Saturday, 20 October 2012

October 2012

The October 2012 blogs feature a look at New Order and Elton John. To look at either of these blogs, click the relevant link to your right.

"How Does It Feel To Treat Me Like You Do"

Friday, 12 October 2012

Elton John Part 3: The 80's Albums

Let’s be honest. You are unlikely to find anybody who thinks that any of Elton’s 80’s albums are better than the best of some of those from the previous decades. But then again, just about everybody struggled in this decade. Bowie, The Stones, The Cure, they all lost their way in the quagmire of 80’s production.

But Elton, usually, managed to produce the odd hit single or two, and what is interesting about these records, is that they aren’t quite as obscure as you might think. Furthermore, Mercury seem to think that some of these albums are quite decent affairs, with 1983’s “Too Low For Zero”, 1985’s “Ice On Fire”, and 1987’s “Live In Australia” all being reissued in the 1990’s as part of the “Classic Years” reissue campaign.

As mentioned last month, the reissue of Elton’s post-DJM albums were conducted in two chunks - reissues of the “classics” in the late 90’s, and reissues of most of the rest in 2003. The reissue campaign stopped with 1992’s “The One”. Again, the lists below relate to the current CD pressings. For the singles, as ever, only essential formats are listed, but note that some singles were issued on other formats as picture discs or in different sleeves.

Too Low For Zero (Mercury 558 475-2)

Although 1980’s “21 At 33” did feel, to a certain extent, like the beginning of Elton’s 1980s comeback, it was this 1983 effort that really pushed him back into the mainstream. It has been described as the album where Elton went ‘back to basics’, and after several years of collaborating with different lyrical partners, Elton reunited with Bernie Taupin on a far more permanent basis. Some critics will also lay claim to this being one of Elton’s best efforts, and his best since the classic LP’s of the 70s.

Whilst “Too Low For Zero” can feel, at times, like it’s just another 80s album, the singles taken from the album pack a certain punch - the lilting simplicity of “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”, the camp pop of “Kiss The Bride”, and the raucous ’I’m back’ rallying cry of “I’m Still Standing”.

Having dabbled with the format during his “disco years”, Elton released a number of singles from the LP on 12”, as well as issuing a number of new B-sides across these 45’s. Given it’s more “acceptable” critical standing amongst Elton’s back catalogue, the most recent pressing of “Too Low For Zero” includes a number of these B-sides, but not all. “Earn While You Learn” and “Dreamboat” are on the current edition, with - as mentioned last month - “The Retreat”, issued as a B-side in the UK in 1982 but not released in the USA until 1983.


I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues/Choc Ice Goes Mental (1983, 7”, Rocket XPRES 91)
I’m Still Standing (Extended Version)/Earn While You Learn (1983, 12”, Rocket EJS 112)
Kiss The Bride (Edit)/Dreamboat (Edit) (1983, 7”, Rocket EJS 2. 12“ replaces edited mix of B-side with full length version, as found on current CD version of “Too Low For Zero“)
Cold As Christmas/Crystal/Je Veux De La Tendresse (1983, 12”, Rocket EJS 312)

Breaking Hearts (Mercury 077 111-2)

Another year, another LP. And another, as Wikipedia describes it, record full of “soft rock”. Once again, “Breaking Hearts” spawned a mega hit single or two, but - like a lot of the 80s albums - you probably need to listen to it a lot for the rest of the material on here to sink in. I have probably only listened to this record once, maybe twice in full, and I simply can’t remember what the rest of the album sounds like.

Although “Too Low For Zero” was seen as a critically acclaimed comeback record, “Breaking Hearts” is unlikely to feature in anybody’s “favourite albums” lists, although the two hit singles from the LP are fairly memorable parts of the Elton cannon. “Passengers” trundles along in a reggae/calypso style, and thus sounds unlike anything else Elton taped during the whole decade, whilst “Sad Songs”, a slightly more traditional sounding piano driven piece of pop, has stood the test of time, and you have every chance of seeing Elton play this if you go and see him in concert. Indeed, it seems like every time I see him play, he digs this one out.

Once again, a sizeable number of other singles were also issued, and various B-sides dished out yet again. However, for some reason, the most recent CD pressing of the album neglects to include any of these rarities as extra tracks. I can only assume that such is the album’s “not bad, but not great” reputation, that the powers that be would have felt guilty about increasing it’s stature by tarting it up with an expanded re-release. Still, it’s a bit odd that some of Elton’s 80s b-sides are available on CD, and some aren’t.


Sad Songs (Edit)/A Simple Man (1984, 7”, Rocket PH7, some copies pressed as a hat shaped picture disc in a clear sleeve. Label states a-side taken from LP, but apparently a minute shorter than LP mix)
Sad Songs (Extended Version)/A Simple Man (1984, 12”, Rocket PH712. As with 7”, label states the a-side is not taken from the album, but running time seems to be identical)
Passengers (Remix)/Lonely Boy (1984, 7”, Rocket EJS 5)
Passengers (Extended Remix)/Lonely Boy/Blue Eyes (1984, 12”, Rocket EJS 512)
Who Wears These Shoes (7” Mix)/Tortured (1984, 7”, Rocket EJS 6)
Who Wears These Shoes (Extended Version)/Tortured/I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Live) (1984, 12”, Rocket EJS 612)
Breaking Hearts/In Neon (1985, 7”, Rocket EJS 7)

Ice On Fire (Mercury 558 476-2)

Following the release of the title track of “Breaking Hearts” as a 45, Elton released a stand alone single in the summer of 1985 - a duet with Millie Jackson, “Act Of War” appeared on a variety of different formats, with different mixes of the track on each format. Each mix was titled “Part 1”, “Part 2”, etc. and in total six “parts” were released. When Elton’s next LP was released, “Ice On Fire”, the first part of “Act Of War” was tagged onto the end of the CD edition of the album.

