If you appreciate good music then you probably love New Order and David Bowie. What’s not to love about great tunes, wicked style, drama and lots and lots of British musical rowdiness. New Order is of course best known for their huge hits Blue Monday and Bizarre Love Triangle. Their synthpop sound is pure genius and for many it’s what great 80’s music is all about. They pioneered dance music and were a gateway to the early rave scene. Don’t believe me? Then check out the 2002 classic flick 24 Hour Party People.
But before there was New Order, the band existed as Joy Division. Led by Ian Curtis, the Greater Manchester band is best know for its haunting hit Love Will Tear Us Apart. Joy Division was only reincarnated as New Order after the death of Ian Curtis.
Before Joy Division was Joy Division they went by the name Warsaw. Why Warsaw, you ask? Well it all comes back to David Bowie.
Under the gun to pick a name before their first appearance, the band was being pressured to go with the name Stiff Kittens (not cool) and instead decided to go with Warsaw in honour of the song “Warszawa” written by David Bowie (very cool).
Warsaw played their first gig on 29 May 1977. However, they ultimately changed their name to avoid confusion with a London punk band called Warsaw Pakt (seems like anything “Warsaw” was very popular back then.)
But where did David Bowie get the brilliant idea to call one of his songs “Warszawa”?
He visited the city in 1973 and wanted to write an instrumental song meant to evoke the desolation of the city. The mysterious lyrics and melody in the middle part of the song are apparently based upon a recording of the Polish choir “Śląsk”. The song was co-written by legendary music producer Brian Eno and was released in 1977.
Here David Bowie performs “Warszawa” as the opening number of his December 12 1978 Tokyo concert.