Bizarre Love Triangle (as made famous by New Order)

“Bizarre Love Triangle” is a song by the English rock band New Order, released as a single in 1986 from their fourth studio album, Brotherhood (1986), which reached the top five on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart,[5] and No. 5 on the Australian ARIA Charts (No. 1 on the Victoria state chart) in March 1987.[6]

It failed to make the top 40 in either the United Kingdom (only reaching No. 56[7]) or the US Billboard Hot 100. In the United States, the song also reached the eighth position on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, but failed to chart on the Hot 100 during its original 1986 release. However, a new mix included on The Best of New Order was released in 1994 and finally made a brief appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 in the number 98 position in 1995.

In 2004 the song was ranked number 201 in Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

The 12-inch version, remixed by Shep Pettibone, also appears on the compilation Substance and a second remix by Stephen Hague features on their Best Of album. The original album version appears on the 2005 compilation Singles. New Order’s live versions since 1998 are based on the Shep Pettibone remix.[8]

The single mix features a cleaner sound with more electronics than the album version, notably the Fairlight CMI music workstation, the premier sampling keyboard workstation of the ’80s, used to provide novel sounds, such as the orchestral hits that were so popular, but also to sequence the song. All instruments except vocals and Peter Hook’s melodic bass were sequenced (the song also prominently features synthesised bass and synth choir parts).[9]

The music video, which was released in November 1986, was directed by American artist Robert Longo. It prominently featured shots of a man and a woman in business suits flying through the air as though propelled by trampolines; this is based directly on Longo’s “Men in the Cities” series of lithographs.[10] The video also features a black and white cut-scene where Jodi Long and E. Max Frye are arguing about reincarnation, in which Long emphatically declares “I don’t believe in reincarnation because I refuse to come back as a bug or as a rabbit!” Frye responds, “You know, you’re a real ‘up’ person,” before the song resumes.