“Ice On Fire”, as you might have guessed, took it’s title from a line in one of the songs on the album, “Nikita”, which was issued as the next single. Like the singles from the “Breaking Hearts” album, “Nikita” became a hit but the album from which it surfaced was not critically acclaimed, and “Ice On Fire” became just another one of those ‘1980’s Elton John’ albums. A duet with George Michael, “Wrap Her Up”, became the next single to be lifted from the LP, and was also a reasonable success, although you might be hard pressed to remember what the next and final single, “Cry To Heaven”, actually sounds like, as Elton slowly struggled to hit the higher echelons of the charts.

Prior to the release of “Cry To Heaven”, Elton collaborated with a number of musicians on a single called “That’s What Friends Are For”. Credited to “Dionne And Friends”, it’s a quite charming piece of 80’s pop, with Elton hanging out with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. However, it is not on the most recent CD issue of “Ice On Fire” - indeed, nor is “Act Of War” anymore. The most recent repressing includes a few rarities from the period (“The Man Who Never Died”, a live version of “I’m Still Standing”) plus an ultra rarity in the form of a live recording of “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” from 1977. The plan was to include a 1984 live version of the song as featured on the “Nikita” 45, but this plan seems to have gone awry at some point, possibly by accident.


Act Of War (Part 1)/(Part 2) (1985, 7”, Rocket EJS 8)
Act Of War (Part 3)/(Part 4) (1985, 12”, Rocket EJS 812)
Act Of War (Part 5)/(Part 6) (1985, Remix 12”, Rocket EJSR 812)
Nikita (Edit)/The Man Who Never Died/Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (Live At Wembley Stadium 1984)/I’m Still Standing (Live At Wembley Stadium 1984) (1985, 2x7”, Rocket EJSD 9)
That’s What Friends Are For (Vocal)/(Instrumental) (1985, 12”, Arista 12638)
Wrap Her Up (7” Edit)/Too Low For Zero (Live At Wembley Stadium 1984) (1985, Limited 7”, Rocket EJSC 10)
Wrap Her Up (Extended Remix)/Restless (Live At Wembley Stadium 1984) (1985, 12”, Rocket EJS 1012, some copies issued as double pack with extra tracks)
Cry To Heaven/Candy By The Pound/Rock N Roll Medley (Live At Wembley Stadium 1984)/Your Song (Live At Wembley Stadium 1984) (1985, 2x7”, Rocket EJSD 11)

Note. “Nikita” was reissued, in various forms, in the early 80s and beyond. More details will appear in next month’s blog.

Leather Jackets (Rocket 830 487-2)

For all the hard work done with “Too Low For Zero”, it seemed as though Elton had lost his way by the time he released this album in 86. Not a big seller, it spawned singles that failed to do much chart wise, and Elton’s voice was in trouble - he would need to undergo throat surgery the following year. Some have claimed that, as it was due to be his last album for his North American label, he quite happily tossed out any old nonsense for this album.

Elton was out of his head on cocaine at the time, in the middle of a heterosexual marriage despite being gay, and twenty years after it was released, he admitted it was his least favourite album, helped in no small part by the fact that he was not in a good state of mind when he recorded it. Again, listen to it and like a lot of the other 80s albums, it will go in one ear, and out the other. But the singles do jump out at you, and whilst it is not a disaster, it’s not exactly “Pet Sounds”.

The situation isn’t helped by the photo of Elton and band inside decked out in leather gear - it’s either a camp attempt to look hard and butch, or it’s just bloody awful. And again, despite there being a number of rarities generated during this period (extended mixes, non album B-sides), “Leather Jackets” has never been reissued in expanded form. In fact, it hasn’t ever really been reissued at all, as it remains the only Elton CD to still only be available in “un-remastered form”, the current edition having been pressed back in the 1980s. The album was reissued in the USA in 1992, which included a slightly longer mix of “Heartache All Over The World”, but still no bonus tracks.


Heartache All Over The World (Megamix)/Highlander/Heartache All Over The World (1986, 12”, Rocket EJS 1212)
Slow Rivers/Billy And The Kids/Lord Of The Flies (1986, 12”, Rocket EJS 1312)
Flames Of Paradise (Original)/(Instrumental) (1987, 12”, CBS 650865-2, Jennifer Rush 45)

Live In Australia (Mercury 558 477-2)

Whilst “Leather Jackets” seemed like the nadir of Elton’s career, then this 1987 live album seemed to turn Elton’s fortunes around. Although recorded on what was the final stages of a tour supporting “Leather Jackets”, it featured a set list that ploughed through bits and pieces of Elton’s back catalogue, including some more obscure material. Indeed, not one song from “Leather Jackets” made it onto the album.

It was part of a tour called the “Tour De Force”, where Elton played two sets. The first one, with full band, saw Elton decked out in elaborate stage gear, a throwback to the days of the 70s and early 80s, whilst the second half saw him in some sort of Beethoven style formal wear, complete with wig, backed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Quite simply, the sound of Elton plus orchestra worked superbly, and the album, helped along by it’s choice of setlist, was inspired. It laid the ghost of “Leather Jackets” to rest, and helped set Elton up for his next comeback in 1988. A number of singles were lifted from the album, and although nothing rare appeared on them (all of the B-sides were simply live songs from the LP), the live version of “Candle In The Wind” became a big hit, and pushed Elton back into the public eye after the flop singles of 1986.


Your Song (Live In Australia)/Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Live In Australia) (1987, 7”, Rocket EJS 14, other formats exists with extra tracks from LP)
Candle In The Wind (Live In Australia)/Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (Live In Australia) (1988, 7”, Rocket EJS 15, picture disc copies also exist in clear sleeves, other formats exist which add both sides of the “Your Song“ release)

Monday, 1 October 2012

New Order

There are times when I feel worried that I am turning into one of those people that go on about “well, they don’t make ‘em like they used to”. Whenever I listen to Radio 1, it still seems to be full of endless hours of awful nonsense, like Punk and Britpop never happened. There is good stuff around, like We Are Augustines, but Radio 1 seemingly don’t seem to realise these sorts of bands exist. Or if they do, that they are frightened to let them out during the daytime hours.

