Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Order: Part 1 of a series, 1980-1984

New Order has - for over 20 years - been amongst my most favorite groups ever. For 15 or so years they made music that served as the soundtrack to my life, more often than not reaching perfection (or pretty damn close to it) with everything they did.

They had a few clunkers ("Sub-Culture" 12-inch mix, anyone?) but the true best of New Order is among the best music EVER from ANY artist ANY era. Not bad for a bunch of self-taught Salford/Macclesfield, UK misfits.

The history of the band can be found all over the internets so I shall not rehash it here. What I will be doing, however, over a series of posts, is compile my favorite tracks into the SuperFan's MegaSubstance MegaBest Of or what-have-you. The band has been anthologized over a ridiculous number of compilations and quite a few tracks are repeated across releases, while deep catalog tracks - as good as any single they released - are continuously ignored.

Our first selection features their best works from the 1980-1984 era - the era that served as the "hey, we used to be Joy Division" bridging to the "hey, I think we're onto something with this weird dance/rock/indie hybrid thing" timeframe, before they became megastars. This era saw the band creep ever so hesitantly out of the Joy Division shadow, suddenly becoming trendsetters in discos, and then rediscovering guitars again.

So onward.

NEW ORDER "Seems like I've been here before..."
1980-1984, anthologized

01 Ceremony (original 3-piece version, recorded Sept. 1980)
02 In A Lonely Place (7-inch edit, different from Substance version)
03 Ceremony (re-recorded late 1980 with Gillian Gilbert on board)
04 Procession
05 Everything's Gone Green (7-inch version)
06 Dreams Never End (Jan. 1981 Peel Session)
07 ICB (Jan. 1981 Peel Session)
08 Cries and Whispers
09 Mesh
10 Truth (mix candidate #1, Hannett)
11 Doubts Even Here
12 Denial
13 Temptation (7-inch version)
14 Hurt (7-inch version)
15 Temptation (12-inch version)
16 586 (June 1982 Peel Session)
17 Too Late
18 Blue Monday (rare 7-inch edit)
19 Age of Consent
20 The Village
21 Your Silent Face
22 Ultraviolence
23 Ecstasy
24 Leave Me Alone
25 Confusion (7-inch promo edit)
26 Thieves Like Us (7-inch promo edit)
27 Lonesome Tonight
28 Murder

Nothing whatsoever taken from the abysmally-mastered 2005 compilation Singles, and many taken from mint vinyl copies.

Three RAR's as usual, gotta grab 'em all of course...

Part I / Part II / Part III



  1. Excellent! Look forward to the next.

  2. Yay! I have been waiting for this. Thank you.

  3. Brilliant!!! Many, many thanks!!!

  4. Hey thanks! I own every NO album, Singles and Substance, but I've never really "got" NO past power, corruption or lies up until sirens, which I loved. I think this musical journey might help explain what I'm missing.

  5. I found Truth (mix candidate #1, Hannett) interesting. I'm not sure it's an improvement on the final mix. It seems to drown out a lot. I think Hannett was past the point of brilliance by Movement. I have to stick the original on in a bit to compare :)

  6. I guess the P,C&L songs are vinyl sourced, there's a skip in Ultraviolence! The endings differ from my CD version, too. Good decision to exclude "We all stand" -- I've always thought of P,C&L as having a load of filler but removing just that one track (and alternate 586 earlier) makes it flow so much better.

  7. Hrm I'm not aware of a skip in Ultraviolence and the endings should all be the same as it's from CD! FACD75, the Factory UK pressing, to be exact.

  8. Sub-Culture isn't that bad of a song... If anything it hints of the New Order 20 years later that will give us Jetstream - and I mean an uncharacteristically super-pop sense - well and of course the female backing vocals.

    Now the flip "Dub-Vulture 12" destroys my brain. I used to DJ and my mind wants to synchronize rhythms. "Dub-Vulture" is like listening to two songs playing at the same time with totally mismatched rhythms.

  9. Part 3 seems to have gone missing from mediafire.
    Could you re-up?

  10. To clarify, Part 3 is there and I downloaded it, but it is empty. 19 tracks opened with no problems.