It's 1993 and the August Bank Holiday. Peter Hook is on the verge of tears. New Order have just come off the stage, seemingly never to play again. After fifteen years, everybody hates one another; it's just not fun anymore. Pete is mixing together the tape for the set, and he's on the verge of tears. Because it was a great gig.
Four years later, and Peter Hook assembled another band, Monaco. He teamed up with David Potts, who he had worked with before in his 1980s side-project, Revenge, and joined the Britpop craze. The first single was What Do You Want From Me?
The song is a departure from New Order, in that it doesn't have a Peter Saville cover. Apart from that, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a track from their 1993 album Republic (listen to Regret alongside this. They're not the same song by any means, but you can tell that they sprang from the same minds). Peter Hook's signature bass sound stomps all over the song from the first few seconds onwards, as if to say "I'm still here. And you still want me." Then the vocals kick in, and David Potts does a convincing impression of Bernard Sumner. And yes, the first time I heard it, I thought New Order had made a surprise return.
It's rumoured that the song is about the break-up of Hook's marriage with comedienne Caroline Ahern, but it's easy to read this song as a plea to his original band. to the image of the New Order that exists independent of the members themselves. How it ruined their lives, from having their singer hang himself, to burning out the survivors to the point where even best friends could no longer stand to be in the same room as each other. "What do you want from me? It's not how it used to be. You've taken my life away. Ruining everything." And despite it all, he'd go back in a heartbeat.
Monaco's first album, Music For Pleasure was well-received, both in the UK and America, but the band didn't last long, failing to match or improve on the performance of this single. They broke up in 2000, and Hook was once again left in the wilderness.
All of New Order was doomed to recreate New Order. They realised they missed each other, reformed, and released Get Ready. Back for the 21st century.