My concern about the likes of Radio 1, is that it is so obsessed with the concept of “new music” to the point that it is uninterested in what came before. Nick Grimshaw once muttered the phrase “old persons music” when talking about something from about circa 1995, and before she was carted off to Radio 2 for being over the age of 39, Jo Whiley once claimed to not like any 60’s music, despite the fact that every single goddamn indie band she loved stole all their ideas from The Beatles and The Stones.

To have such a closed mind, to either new or old music, dependent on your age, is worrying. It’s never been an issue in the Shergold house. My mum got me into The Divine Comedy, I in turn got her into Green Day. There are, of course, only two types of music - good and bad.

For any youngsters reading this, wondering when I am going to be doing an Enter Shikari article (the answer is, never), simply switching off anything from before a specific date is dumb - I would argue you don’t really love music if your record collection doesn’t stretch from at least the late 1950’s till the present day. And by ignoring “old persons music”, you would thus probably include New Order in that category. And if you do so, well, there are no words to describe how stupid this would be. Earlier this year, I saw New Order play again, and yet again, I witnessed one of the greatest gigs I have ever seen. It was 90 minutes of pop genius, as if I was watching some sort of University Lecture in the form of a concert, with the group educating the kids in the crowd “how to be one of the best bands in the world”.

As I type this, there is - possibly - a new “old” New Order LP on the way, so to celebrate - assuming it actually gets released - I thought it was time to bring the story up to date, given that I have looked at Joy Division on this very site some time in the past. Each studio album (and “important” compilation) is detailed, along with a look at what singles they released, roughly, at the same time. Details of these 45’s are catalogued with full track listings, but, as ever, “unessential” formats are simply not listed for clarity.

Oh, and before you young whippersnappers start saying, “where do I start”, the answer is - buy all of them.


Although it’s status has improved over the years, there is no doubt that “Movement” remains the weakest of all the New Order albums from the 1980s. Although it came in a striking cover, it seemed a bit too in debt to Joy Division, to the point where Bernard Sumner seemed to be doing an Ian Curtis impression with the vocals. Listen to this, and then “Technique”, and you would struggle to even believe that it was the same band.

The 2008 reissue improves things somewhat, as it includes the material the band released on singles from around the period, which was all far superior. The band‘s first 45, “Ceremony”, an (at the time) unreleased Joy Division track re-recorded by the new band, is a superb piece of post-punk, good enough that it is still in the band’s live set today, whilst the move towards a more electronic sound is no more noticeable than on “Temptation”, the band’s standout early period 45, and very much the missing link between Joy Division and the dance influenced sound of the band throughout the rest of the decade.

Much of this material had been re-released before, as Factory had released a mini album in 1982 called “1981 - 1982”. Technically only available in the UK on import, the record included both sides of the “Temptation” 12”, “Procession”, “Mesh” and the longer A-side mix of “Everything’s Gone Green”. All five of these songs appeared on the 2008 reissue of “Movement“.

The 1987 best of “Substance”, was used as an excuse - on some formats - to include the 12” mixes of the A-sides, and the 12” mixes of their B-sides, and is also home to much of this early period material. To clarify, it includes the extended mix of “In A Lonely Place”, “Procession”, the long version of “Everything’s Gone Green”, “Cries And Whispers” and “Mesh”. 2005’s “Singles” collection opted for 7” mixes instead, and thus includes the short versions of “Temptation” and “Everything’s Gone Green”. “Ceremony” for some years was the odd one out, as “Substance” opted to include an alternate take, as opposed to the version released as the debut single.

Ceremony/In A Lonely Place (7”, Factory FAC 33)
Ceremony/In A Lonely Place (Extended) (12”, FAC 33. 2011 reissue adds two Joy Division tracks as bonus B-sides, one of which is previously unreleased)
Procession/Everything’s Gone Green (7”, Factory FAC 53)
Everything’s Gone Green (Longer Version)/Cries And Whispers/Mesh (12”, Factory Benelux FBNL 8, import only)
Temptation (7” Mix)/Hurt (7” Mix) (7”, Factory FAC 63)
Temptation/Hurt (12”, Factory FAC 63)

Power Corruption & Lies

In some respects, this is the album where the modern day New Order began, as the band (nearly) ditched their guitars for synths. A regular in those “best albums ever” lists, “PC&L” was far more electronic than it’s predecessor, but like “Movement”, spawned no singles in the UK.

Instead, New Order opted to issue stand alone singles - and only ever on 12” at that, quite an unusual approach at the time. The band’s new found dance sound was obviously deemed, for a while, to be best suited to the 12”, rather than the 7”, format.

“Blue Monday” was the first of this run, an unquestionable classic, and the biggest selling 12” of all time. You have probably heard of the reports about the “floppy disk” style die cut sleeve being so expensive to produce, that it resulted in a loss for every copy pressed, but this claim has since been disputed by some - another quote is that later pressings, in “normal” sleeves, would have cost no more than usual to produce, so the theory that the more copies this single sold, the more money the label lost, is open to question.

With the release of “Confusion”, the band began dabbling in the world of multi remixing, meaning that when “Substance” was released, it was simply not possible to include all the B-sides from each of the singles released during this period, although the Instrumental mix of the song was included, along with - strangely - a brand new mix of the A-side. As with the “Everything’s Gone Green” and “1981 - 1982” releases, “Murder” was only first released on import, meaning that when it appeared on “Substance”, it was being technically released in the UK for this first time. For the record, both sides of “Blue Monday” and “Thieves Like Us” were also included on “Substance”.

