Peter Hook’s birthday was the other day. He is my favorite bassist of all time. The way he approaches the bass guitar as a lead instrument and the tone he gets out of his bass result in massively powerful musical moments. His style is unique and he stands out among all of the different variations of rock music
One of his greatest moments is the song “The Perfect Kiss” from the New Order album LOWLIFE. This was the first New Order album I listened to all the way through. I was a fan of Joy Division and liked New Order’s singles but this seemed like their first clear statement as a long playing record.
The major difference between Hook’s work in JD and NO is the tone of his bass had deepened by the time of LOWLIFE. “She’s Lost Control” and other JD songs had every high bass parts. Hook approached the bass the same way but the sound was different.
On “The Perfect Kiss”, the central riff is played quite high but the last two minutes in which Hook unloads a blistering, unrestrained solo is considerably deeper. The complete history of Peter Hook as bass player in seven minutes plus!
I remember seeing New Order live in 1988 and a friend I went with commenting that Hook’s bass was like a bell and that it haunted him in dreams that night. That’s the perfect commentary on the genius of Peter Hook.
New Order is currently touring without Peter Hook-that seems ridiculous to me. New Order without Peter Hook is no order!