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Substance: Inside New Order

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  760 ratings  ·  99 reviews
In this final installment of his internationally bestselling three-part memoirincluding The Hacienda and Unknown PleasuresBritish rocker Peter Hook focuses on the 1980s New Wave and Dance Punk scene and the rise of one of the most influential bands of the Second British Invasion: New Order.

1980. Resurrected from the ashes of Joy Division after the suicide of its lead
Hardcover, 770 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published September 1st 2015)
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Apr 07, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book is an Uncorrected Proof copy
Paul Gleason
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
752 pages never went by so quickly. Peter Hooks Substance: Inside New Order (Dey St.) takes readers on a rollicking jaunt through the career of New Order, the Manchester band that the remaining members of Joy Division founded. Hooky, Joy Divisions and New Orders bassist and co-songwriter, tells his tale of New Order from a firsthand perspective.

And this perspective, which should come as no surprise for readers of the masterful Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, develops from Hookys
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Knowing that Peter Hook is one of those rare people who actually reads the things that are written about him, and the sheer amount of work and detail that went into Substance, heres an honest attempt to do justice to my thoughts, having finished it. Here goes

The first thing to say is that this is clearly a five-star book. Its very long (but then, the New Order story was a long one). The level of detail is exhaustive. There are self-confessed geeky sections on the electronic equipment that the
Rob Thompson
Never trust a musician, even me.

Peter Hook is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is best known as the bassist and co-founder of English rock bands Joy Division and New Order. Hook formed the band which was to become Joy Division with Bernard Sumner in 1976. Following the death of lead singer Ian Curtis in 1980, the band reformed as New Order, and Hook played bass with them until 2007, not long after his 50th birthday.

Hook has recorded one
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, autobiography
Oh Hooky, you're a right bastard. But a likable one. Looking forward to seeing him perform in a few weeks. Also learned tons of British slang - at least I think I did.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the relatively slim volume on Joy Division, 'Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division', which I really enjoyed, this 2017 follow up on New Order, a bloated 752 page behemoth, was quite a shock. Having quit the band, or been thrown out, depending on who you believe, the gloves were off for this tell-all book.

Bloated is a good word. Joy Division were inspired by punk rock and specifically the DIY, anti-stadium ethic. Fast forward to the mid 1980s and New Order were filling arenas in America
Jon Chaisson
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
--"We were off our nut when..."
--Barney is a jerk, but at least he's consistent about it
--Barney's also a great guitarist and songwriter, so there's that
--How the Hacienda lasted as long as it did is a miracle

Seriously, though...this was quite an interesting ride from the more vocal and unfiltered member of the band, and it was a lot of fun to read. Take it with a grain of salt (or a shot of booze, your pick) and enjoy the ride.
Matt Whittingham
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rock-bio
This has everything I wanted as a die hard New Order and rock biography fan. Detailed studio notes behind each track, inside gossip from all of the tours, the back biting, rampant drug taking and of course, of Barney bating. Probably only dedicated fans will enjoy the minutia. I already knew that Hooky is no saint, but I came away from this still liking him
Maria Felgueiras
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
There surely are lots of people upset about Peter Hook's Substance (Inside New Order). He not only tells about his most obscure moments but also everybody else's. He spares no one. On the one hand the tone sounds genuine and truthful; on the other hand you question yourself on the veracity of Hook's accounts. It's his perspective and most of it under the effects of alcohol and drugs.
I enjoyed it and was curious as to know how different his view was from Bernard Sumner's in his Chapter and Verse.
Damon Garr
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Maybe I'm a sucker for the "inside story." It takes me back to when I used to devour music magazines, trying to learn all of the details of the bands I love. Peter Hook tells the New Order story in a lively, subjective fashion, and a language thick with dialect. Hook may be full of himself, but he's easily likable and can tell a good story. Halfway through reading this, I went ahead and bought Unknown Pleasures, Hook's telling of the Joy Division story. Still, this is a big book and probably ...more
Martin Hoogeboom
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
700 pages brutal honest (I hope) report by Peter Hook about his adventures with New Order. Drugs, alcohol, sex and more drugs and alcohol. In between: musical adventures, rehab, children, and a lot of swearing at his colleagues. Incredible story of how a person can linger for years in an unhealthy situation. Written very nicely, lots of humor and self-mockery (thankfully). Lesson: don't be jealous of famous artists.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
A great read. Get's very druggy in the last third which is a bit tedious at times but you can't really complain about it when it's real life as opposed to fiction.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The third book written by ex-Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter "Hooky" Hook, this is also his best. While over 700 pages long, this was a gripping read that was simultaneously both expansive and incredibly detailed.