Blue Monday/The Beach (12”, Factory FAC 73)
Confusion/Confused Beats/Confusion (Instrumental)/(Rough Mix) (12”, Factory FAC 93)
Thieves Like Us/Lonesome Tonight (12”, Factory FAC 103)
Murder/Thieves Like Us (Instrumental) (12”, Factory Benelux FBN 22, import only)


“Low-Life” continued the band’s new found pop/electronic/dance direction, and was also the point at which they began to release singles taken from their latest long-player. Of course, remixing was still in, and as a result, the first such release, “The Perfect Kiss”, appeared on 12” only, with the A-side mix completely different to the album version, and the B-side of the single featuring two alternate mixes. Suffice to say, “Substance” only included one of these two B-sides. The 12” mix of the track only made the LP/Cassette versions of the compilation, as there was not enough space on the CD edition to include it, and instead, a unique “edit of the 12” mix” was included on that edition instead.

“Subculture” was lifted from “Low-Life” as the second single from the LP, with new mixes appearing on both the 7” and 12” editions. A dub mix of the track, retitled “Dubvulture”, would appear on the B-side, with - again - an alternate version of this mix on the 12”. The decision to include alternate mixes on the B-side - with revamped titles - would continue for the next few releases. Again, the “Substance” mix of “Subculture” is a unique version.

The band returned to the world of the stand alone 45 thereafter, issuing “Shellshock” and “State Of The Nation” as singles during 1986. Again, multiple bonus tracks littered the various formats, so only some of this material made it onto “Substance”. The 2008 reissue of “Low-Life” was unusual in that the bonus disc included a version of “Shame Of The Nation”, but not - officially - a version of “State Of the Nation”. Yes, they were basically the same song, but it’s still worth pointing out. This disc also includes the “Substance” mix of “Shellshock”.

The Perfect Kiss (8.40 Mix)/The Kiss Of Death/Perfect Pit (12”, Factory FAC 123)
Subculture (Remix Edit)/Dubvulture (Edit) (7”, Factory 7FAC 133)
Subculture (12” Mix)/Dubvulture (12”, Factory FAC 133)
Shellshock (Edit)/Thieves Like Us (Instrumental/Edit) (7”, Factory FAC 143)
Shellshock (12” Version)/Shellcock (12”, Factory FAC 143)
State Of The Nation/Shame Of The Nation (7”, Factory FAC 153)
State Of The Nation (Extended Version)/Shame Of The Nation (Extended Version) (12”, Factory FAC 153)


Housed in another impressive sleeve - you might think there was some sort of “pressing error” - New Order’s fourth album is notable for being home to one of the band’s most famous 45's, “Bizarre Love Triangle”, which was actually something of a flop when first released. Popularised by numerous cover versions over the years, “BLT” is now a regular in the band’s setlist.

Although 1987’s “True Faith” was technically the next stand alone single, it was actually issued a month or so before “Substance”, and was therefore actually a trailer for the greatest hits set. It appeared on a sizeable number of formats, all of them including - on initial release - at least one exclusive track per format, although the unedited mix of the A-side, as found on the 12” edition, was simply the version on “Substance”.

The b-side of “True Faith”, “1963”, would later come to prominence in the 90s when an alternate version of the track was used on 1994’s “The Best Of New Order”, and was then issued as a single to coincide, something which Pet Shop Boys would do with one of their B-sides the year after, “Paninaro”. The other b-side, “Evil Dust”, was only on the now hyper rare CDV format, but is included on the 2008 expanded reissue of “Brotherhood”.

Bizarre Love Triangle (Edit)/Bizarre Dub Triangle (7”, Factory FAC 163)
Bizarre Love Triangle (Extended Mix)/Bizarre Dub Triangle (Extended Mix) (12”, Factory FAC 163)
True Faith (7” Edit)/1963 (7”, Factory FAC 183)
True Faith/1963 (12”, Factory FAC 183)
True Faith (Remix)/1963/True Dub (Remix 12”, Factory FAC 183R)
True Faith (Remix)/Evil Dust/True Faith (Remix/Edit)/(Video) (CDV, Factory FACDV 183)


As already mentioned, “Substance” was issued in 1987 as the band’s first singles collection, with slightly varying track listings between formats. Although the record was issued on double vinyl, it was the CD, DAT and Cassette versions that were of most interest, as they included unique and rare material not to be found on the LP.

Twelve of the band’s singles were included, and although in theory, the plan was to include the 12” mixes of these songs, this wasn’t quite the case. The likes of “Temptation”, “Confusion”, “Subculture” and “Shellshock” all appeared in new mixes, whilst - as mentioned - “The Perfect Kiss” had to be edited for the CD/DAT versions.

Disc 2/Cassette 2 was devoted to the flipsides of the singles. “Murder”, thanks to it’s oddball “import only” status, was tossed away on disc 2 of the CD/DAT editions, but appeared on disc 1 of the Cassette version, making it 13 singles in total (out of 14, if you include all the imports). Meanwhile, “Procession” - issued as the band’s second UK single - appeared on disc 2, whilst the B-side of that single, “Everything’s Gone Green”, turned up on disc 1 instead, even though it too was only ever available in the UK as a 45 on import.

Restrictions on the CD edition mean that a number of B-sides are missing, but the Cassette version worked a lot better. With the exception of “Hurt”, which had to be edited for space reasons, the B-sides are basically the full length versions from the original 45's. Both b-sides of “Everything’s Gone Green” appeared (“Cries And Whispers” and “Mesh”), but as soon as you get to the latter period singles with their multiple remix B-sides, you only get one per 45 - so no “Perfect Pit”, only one of the three alternative mixes of “Confusion”, and so on. Some copies included “True Dub” as a bonus track, in addition to the proper “True Faith” b-side, “1963”.

“Substance” was later issued on VHS, but with few promo clips actually made for these singles, it included only seven songs, and had a rather short running time when compared to the CD or Cassette versions.

No sooner had “Substance” hit the shops, than the band returned with another non-album single, “Touched By The Hand Of God”. The CD edition included the “Substance” mix of “Temptation”, as well as a new mix of “Confusion”. This was then followed the following year by a reissue of “Blue Monday”. Unlike the original, this one appeared on multiple formats, with a similarly titled B-side to that which appeared on the 1983 version, and second time around, was the recipient of an official music video. The expanded “Brotherhood” includes both a version of “Touched By The Hand Of God” and “Blue Monday 88”.

