Bernard Edward Sumner
(born 4 January 1956), also known as Bernard Dickin
, Bernard Dicken
and Bernard Albrecht
, is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. He is the founder member of Joy Division and the lead vocalist and guitarist of New Order.He has also recorded with Johnny Marr as Electronic and was the lead vocalist of the band.Joy Division (1976-1980)Sumner was a founder member of Joy Division, a post-punk band formed in 1976. The band are widely considered one of the most influential bands of the era. Primarily known as the band's lead guitarist (his main guitars were a Gibson SG and a Shergold Custom Masquerader), Sumner also played keyboards for synth parts and made his first vocal appearance on record singing the chorus of "They Walked In Line" on the Warsaw
album. In May 1980, the band's vocalist Ian Curtis committed suicide.
New Order (1980-1993)
Sumner and remaining bandmates Peter Hook and Stephen Morris started a new band named New Order, joined by Gillian Gilbert in October 1980. Though Hook, Morris and Gilbert also contributed vocals on some early tracks, Sumner emerged as the band's permanent vocalist and lyricist, alongside playing guitar and keyboards. The band released six studio albums before splitting in 1993.
In 1989, Sumner joined up with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr to form Electronic. The Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant collaborated on a number of tracks on their debut eponymous album, providing vocals. Sumner was vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and lyricist.
New Order reunion (1998-2007)
In 1998, New Order reconvened and subsequently released another two studio albums. The band split up in 2007 after a disagreement between Hook and the remaining members. In 2009, Sumner was quoted as saying he no longer wished to make music as New Order.
Bad Lieutenant (2008-2011)
Bad Lieutenant included fellow New Order member Phil Cunningham and Jake Evans of Rambo & Leroy. Stephen Morris of New Order and Blur bassist Alex James also performed on the band's debut album. Sumner provided vocals, guitar and lyrics.On 2 July 2009, Bernard Sumner confirmed that single "Sink or Swim" would be released on 28 September 2009 and would be the first off their album Never Cry Another Tear. The single was hosted for free on the band's website prior to its physical release, it was followed by a digital bundle release with remixes of the song by Mark Reeder, James Bright and Teenagers.Their debut LP, Never Cry Another Tear,
was released in October 2009. The band followed up with a tour of the United Kingdom.
New Order second reunion (2011-Present)
In October 2011, New Order (without Hook) returned with live dates in Brussels and Paris. A UK tour followed this through early 2012. The band announced in September 2012 that work on a new album would begin in 2013.
Other musical projects
In 1981, Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls released their last single Searching For Heaven
, whose main song featured Sumner on guitar, although he was not credited in the sleeves of its 7" and 10" edition at the time.In 1983 Sumner co-produced, with Donald Johnson, the band Foreign Press and 'The Great Divide'/'Love in a Strange Place'. Foreign Press (aka Emergency) had had a long history with Sumner through both Joy Division and New Order.In 1990 he worked with former Factory Records labelmates A Certain Ratio remixing their song "Won't Stop Loving You". He has also recorded tracks with fellow Mancunians 808 State and Sub Sub. Sumner appeared as a guest vocalist (alongside Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie) on The Chemical Brothers' 1999 album Surrender
, on the track "Out of Control", and in the 2005 Chemical Brothers show at the Brixton Academy, Sumner appeared live on stage as a special guest on this track. He recently lent vocals to a track ("Miracle Cure") on German trance outfit Blank & Jones 2008 release, "The Logic of Pleasure."He has also done several remixes, such as Technotronic's "Rockin' Over the Beat" (which was featured in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
soundtrack) and served as a record producer for other Factory Records acts such as Happy Mondays (whose second single Freaky Dancin'
he produced in 1986). Shark Vegas, Abecedarians, 52nd Street and Section 25. It is said that he will be contributing a remix to Depeche Mode's upcoming remix album.
Sumner was married to Sue Barlow (born 1956) on 28 October 1978. They have a son James Christopher (born 1983). The couple divorced in 1989, just before the release of Technique
, an experience reflected in the song "Round & Round." Sue is a relative of Gary Barlow.Sumner lives in Alderley Edge, Cheshire with his second wife, Sarah Dalton. They have three children: Dylan Christian (born 1992), Tess Iona (born 1994) and Finley Emil (born 2003). He is a fan of Manchester United.He is commonly known by the nickname "Barney", although he is reportedly not fond of the name. An early Joy Division bootleg credited him as "Barney Rubble".In the past, Sumner has also used the surnames Dicken and Albrecht. He has also been reluctant to discuss his family background until 2007 when it was revealed his mother had cerebral palsy and that he had been adopted by his stepfather John Dickin. "Sumner" was his mother's maiden name and is the name which appears on his birth certificate. The revelations about his past were made in a book about his life, Bernard Sumner: Confusion: Joy Division, Electronic and New Order Versus the World
by David Nolan, published in 2008 – on which Sumner co-operated.
Sumner has been portrayed on film twice. John Simm played him in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People
, which focused on Factory Records. In the Ian Curtis biopic, Control
, he is played by James Anthony Pearson.