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From Murders of Substance to Woodhead & Becker

The origins of Substance

· Woodhead Becker,Murders of Substance,Music

In the last post, I announced a change to the Murders of Substance series to The Woodhead & Becker Mysteries, as well as a change of the book titles to The Winterstone Murder and The Bridegroom Murder.

Changing the titles of series and books is not a small task, so that raises a couple of questions: how did I come up with the original titles, and why am I changing?

I first came up with the idea for this series while listening to one of my favorite albums: Substance by the British post-punk band New Order. (Hence, Murders of Substance.)

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New Order was one of the most influential bands of the 1980s, growing out of the band Joy Division. They pushed the bounds of technology, sequencing, and tape loops. “Blue Monday” was without question the most influential dance track of the early 1980s, and songs like “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “True Faith” were big hits, especially on the alternative radio stations I listened to growing up.

The Substance album is a collection of their extended singles from 1980 to 1987, and I was struck at how all the song titles would be great murder mystery names. “Ceremony” and “Everything’s Gone Green” were the first two tracks on the record, and the song titles were mirrored in the first two book titles.

In upcoming blog posts, I’ll discuss other ways that New Order influenced the series and why I’m making the change.