This is how Manchester's Haçienda celebrated Christmas back in the 80s

20 December 2020, 19:00

Manchester legends New Order recorded a special festive song for the club's members… and we’re not sure what to think of it.

Back at Christmas 1982, New Order decided to give the patrons of their club The Hacienda a special festive gift: a free single!

New Order in 1989
New Order in 1989. Picture: Bob Berg/Getty Images

Now, bear in mind that 1982 was way, way before the acid house and “Madchester” days that made the club famous. This is more your long-raincoated, gloomy post-punk era, at a time when the club would be half empty most of the time (see the film 24 Hour Party People for more details).

Ravers on the main stage in the Hacienda, Manchester 1989.
Ravers on the main stage in the Hacienda, Manchester 1989. Picture: Peter J Walsh/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

So the music on this festive freebie is more the experimental, electronic end as the group take on the classical pieces Rocking Carol (aka We Will Rock You) and Beethoven’s Ode To Joy. It’s lo-fi drum machines, sequencers and a whole heap of vocoder. Not the most Christmassy of singles, we’ll sure you agree.

Originally recorded for a TV piece to be used by Factory boss Tony Wilson on his Granada Reports TV new programme, it was later pressed up as a flexi and given away as a limited edition of 4,000 copies in a bag with a party hat and a streamer.

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