Joy Division and New Order are bands surrounded by a lot of mystique and mythology, a great deal of it cultivated by the band themselves. They avoided the press and only grudgingly promoted their own albums. I hoped lead singer Bernard Sumner's Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy
Chris Stanley
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I always said that if I was in a band, I would probably sound like New Order. They're not my favourite band ever but that fusion of synth and rock is right up my street. And Peter Hook is a huge part of that sound. This is not one of those hoary old puff-pieces where the author settles a score that's been coming for a decade, but it is warts and all, so not for the faint-hearted.

One thing that will become apparent is how raw the wound is between him and the rest of the band. It's difficult to
Emma Bradley
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Okay, look, this book took me almost an entire year to get through but that doesn't mean I didn't like it.

I've read both of Hooky's other books and sped through them in about a week each - while working almost around the clock, I should note. What makes Substance so different from either of those? Well, it's not Hooky's writing, which is still both hilarious and poignant, and one of my favorite examples of narrative voice ever. In the last chapter, he talks specifically about how this book was
Kay Smillie
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A no holds barred look back at the life of Peter Hook during his New Order (on and off) period. As I already knew, Hooky is no angel but he very much wears his heart on his sleeve. Alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, control freaks, but plenty good times as well. Will be getting a hold of Hooky's book about Joy Division and already have Bernard Sumner's Chapter and Verse (still to be read). Couldn't believe people applauding at the end of Control on it's first showing. I cried my eyes out.

Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hauntingly sad. A slow train crash. Great to know what was going on during the recording of all those great albums.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is long, it is never ever dull or without intrigue. Hooky is one helluva good writer and storyteller. I hope he will write fiction next, as he clearly has the chops for it.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Huge stonking lines of substance.

Peter Hook, in his third life retrospective, provides the reader with a wild ride and an definitive(??) inside look into New Order. Fantastic stories, great one-liners, life lessons, musician tech, and of course critical opinions - this book is extremely comprehensive, as one would hope at 720 pages. To be honest it went by very quick, mostly. The pacing in the beginning is about a chapter per year, which provides a great drumbeat to the book.

I greatly recommend
Tony Zale
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Peter Hook has written three books about his adventures in the music business: Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, and now Substance: Inside New Order. Ive enjoyed them all to various degrees, but this felt overlong, despite covering the subject matter most important to me. While there are many interesting details related to the production of each album (and the intraband feuds that led to the groups implosion), too much time is spent on the hijinks of a ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's been an interesting journey to New Order.
A year ago, they were the guys who did the World Cup song and That Other Hit.
Then Joy Division's story crosses my path. My love of that band grows, and my appreciation of Peter Hook's talents grows with it.
One timely Christmas gift later and I'm up to my ears in New Order and ambling through the back catalogue as I go discovering a whole new world of music.
It also triggered my love of the Black Crowes, but that's for better minds then me to
Peter McCarthy
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Three stars because this book really is for fans only. If you don't already know the music and the stories of Joy Division and New Order, you will think you are reading the writing of a raving lunatic. Or if you become fascinated by the cultural acclaim that Joy Division and New Order have earned over the years, this will give you an inside-out look at it.

