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State of the Nation (New Order song)

"State of the Nation" is a 1986 single by New Order. Like most songs by the group, it was composed by all of its members (Peter Hook, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner). However, unlike other New Order tracks, the title is included not just in the regular song lyrics but even in the chorus; as well, the lyrics are specific and direct in attacking "deprivation" and making social commentary rather than taking a more esoteric or metaphorical approach. The protest song has appeared in several releases by the group including in the popular singles compilation Substance.

"State of the Nation"
State Of The Nation.jpg
Single by New Order
from the album Brotherhood (CD only)
Released15 September 1986
Format7", 12"
Length6:32 (12"), 3:27 (7")
LabelFactory - FAC 153
Songwriter(s)Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner[1]
Producer(s)New Order
New Order singles chronology
"State of the Nation"
"Bizarre Love Triangle"



The 12" version of the song is almost twice as long as the 7" version, and includes an additional verse.

The B-side was an alternate arrangement entitled "Shame of the Nation", which included, among other elements, backing vocals. This was written and produced with John Robie, marking the group's third collaboration with him.

The Australian 12" was the same as the UK 12", but the 7" version of the song was only released as the B-side of "Bizarre Love Triangle".

Though not included on most standard releases of the concurrently-released studio album Brotherhood, the 12" version of the song was included as a bonus track on some versions and was originally included on the US 12" version of "Bizarre Love Triangle". The 12" version of "Shame of the Nation" is included on the 2008 Collectors Edition of Low-Life.

Both sides of the 12" version were collected on the Substance compilation. The 7" version of "State of the Nation" was collected on the Singles compilation. The 7" version of "Shame of the Nation" can only be found on the original 7" vinyl release, and on the B-side of the Australian 7" of "Bizarre Love Triangle".

This song has a feature rare in a New Order single (or in much of the band's material in general): the song title not only appears in the narrative, but is also the chorus. Only a few New Order singles (e.g. "Shellshock", "Regret", "Crystal", "Confusion" and "Touched by the Hand of God") have titles consisting of words which are part of the song's lyrics.

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner; except where indicated.

7": FAC 153 (UK)
1."State of the Nation" 3:27
2."Shame of the Nation"Gilbert, Hook, Morris, John Robie, Sumner3:32
12": FAC 153 (UK)
1."State of the Nation" 6:32
2."Shame of the Nation"Gilbert, Hook, Morris, Robie, Sumner7:54
12": Qwest 0-20546 (US)
1."Bizarre Love Triangle"6:41
2."I Don't Care" (Actually "Bizarre Dub Triangle")7:02
3."State of the Nation"6:31
4."Bizarre Love Triangle"3:43

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1986) Peak
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 17
UK Singles Chart 30
UK Indie Singles 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1 4
US Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales 1 18


  • 1 - Charted together with "Bizarre Love Triangle".


External linksEdit