New Order - Substance

Regular price $ 39.99

2023 Reissue 2xLP

Substance collects all the singles New Order released after their inception in 1981 and the 1987 release of the album. It traces their early journey from a nervy post-punk group struggling to break free from the expectations brought along from their time in Joy Division to one that helped to define the new wave era in many important ways. They meshed together the uneasiness of post-punk with the jagged programming of dance music, balanced the interplay of real instruments and electronics, and were able to release both satisfying albums and successful singles. The set includes all the A- and B-sides they released over that span; in the cases of "Temptation" and "Confusion," the songs were recorded fresh, while "Ceremony" isn't the original either as it was recorded after Gillian Gilbert joined. The early tracks show how quickly the band became something quite different than Joy Division, relatively sunnier and more open-ended musically with more of an eye towards making listeners dance rather than break down in tears. By the time of "Blue Monday," they had reinvented themselves fully, and in the process created an all-time classic song that relied on programming as much as it did strumming. The group continued to pursue that path more on future singles, with tracks like "Thieves Like Us" and "Shellshock" drifting towards a poppier sound influenced by freestyle, hip-hop, and R&B. Thanks to their uncanny way with a melody -- as displayed on the timeless "Bizarre Love Triangle" -- their razor-sharp programming skills, and Bernard Sumner's resolutely deadpan vocals, everything they did sounded exactly like New Order and no one else. The B-sides are just as exciting in their own way as the band experiment, hone new ideas, and deliver some gems. The instrumental mix of "Blue Monday" titled "The Beach" is a thrilling blast of inventive dancefloor fun, the album-worthy "Lonesome Tonight" strips away most of the synths in favor of a live group setup and Peter Hook's iconic bass playing, and various remixes make this disc well worth checking out. There's even a track -- the darkly lilting "1963" -- that could have easily been a single in its own right. The set serves as an essential summing up of the group's non-LP work in their early days and makes clear that they had a strong argument for being the best singles band of the '80s regardless of genre.

Everything's Gone Green
Blue Monday
Thieves Like Us
The Perfect Kiss
State Of The Nation
Bizarre Love Triangle
True Faith