Touched By The Hand Of God/Touched By The Hand Of Dub (7”, Factory FAC 193-7)
Touched By The Hand Of God (Extended)/Touched By The Hand Of Dub (Extended) (12”, Factory FAC 193)
Touched By The Hand Of God (Extended)/Confusion (Dub 1987)/Temptation (1987) (CD, Factory FACD 193)
Blue Monday 88 (7” Mix)/Beach Buggy (7”, Factory FAC 73-7)
Blue Monday 88 (12” Version)/Beach Buggy (12” Version)/Blue Monday 88 (7” Mix) (CD or 12”, Factory FAC 73R)
Blue Monday 88 (12” Version)/(Dub)/(7” Mix)/(Video) (CDV, Factory FACDV 73R)


Probably my favourite New Order LP, helped in part by the incendiary lead single “Fine Time”, “Technique” completed the move from post-punk electronic pioneers to Acid House influenced synthpop hit makers. When first released on Vinyl, MC and CD, the Cassette edition came in a different sleeve to the others.

Three singles were released from the record, with the second - “Round And Round” - appearing on, amongst others, a 3” CD edition, known as the “Round And Remix” EP. This was the first, and to date last, New Order single to be issued on this format.

“Run” is a bit of an odd one. An alternate version of the song was issued as a single, retitled “Run 2”, but failed to be issued on CD - despite the fact that the band had been issuing singles on this format for some time. Furthermore, it was issued on 7”, but both tracks could be found - with exclusive bonuses - on the 12” as well, making the 7” of interest to completists only. (Some formats of “Round And Round” also consisted of material also available on other, superior, formats).

The band’s final release on Factory was 1990’s stand alone “World In Motion”, the finest football song ever recorded (apart from, maybe, the 1975 West Ham squad’s “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”). It was issued on various formats, and would be the last “proper” stand alone New Order single for over a decade. It was reissued in 2002 on CD only, using the same sleeve, but pressed on London Records, and with the original b-side, “The B-Side”, replaced by a new song, “Such A Good Thing”. However, this track made it onto the limited edition version of the “Retro” boxset soon after, thus making the 2002 edition something of a now pointless release. Again, the expanded “Technique” includes a remix of “World In Motion” on disc 2.

Fine Time (7” Edit)/Don’t Do It (7”, Factory FAC 223/7)
Fine Time (7” Edit)/(Silk Mix)/(Messed Around Mix)/Don’t Do It (CD, Factory FACD 223)
Fine Time/Don’t Do It/Fine Line (12”, Factory FAC 223)
Fine Time (Silk Mix)/(Messed Around Mix) (Remix 12”, Factory FAC 223R)
Round And Round (12” Mix)/Best & Marsh (12”, Factory FAC 263)
Round And Round (7” Mix)/Vanishing Point (Instrumental)/Round And Round (12” Mix)/Best & Marsh (Edit) (CD, Factory FACD 263)
Round And Round (Club Mix)/(Remix)/(Detroit Mix) (3” CD, Factory FACD 263R)
Run 2 (Short Version)/(Extended Version)/MTO (Short Version)/(Minus Mix) (12”, Factory FAC 273-12)
World In Motion/The B-Side (7”, Cassette or 12”, Factory FAC 293. Certain websites claim some/all of these formats play a shortened mix of “The B-Side“)
World In Motion/The B-Side/World In Motion (No Alla Violenza Mix)/(Subbuteo Mix) (CD, Factory FACD 293)
World In Motion (Subbuteo Mix)/(Subbuteo Dub)/(Carabinieri Mix)/(No Alla Violenza Mix) (Remix 12”, Factory FAC 293R)


It should have been the start of a new phase of New Order - now signed to London, “Republic” instead ended up becoming the final New Order album, prior to the late 90s reunion. Although there are claims the band went on hiatus to pursue solo projects, I seem to recall reading at the time that the band had fell out big time, and this was a proper, supposedly final, break up.

“Republic” took the band in a slightly more pop, guitar based, direction, and was trailed by the astonishing “Regret” 45, one of the band’s biggest hits, and promoted by a now famous “Top Of The Pops” performance on the ‘Baywatch’ beach. It too is still part of the band’s live set.

Since their last single, the world of the 45 in the UK had changed somewhat, and it was now becoming par for the course for any band releasing a single to do so on at least two CD formats. Whilst New Order had never been shy about multi-formatting, “Republic” was the first album where significant attempts were made to issue two CD’s per single, each with exclusive tracks. In some instances, these tracks seemed slightly pointless - the “Limited Edition” version of “Ruined In A Day” included five remixes, many of them with the same running time, which all sounded exactly the same. Maybe they were.

The 2008 reissue campaign was restricted to Factory-era albums only, and although “Republic” has been reissued at least once since it’s original release, all versions of the album still feature the same bonus-track-free track listing.

Regret (7 Inch Version)/(New Order Mix) (7”, London NUO 1, also on Cassette)
Regret (7 Inch Version)/(New Order Mix)/(Fire Island Mix)/(Junior Dub Mix) (CD, London NUOCD 1)
Regret (Fire Island Mix)/(Junior Dub Mix)/(Sabres Slow N Low)/(Sabres Fast N Throb) (12”, London NUOX 1)
Ruined In A Day (The Radio Edit)/(The Ambient Mix)/(Reunited In A Day Remix)/Vicious Circle (Mike Haas Mix) (CD1, London NUOCD 2)
Ruined In A Day (The Sly & Robbie Radio Edit)/(The 12 Inch Bogle Mix)/(The Dance Hall Groove)/(Rhythm Twins Dub)/(The Live Mix) (CD2, London NUCDP 2)
Ruined In A Day (The 12 Inch Bogle Mix)/(The Live Mix)/World (The Price Of Dub)/Ruined In A Day (Reunited In A Day Remix) (12”, London NUOX 2)
Ruined In A Day (Radio Edit)/Vicious Circle (New Order Mix)/Ruined In A Day (The 12 Inch Bogle Mix)/(The Live Mix) (Cassette, London NUOMC 2)
World (Perfecto Edit)/(Radio Edit)/(Perfecto Mix)/(Sexy Disco Dub) (CD1, London NUOCD 3)
World (Brothers In Rhythm Mix)/(Brothers Dubstrumental)/(World In Action Mix)/(Pharmacy Dub) (CD2, London NUCDP 3)
Spooky (Minimix)/(Magimix)/(Moulimix)/(LP Mix) (CD1, London NUOCD 4)
Spooky (Out Of Order Mix)/(Stadium Mix)/(NewOrder In Heaven)/(Boo! Dub Mix)/(Stadium Instrumental) (CD2, London NUCDP 4)

