Thursday, October 05, 2006

New Order vs Miami Vice

New Order - Confusion

It’s hard to reminisce about the 1980s without sounding like some tool from a Channel 4 list show, but I’ll make an exception for this. Miami Vice. Just hearing the theme tune causes an adrenalin rush and a thrilling shiver to dart up my spine. I loved that programme. Sonny Crockett was my hero, living on a boat with his rolled-up suit sleeves, white Testarossa, espadrilles, pet crocodile and filterless ciggies. When I first started experimenting with smoking, I used to puff Woodbines, which despite being an old man’s fag, enabled me to lick around the tip as Sonny did, before tapping it on the pack and lighting up. Sonny also taught me that it was essential to have some dark trauma in your past (his two tours during the Vietnam War) that made it impossible for you to form proper relationships with women but ensured that they’d always want you to. ‘Miami Vice’ was broadcast on a school night (why do schedulers get it so WRONG?) so we used to video it and me and my bro would end up watching it at weird times like first thing on a Sunday morning or when we just got back from school. Anyway, the bit I liked best about the theme music was when those tom-tom drums kicked in, before the synth and geeetar riffs really got going. It was lucky the programme was so damn good, as it’s peerless title sequence left it with a lot to live up to.

Anyway, I should be posting Jan Hammer’s theme tune to ‘Miami Vice’ but that would be way too obvious. So instead, you get the 7-minute instrumental mix of New Order’s ‘Confusion’. Why? Well, check the toms. Jan Hammer obviously used the exact same pre-programmed drum sound that was used on ‘Confusion’. ‘Confusion’ was first released in 1983, ‘Miami Vice Theme’ followed in 1985. ‘Confusion’ isn’t really seen as being a New Order song, it’s a product of it’s producer, Arthur Baker. I wasn’t at all interested in New Order or Joy Division at this time (that came later) as I was a huge electro head, but the fact that Arthur Baker was all over this made it a vital track as he was the Don. When Baker first played it at the Funhouse Club, all the breakers thought it was by an electro group. I first heard it on a compilation tape put together by one of my best mate’s older brothers. I taped it, and then made another tape where I sat it next to the ‘Miami Vice Theme’. I think I even tried to splice the two tracks together, making the edits exactly where the duplicate drum sounds existed. I used to do this sort of thing a lot and it always sounded rubbish. ‘Confusion’ is still a classic, I love the bit towards the end when there’s a sudden rumble of Hooky’s bass, and you remember it’s New Order. ‘Miami Vice’, which is being repeated on ITV4 in the UK at the moment, has dated but still rocks my world.


Buy New Order from Amazon
New Order website
Miami Vice at Wikipedia
Miami Vice discussion forum
Sonny Crockett My Space