My Top 1000 Songs #432: Weirdo
I fell in love with New Order early on in college--"Temptation" was a dorm-room anthem of sorts--but went through a particularly acute New Order phase starting in '86, after sophomore year. I remember driving around cranking my cassette of Power, Corruption & Lies and Low-Life (ah, those halcyon days of 90-minute Maxell XL-II tapes, perfect for taping two borrowed LPs, one per side); I bought a New Order t-shirt at one of my favorite record stores in Evanston, wearing it constantly (alas, it's long gone); my brother and I saw them on a double-bill with Echo & The Bunnymen at Poplar Creek the following summer.
Much of the love was kicked off when Brotherhood dropped shortly after I returned to campus in September '86, instantly becoming my favorite New Order album (well, I loved Movement, but more as a sort of Joy Division farewell album). My enchantment was driven at least as much due to its fortuitous timing as by the music within, though it's pretty damn fantastic. It was a peak time in my life--junior year at my school meant being a part of a social club, with great parties and friends; plus, I finally started dating this cute girl I'd been friends with since freshman year (now approaching 35 years of marriage). Brotherhood is totally wrapped up in that time, and for whatever reason, it was the second track on the album, "Weirdo," which became my immediate mixtape go-to. Yeah, there are plenty of equally great songs on the record ("Bizarre Love Triangle" got the most attention), and it doesn't seem like many fans count "Weirdo" among their favorites (nor does the band, judging by its scarcity on live setlists). But it's the one that hooked me--one of the band's most straightforward pop songs, a ridiculously catchy earworm that still makes me so damn happy every time I hear it.