The Best Of New Order

With the band now seemingly gone for good, London issued this best of in 1994, an attempt in part to bring the story up to date as regards the band’s singles. It included material post-”Substance”, and also ignored many of the early period singles. In most instances, it was based around 7” mixes and album tracks, meaning that a short version of “Blue Monday 88” made the set instead of the lengthy 1983 original.

Part of the real selling point of the record was the inclusion of new versions of “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “Round And Round”, “True Faith” and “1963”, the latter two of which were issued as singles to promote the album. Coincidentally, or not, these two songs had been the A and B-sides of FAC 183. Although the appearance of the 7” mixes of most of the rest of the material was seen as an obvious selling point, the fact that most of these singles when first issued had included rare B-sides meant that the album wasn’t quite the perfect box-ticking exercise you might think it is. For example, even though the 7” edit of “Regret” made the LP, you still had to buy the single upon which it appeared to get the “New Order Mix” of the same song.

The two singles were the subject of multi formatting, and multiple remixing. As it had only ever been a b-side before, “1963” was not dubbed “1963 94”, unlike the reissue of “True Faith”. One of the CD editions of “1963” included the “LP Mix”, which was not the original b-side version as found on ”Substance”, but the new version on “The Best Of”.

True Faith 94 (Radio Edit)/(Perfecto Radio Edit) (7”, London NUO 5, also on Cassette)
True Faith 94 (Radio Edit)/(Perfecto Radio Edit)/(Perfecto Mix)/(Album Mix)/(TWA Grim Up North Mix) (CD, London NUOCD 5)
True Faith 94 (Perfecto Mix)/(Sexy Disco Dub)/(TWA Grim Up North Mix)/(Album Mix) (12”, London NUOX 5)
1963 (Arthur Baker Radio Remix)/(LP Mix)/(Lionrock Full Throttle Mix)/(Joe T Vanelli Dubby Mix) (CD1, London NUOCD 6)
1963 (Arthur Baker Remix)/Let’s Go/Spooky (Night Stripper Mix)/True Faith (Remix) (CD2, London NUCDP 6)
1963 (Joe T Vanelli Dubby Mix)/(Joe T Vanelli Light Mix)/(Lionrock Full Throttle Mix)/(Lionrock M6 Sunday Morning Mix) (12”, London NUOX 6)

The Rest Of New Order

Not, as it’s title would suggest, a collection of B-sides, but a 1995 remix set, housed in a near identical sleeve to that used on “The Best Of”. An 80-minute collection of previously issued, and new, remixes, “The Rest Of New Order” pretty much filled up every available second on the compact disc format, and remains one of the longest ever albums - on a single disc - to be issued on the format.

The vinyl and Cassette editions offered different track listings, with the latter including everything on the CD version plus a new mix of “Everything’s Gone Green”. Initial versions of the CD and Cassette formats included a second disc/tape, consisting entirely of remixes of “Blue Monday”. Some of these mixes remain exclusive to this set.

“Blue Monday” was reissued, again, to help plug the album. The CD single included some of the remixes from the “double” version of the album, whilst the 7” had a “1995” mix on the a-side, but the 7” version of the “1988” version on the flip.

1997 saw the release of “Video 586”, which as it’s title suggested, was an alternate mix of an old album track, “586”. The track had first appeared, in two halves, in 1982 on a cassette called “Feature Mist”, whilst the version made for the “Power Corruption & Lies” LP was a re-recording. The 1997 single featured the original “Feature Mist” version, but unedited. 12” copies of the single did not come in a picture sleeve, but did feature a (previously released) Joy Division track as a bonus on the B-side.

Blue Monday 95/Blue Monday 88 (7” Mix) (7”, London NUO 7)
Blue Monday 95 (Hardfloor Mix)/Blue Monday/Blue Monday 95 (Manuella Mix)/(Andrea Mix)/(Plutone Mix) (CD, London NUOCD 7)
Video 586 (CD, Touch TONE 7. 12” copies exist which add a Joy Division track on the B-side)

Get Ready

Some five years after their split, New Order reformed in 1998. Initially, their return was restricted to live performances, including a return to the Reading Festival - although by now, they were “relegated” to being second on the bill, appearing before the headliners that night, Garbage.

After a New Years Eve show in London, things went quiet again, but the band reconvened in 2000 to begin work on “Get Ready”, a slightly more guitar based record. The first single from the album, “Crystal”, remains quite possibly the greatest ever ‘comeback’ single released by anybody, a piece of thrilling pop that equalled anything in the back catalogue. The video featured a guest band performing the song, with the drum kit displaying their fictional name “The Killers”, later to be appropriated by a Las Vegas band led by one Brandon Flowers. The single - and the album - used a very specific form of artwork design on the cover, with each of the different formats featuring a coloured bar across the front of the sleeve. Subsequent singles would also follow this design approach. “Crystal” was later issued on three non-chart eligible 12” singles.

Following the release of the album, the band went out on tour, but keyboardist Gillian Gilbert declined to join the rest of the band, stating that she needed to stay at home to care for her child. She had been married to drummer Stephen Morris for some time, and stated she would leave as it “would be easier to replace me than him”. Ex-Marion guitarist Phil Cunningham took over, alternating between keyboards and guitar, dependent on what was being played in the set.

