Lost Sirens occupies a unique niche in New Order’s wider body of work. Featuring eight tracks clocking in at just under 40 minutes, it certainly constitutes a full-blown album, though the way its contents have been perceived, and even its title, have let it to be thought of as a collection of offcuts, rather than a standalone album in its own right.
Listen to ‘Lost Sirens’ here.
“‘Lost Sirens’? Well, it’s not really lost”
“It saddens me a little that Lost Sirens is thought of as an album of outtakes from Waiting The Sirens’ Call, because it realty isn’t,” Bernard Sumner wrote in his memoir, Chapter And Verse. “It’s actually a second, unfinished album.”
“Lost Sirens? Well, it’s not really lost,” Stephen Morris contended in a statement issued in December 2012, a month ahead of the album’s release. “I remember that Martin Hannett once had the idea of making a record and burying it in his garden, so that one day someone would dig it up, like a time capsule,” the drummer continued, referencing one of the many outlandish ideas that the late Joy Division producer had. “We just stuck our record in a cupboard. And now we’ve got it out.”
As Sumner suggested, Lost Sirens is often perceived as an album of “outtakes” dating from the sessions for New Order’s eighth studio album, Waiting For The Sirens’ Call. Though that’s broadly accurate, in that its eight tracks were captured during the 2003 to 2004 sessions which also produced Waiting For The Sirens’ Call, the band were always planning to keep these songs in reserve for their next official studio album. At least that was the plan until bassist and founder member Peter Hook left New Order, in 2007.
After Hook’s departure, the tracks were shelved, and the project was put on ice while New Order went on hiatus. When the group re-formed in 2011, unveiling a new line-up with Tom Chapman replacing Hook on bass and Gillian Gilbert returning on keyboards, the band revisited the material held over from the Waiting For The Sirens’ Call sessions, with a view to giving it an official release.