New Order - Singles album review

Manchester’s finest reissue a stellar seven-inch collection

New Order Singles album cover

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We have been here before, but this remastered version of New Order’s career-spanning collection corrects a few transfer errors that were made with the 2005 release and switches a few of the mixes.

Even before Blue Monday became the archetypal example of the format, New Order weren’t just a singles band, they were a 12-inch singles band, and were among the first to release multiple mixes rather than just extended versions. Here, though, seven-inch edits have been chosen (apart from Blue Monday, of course – that would be ridiculous), making for a punchy collection where the songs stand up gimmick-free.

The first CD follows their transition from the ashes of Joy Division (Ceremony still sounding spectral, as if the band were attempting to shrug off their overcoats and grow wings) into electronica pioneers. The discovery of Italian disco and drum programming – first emerging on 1982’s Temptation – took British post-punk in an entirely new direction. Without the baggage of the deadpan reputation that followed them in the 80s, Thieves Like Us and The Perfect Kiss sound far poppier now. CD2 is more patchy: Italia 90 anthem World In Motion and Regret.

Despite a few oddities (two songs from Lost Sirens that were never singles) this compilation demonstrates amply what a great pop band New Order have always been.

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Johnny Dee

Johnny Dee is a freelance copywriter, creative and journalist. He's been published The Times, The Independent, Q  NME, Q, Smash Hits, The Word as well as in The Guardian, writing pieces for G2, online and The Guide, where he edits the weekly back page feature Infomania. He's got a long history as a music journalist and is also fond of sport (currently contributing to Runner's World and FourFourTwo).