In 2002, the band recorded a stand alone new single, “Here To Stay”, for the soundtrack to the Factory Records movie, “24 Hour Party People”. Again, the “bar” artwork from “Get Ready” was maintained. It got a second lease of life later the same year, when it was included on the non-UK released compilation “International”, the title of which probably explains why it failed to get a UK release.

Crystal/Behind Closed Doors/Crystal (Digweed & Muir ‘Bedrock’ Mix Edit) (CD1, London NUOCD 8)
Crystal (Digweed & Muir ‘Bedrock’ Radio Edit)/(Lee Coombs Remix)/(John Creamer & Stephane K Main Remix Edit) (CD2, London NUCDP 8)
Crystal (Video)/Behind Closed Doors/Temptation (Live - Video/Edit)/Isolation (Live - Video/Edit)/True Faith (Live - Video/Edit) (DVD, London NUDVD 8)
Crystal (Digweed & Muir ‘Bedrock’ Mix)/(Digweed & Muir ‘Bedrock’ Dub) (1st 12”, London NUOX 8)
Crystal (Lee Coombs Remix)/(Lee Coombs Dub) (2nd 12”, London NUOXX 8)
Crystal (John Creamer & Stephane K Intro Remix)/(John Creamer & Stephane K Main Remix) (3rd 12”, London NUOXXX 8)
60 Miles An Hour (Radio Edit)/Sabotage/Someone Like You (Funk D’Void Remix) (CD1, London NUOCD 9, some/all come with wrong information sticker on front)
60 Miles An Hour (Supermen Lovers Remix)/Someone Like You (James Holden Heavy Dub)/(Futureshock Vocal Remix) (CD2, London NUCDP 9)
60 Miles An Hour (Video #2)/Sabotage/60 Miles An Hour (Video #1) (DVD, London NUDVD 9)
Here To Stay (Radio Edit)/(Full Length Version)/Player In The League (CD1, NUOCD 11)
Here To Stay (Radio Edit)/(Felix Da Housecat - Thee Extended Glitz Mix)/(The Scumfrog Dub Mix) (CD2, London NUCDP 11)
Here To Stay (Video)/(Radio Edit)/(Felix Da Housecat - Thee Extended Glitz Mix) (DVD, London NUDVD 11)


When New Order returned in the late 90’s, I seem to recall hearing an interview with the band where they were discussing the possibility of doing a CD Singles Box set. Now, despite the fact that every other Tom Dick And Harry has done this, London Records claimed a New Order one would be too expensive, and the idea was shelved. This 2002 box set was some sort of replacement, an alternative way of showing the history of the band.

Rather strangely, two versions of the box set were made. A standard 4 disc affair, and a limited edition 5 disc one, with the fifth disc being housed in it’s own card sleeve and tucked inside the box. 5 disc versions came with a suitable information sticker on the front, although the track listing for this disc was only printed on the back of the card sleeve itself.

Each of the four discs were compiled by famous fans of the band, and were divided into categories - so disc 1, “Pop”, was a sort of alternate greatest hits (although a rarity, “Burial”, from “The Beach” soundtrack was included), disc 2, “Fan”, was a (mostly) “best of the album tracks” style disc, disc 3 dealt with remixes and disc 4 consisted of live recordings, all of which seemed to be previously unreleased.

As with most box sets, there were rarities, but not enough to allow collectors to avoid hunting down certain formats of older singles they might not have had in their collection - in other words, you got one mix of “Confusion” from the original 12”, but not it’s three B-sides. The fifth disc did a bit better, including “Such A Good Thing”, the b-side from the 2002 reissue of “World In Motion”, and a remix of “True Faith” that had previously turned up on a Q cover-mounted CD. The disc opened with “Temptation 98”, which as it’s title suggested, was taped when the band reformed. The final song on the bonus disc was the full length version of “Elegia”, clocking in at nearly twenty minutes, which was heavily edited - down to five minutes - when originally issued on “Low Life”.

Although “Retro” spawned no singles, several other releases appeared in and around the same time. “Confusion”, in remixed form, appeared as a single the same year, whilst 2003 saw the release of the 1-track, 30 minute long, “Peter Saville Show”. Gilbert was absent, Cunningham was not, whilst Bernard Sumner was also not present, which given that it was an instrumental, was not too big a blow. Several other singles appeared thereafter, usually cropping up on oddball labels, although only one such release - the “808 State” EP - was issued commercially.

World In Motion/Such A Good Thing/World In Motion (No Alla Violenza Mix) (CD, London NUOCD 12)
Confusion (Koma And Bones Version)/(Arthur Baker 2002 Version)/(Electroclash Version)/(Outputs Nu-Roktro Version)/(Asto Dazed Mix) (CD, Whacked WACKT 002 CD, also on 12“ in blue coloured p/s)
Confusion (Koma And Bones Vocal Version)/(Larry Tees Electroclash Mix)/(Accapella And Parts) (Remix 12”, Whacked WACKT 002)
The Peter Saville Show Soundtrack (CD, London SAVILLE 1)
Acid House Mixes By 808 State (1988) EP: Blue Monday (So Hot Mix)/Confusion (Acid House Mix) (12”, Rephlex CAT 806 EP)

Waiting For The Sirens Call

With New Order now officially consisting of the Sumner/Hooky/Cunningham/Morris lineup, they released what remains their last studio LP in 2005, “Waiting For The Sirens Call”. By now, the band’s mark on popular culture was more or less set in stone, which explains why the likes of Ana Matronic from Scissor Sisters jumped at the chance to collaborate with them on the LP.

The album came in a distinctive sleeve - a big “NO”, which was obviously the bands’ initials, although I am sure you could read into it in other ways. Reviews were mixed, whilst the singles were reasonable, but not monumental, successes, helped/hindered in part by the likes of Radio 1 seeming to have dismissed the band by this point for being ’too old’.

