New Order ~ International: Best Of New Order
isn't the first New Order compilation. The curmudgeonly Mancunians' back-catalogue highlights have already been amply abridged by two previous compilations (Substance 87
and Best of
) as well as a voluminous, shelf-hugging four-CD boxset, Retro
, on the other hand, is more of an exercise in compacting New Order's most auspicious hits--"True Faith", "Regret", "Blue Monday", etc--into a single digestable disc and is targeted, presumably, at overseas neophytes who climbed on board in the wake of 2001's excellent, internationally-successful comeback album Get Ready
. This probably explains the omission of the 1990 England footie singalong "World in Motion"--a number one record and an anthem inspirational enough to jolly Bobby Robson's boys all the way along to those semi-final tears in Turin but too parochial to break the ice, say, in a Buenos Aires nightclub.
Less excusable is the decision to bypass two authentic New Order classics--1982's "Temptation" (where the provisional electronic loops cut through the post-Joy Division gloom like a lighthouse beam shining through a pea-souper) and 1988's Balearic mish-mash watershed "Fine Time". Otherwise, this compilation does its duty, serving up--in commendably chronological fashion--such glistening Europop moments as "Perfect Kiss" and the quasi-classical arpeggios of "Bizarre Love Triangle", two records that barely made a cent at the time but which continue to grow in distinction, positively swelling with the ripeness of technological ambition and joi-de-vivre. --Kevin Maidment