Peter Hook's Most Memorable Bass Hooks - Yahoo.com Article

Posted on Friday, 6 April 2012

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Yahoo.com's first ever writer of the year, Timothy Sexton recalls the finest Hooky bass-lines which came to define Joy Division's and New Order's individual sound.



Peter Hook's Most Memorable Bass Hooks In His Career That Turned The Bass Into A Melodic Instrument.


The best songs produced by Joy Division and their reincarnation as New Order following the death of lead singer Ian Curtis are immediately identifiable by the unique positioning of Peter Hook's bass lines as agents of melody rather than rhythm. A few bands here and there have followed New Order's lead, but no bassist has yet given pop music as many memorable and vital bass lines as Peter Hook. Here are just a few of his best.

Transmission

"Transmission" is Joy Division's best song to listen to while driving. One of the most recognizable bass lines in the history of alternative music provides the song with its cold opening and becomes the dynamic and energetic melodic foundation upon which the rest of the song builds. Without that energetic bass pushing him forward so insistently, Ian Curtis' repetition of "Dance to the radio" would sound hollow, empty and almost meaningless.

Dreams Never End

"Dreams Never End" is one of the most identifiable of Peter Hook's driving lead bass lines among New Order fans who are familiar with the entirety of the band's discography. If you have ever wondered how a bass could act like the lead guitar in a rock song, here's the place to start.

Age of Consent

The future of New Order in the wake of the death of Ian Curtis remained uncertain even after they had released their first album. The second album, "Power, Corruption and Lies" kicks off with the exceptionally confident bass line that opens "Age of Consent." By the end of the song, any doubts about the future of New Order were left behind. "Age of Consent" set a template for the construction of many great New Order songs to come in which Hook's bass seems to be fighting off advances from traditional lead guitar riffs to establish melodic supremacy.

The Perfect Kiss

The greatest rock video of all time affords the opportunity to watch Peter Hook take what has been a mostly disrespected instrument in the world of pop music and turn it into something transcendent. "The Perfect Kiss" in song form builds its layers of synthesizers, drums and guitars over the solid foundation of Hook's bass line. "The Perfect Kiss" in video form is a case study in the mastery of a musical instrument by a revolutionary figure in its history.

Waiting for the Sirens' Call

Perhaps the last truly great Peter Hook bass line that will ever drive the melody of a New Order. Hook's bass does not arrive until nearly half a minute into the album's title song and it is more sophisticated, complex and subtly nuanced than many of his other bass hooks.

Blue Monday

The definitive Peter Hook bass line is the only part of the song actually played by a human being. "Blue Monday" is one of the most important songs in rock history and Hook's contribution is perhaps the greatest thing about this extraordinary song.

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