In what seemed like a bit of a throwback to their past, and a sense of celebration of their legacy, the title track, when issued as the third and final single from the LP, was backed with new remixes of old “hits”. Three different 7” singles were issued, with a different version of the A-side on each, slightly different artwork, and different bonus mixes on the flip. A fourth format, issued at a later date, offered two new mixes of the A-side only. By the end of the year, the band had released a singles compilation, and it is generally considered that the appearance of these hits on this single were seen as a sideways plug for the compilation.

A number of outtakes from the sessions is due to be released as a Vinyl LP + CD set called “The Lost Sirens”, although the release date - originally scheduled for last year - is still changing even as I type this.

Krafty (The Glimmers 12” Extended Mix)/(Phones Reality Remix)/(Andy Green Remix)/(Re-Edit Of Album Version)/(Video) (CD, London NUCDP 13)
Krafty (Single Edit)/(The Glimmers 12” Extended Mix)/(Phones Reality Remix)/(The Glimmers Dub Version) (12”, London NUOX 13)
Jetstream (Radio Edit)/(Richard X Remix Edit) (CD1, London NUOCD 14)
Jetstream (Jacques Lu Cont Mix)/(Richard X Remix)/(Tom Neville Remix)/(Arthur Baker Remix)/(Ana Bridge Vox)/(Vocal) (CD2, London NUCDP 14)
Jetstream (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)/(Radio Edit)/(Richard X Remix)/(Tom Neville Remix) (12”, London NUOX 14)
Waiting For The Sirens’ Call (Rich Costey Radio Edit)/Temptation (Secret Machines Remix) (1st 7”, London NUO 15 V1)
Waiting For The Sirens’ Call (Band Mix)/Everything’s Gone Green (Cicada Remix) (2nd 7”, London NUO 15 V2)
Waiting For The Sirens’ Call (Jacknife Lee Remix/Edit)/Bizarre Love Triangle (Richard X Remix) (3rd 7”, London NUO 15 V3)
Waiting For The Sirens’ Call (Rich Costey Remix)/(Jacknife Lee Remix) (CD, London NUOCD 15)


Ignoring “The Lost Sirens” for a second, and the 2011 mail order only live album, and that oddball JD/NO “hits” mashup set, 2005’s “Singles” is thus the final word on New Order. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, however.

“Singles” was, as you can guess, a collection of the band’s 45’s - and a few other bits and bobs. Unlike “Substance” which went down the 12” Mix route, this compilation generally opted for LP versions and 7” Mixes, allowing more songs to be squeezed onto the record. The band belatedly toured the LP in the fall of 2006, with tour posters using the same image as that from the LP.

At the start of ‘06, London - in association with New State Recordings - issued no less that twelve 12” singles, which were used - again - as a sort of alternative way of promoting the LP. The singles themselves had an element of randomness about them - some new mixes, but also plenty of old ones. Furthermore, if we work on the basis that track 1 was indeed the A-side, well, some singles used the same A-sides, albeit in an alternate mix (see “Confusion“). And then, the choice of B-sides seemed totally plucked out of the hat, with several tracks appearing again and again (“Jetstream”, “Sirens Call”), whilst others were nowhere to be seen (“Temptation”, “World In Motion”).

The “Pump Panel” mix of “Confusion” had appeared once before, but not as a New Order single. It had instead been released and credited to Pump Panel themselves many years before. Of all the 12” singles, ten had A-sides that had been A-sides before - the odd ones out were “Someone Like You” (a “Get Ready” song that got no further than being a promo back in 2001), and “Dubvulture” - although this was, of course, the dub version of “Subculture”, an earlier 45, and indeed was listed on the sleeve as “Subculture (Dubvulture Mix)”.

In 2007, Peter Hook decided that the band had reached a natural conclusion, and stated to the rest of the band that he felt they should stop, possibly temporarily. No gigs were played that year, and as the years passed, other band members announced that the band had split, and that nobody felt like reforming the band. That was, until, 2011, when Sumner, Cunningham and Morris got back with Gilbert (and new member, bassist Tom Chapman), which angered Hooky no end. The upshot of this is that there is now bad blood between the current line up of the group and Hook, who believes that New Order performing without him is not really New Order.

Waiting For The Sirens Call (Planet Funk Remix)/(Asle Dub) (12”, New State NSER 007)
Someone Like You (James Holden Heavy Dub)/(Funk D’Void Remix) (12”, New State NSER 008)
Confusion (Koma & Bones Remix)/Crystal (Lee Coombs Remix) (12”, New State NSER 009)
Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction)/Everything’s Gone Green (Dave Clarke Remix)/Waiting For The Sirens Call (Filterheadz Remix) (12”, New State NSER 010)
Jetstream (Phela Vocal Remix)/Someone Like You (Future Shock Vocal) (12”, New State NSER 011)
Krafty (Riton Remix)/Jetstream (Tom Neville Dub)/Krafty (The Glimmers Dub) (12”, New State NSER 012)
Here To Stay (Thee Extended Glitz Mix)/Jetstream (Jacques Lu Cont Dub) (12”, New State NSER 014)
Bizarre Love Triangle (Extended Mix)/Round And Round (Club Mix)/True Faith (Remix)/Fine Time (Steve Silk Hurley Remix) (12”, New State NSER 015)
True Faith (King Roc Remix)/Regret (Tocadisco Remix)/(Tocadisco Dub) (12”, New State NSER 016)
Blue Monday 88 (12” Version)/Blue Monday 95 (Hardfloor Mix) (12”, New State NSER 017)
Bizarre Love Triangle (Richard X Remix)/Jetstream (Arthur Baker Remix)/Shellshock (John Robie “Substance” Remix)/Thieves Like Us (Instrumental) (12”, New State NSER 018)
Dubvulture/Shame Of The Nation (Extended Version)/I Told You So (Stuart Price’s Remix) (12”, New State NSER 019)

And so what next? Well, there are rumours that the current line up are actually going to write some new material, and release a proper album, which would be welcome news. Don’t expect it to get played on Grimmy’s breakfast show, though…