Sub-culture (song)

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Sub-culture 12 Inch Vinyl Cover - New Order.jpeg
Single by New Order
from the album Low-Life
Released28 October 1985
Format7", 12"
GenreAlternative dance, synthpop
Length7:26 (12" remix)
3:28 (7-inch version)
4:48 (Substance 1987 version)
LabelFactory - FAC 133
Songwriter(s)Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner[1]
Producer(s)New Order
New Order singles chronology
"The Perfect Kiss"

"Sub-culture", released on 28 October 1985, is the tenth single by New Order. It was the second and final single to feature on their third album, Low-Life.


The single release, remixed by John Robie, is a drastic departure from the album version of the track. Robie's 12" and 7" single mixes feature more club-oriented, electronic instrumentation and prominent soulful female backing vocals; the lyrics Bernard sings in the remix have an altered line, changing the second verse's lyric "A view without a room" into "A room without a view". The remix was not well received and garnered more attention for Robie's extensive rework, which managed to be less club-friendly than the original album version despite his attempts to input greater melodic range.[citation needed] In spite of the poor reaction and sales, New Order and Robie collaborated for the band's next two singles "Shellshock" and "State of the Nation" (for B-side "Shame of the Nation").

The B-side is an instrumental remix titled "Dub-vulture". A seven-inch edit of the Robie remix taken from the Benelux version of the "Sub-culture" single appears on the group's 1987 compilation, Substance.

A collection of Razormaid remixes of the track were released in 1986, which include additional vocals by Deborah Iyall of Romeo Void.[2]

Making use of the word shaft with its possible sexual connotations, the song seems to be about sexual rejection, loneliness and alienation in an urban environment.


"Sub-culture" has only a regular black sleeve, as graphic designer Peter Saville reportedly deemed the mix of the song unworthy of his talents.[3] Saville's input was present only in a P/S/A (Peter Saville Associates) credit for typography.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner.

7": 7FAC 133 (UK)
7": 7FAC 133 (Benelux)
12": FAC 133 (UK)
12": Qwest 0-20390 (US)
1."Sub-culture" (Remix)7:26
3."Sub-culture" (Original album version)4:57

UK 7" free with Record Mirror - RM2[edit]

  1. New Order: "Sub-culture" (exclusive remix) – 4:14
  2. Raymonde: "Jennifer Wants" (exclusive track) – 2:02
  3. Hipsway: "Bad Thing Longing" (preview from their forthcoming album) – 4:09
  4. Adventures: "Walk Away Renee" (specially recorded for RM) – 3:11

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart[5] 29
UK Singles Chart[6] 63
UK Independent Singles Chart[7] 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[8] 35
US Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales[8] 18


  1. ^ ASCAP entry
  2. ^ "New Order:DJ Remixes:Sub-culture". Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Factory Records: FAC 133 NEW ORDER Sub-culture". Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  5. ^ ""Discography New Order". Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  6. ^ "Chart Stats: New Order". Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  7. ^ "Indie Hits "N"". Cherry Red Records. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2 Oct 2008.
  8. ^ a b "New Order: Billboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-11-23.