This book should completely eradicate any thoughts in your head that popular music can change the world for the better. Or any ideas that
Caroline Åsgård
Wow, that was quite a journey! Almost 30 years compiled into one book, which explains why it's over 700 pages long - So I spent a while reading it. Prior to this I read The Hacienda, and before that Unknown Pleasures - Inside Joy Division. Those were really fun reads, and so was this, but this takes you on a huge rollercoaster.

After Ian Curtis' death, the rest of Joy Division decide to go on as New Order. This book tells you the entire story; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the utterly insane!
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well much like Hooky's first two books, and as a fan of the whole Factory era of music I simply could not put this one down. And despite it's 700 + pages this is a very absorbing read. Although on that point given the number of pages, I would say that this is very much a book for the die hard fan.

Hook goes into great details regarding every New Order album, their subsequent tours (timelines of recording sessions and performances) and everything in between. Yes there are references to the sex,
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This book clocks in at slightly over 700 pages and it should have been condensed to 300 pages. It delves into the history of New Order with a bit of Joy Division thrown in. I would have liked more tidbits, stories, etc. about other bands on the Factory Label i.e. - Vini Reilly (Durutti Column), Happy Mondays, Section 25, etc. That would have made it a more interesting read to learn about the other bands and band members. He did mention a bit about Mac (Ian McCulloch) of Echo and the Bunnymen. ...more
Mauro Del Citto
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read some sleep-inducing music biographies in my life (hello Sting), but thankfully this wasn't one of them. This was up there with Motley Crue's The Dirt as for entertainment value. I liked Hooky's way of writing as he told the story in his own overblown way, but also had a summary of the year in particular. I'm not sure whether Hooky would have remembered much of the post-Republic up to 2004 as he was in full-blown addiction mode, while being a complete twat, to quote him. Therefore, ...more
Keith Astbury
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this sure is a warts'n'all account of Hooky's time in New Order!

He and Barney really didn't get on, did they. I can see why Hooky is upset about many things - not least when someone who is among many people's favourite bassists feels that his musical contributions (which, let's face it is one of the most distinctive things about New Order) is surplus to requirements. Hooky's basslines are a major reasons why Joy Division and, to a lesser extent, New Order, made such great records. The
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A largely entertaining read which is longer than it needs to be!

This was my lunchtime book so I read around an hour of it a day Monday to Friday, and I just seemed to be reading it forever!

As stated at the top, it's largely entertaining, I like Hooky's no-nonsense writing style, the guy's honest if nothing else.

But the book contains many things that can just be skipped, like lists of gigs etc. Not really interested in all that, I was more interested in hearing about New Order.

Learned a lot from
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The story - according to Hooky - of New Order. It is perhaps the usual tale of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, with band members disagreeing and falling out over everything, but is made more interesting by the backdrop of the Hacienda story, and the fact that some of it feels very local and close to my teenage years, although to be honest, apart from Blue Monday, I wasn't a huge New Order fan. The book is engaging though - there is a narrative of each year with a calendar summary, and Hooky provides ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Given the dynamics of the band members, the fiasco of how Factory records was run, the drugs and alcohol, it's quite a wonder how New Order was able to release so many albums. The book starts at the beginning of the creation of NO...just after Ian Curtis died. Hook breaks it down into years, and does a monthly time line at the end of each section, detailing releases, concerts, award shows, other side projects, etc. He also delves into individual songs and what he likes/dislikes about them or how ...more
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News & Interviews

Well, here we all are, sheltering in place, buying canned beans, and generally trying to figure out how to stay inside and keep our minds busy....
65 likes · 42 comments
“Ten things you should always do when you form a group

1. Work with your friends
2. Find like-minded people
3. Have ultimate self-belief
4. Write great songs
5. Get a great manager
6. Live in Manchester
7. Support each other through thick and thin
8. Realise no one person is bigger than the group (thanks to Gene Simmons for that one)
9. Watch where the money goes
10. Always get separate legal advice for everything before you sign; failing that, ask your mam and dad”
“Barney turned up the next day feeling better, and of course the tour went ahead, but if you ask me that was a revelatory moment for him. He must have thought, They need me. They can’t do it without me.” 0 likes
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