Illustrated Man. I’m gonna call them that from now on. They are on notice, the Illustrated Men.
I’m afraid I have done a half-dozen D-G songs for the CoTW project, but so be it. You can’t go wrong with those chords. I am finding out a common denominator in my taste, as if I did not already know….
9 thoughts on “Cover of the Week 72 Age of Consent”
Thanks. This is awesome.
Grant Lee Phillips also does a great cover of this on his nineteeneighties album.
Great version, Bill, Especially love the piano in the background. I've always loved Bernard Sumner's voice, although it may not have the prototypical Lead vocalist sound or strength. Enjoy the build up in yours for this tune.
Thanks, all. I had not been aware of Grant Lee's version. He drew a picture of me way back when. Nice fella. We were the Buffalo boys of the 1990s.
Hi Bill, I'm Luca from Italy. I really like your music and Buffalo Tom's.
I'm writing an article for a music magazine and I would need to know your birth date and the place where you are born to add some informations.
Can you help me? I only found out, searching on the net, that you are born in Boston. Is it right?
Have a nice day,
Hmmm. I don't know whom to address, Marco or Luca, so that I may forward my social security number and first pet's name.
It looks like I had asked for new order, so I am obliged carryout a charitable donation. The song is great and just like any cover song "becomes your own"- without comparison.
There are never too many d-g songs, and if there are, one word….Capo!
Haven't seen you mention this, but I'm sure you must know about it….
This is great, I can feel that we are this much closer to a Wire Train cover!