I got this album when my curiosity for New Order's music restarted sometime around 1996, and was after a brief resume of a career which due to my age (then about 14, now 18) I had largely missed. The Best of served a purpose, and was an enjoyable listen. More than that in fact, a superb album. I loved the emotions of 'Thieves Like Us', the orgasmatronic 'Perfect Kiss' and the frankly awesome '1963' and 'Vanishing Point.'
So far, so good. Why only 3 stars, you may ask. The answer is this - the versions of these songs differ to many of the album versions. The 94 rehashes of 1963 and True Faith I consider to be sacrilege to the wonderful 12" versions found on Substance 1987. The version of 'Fine Time' is put to shame by the one off 'Technique' and quite why 'Blue Monday 88' is on the album and not the masterful and legendary original is beyond me.
The album has some nice non album additions on it, like 'World in Motion' and to some, I concede, 'Blue Monday 88.' 'Touched by the Hand of God' is probably the overall outstanding track on the album. However, on an album with versions of songs the quality of 'Thieves Like Us,' 'The Perfect Kiss,' 'Blue Monday,' and 'True Faith,' this properly demonstrates the true position of this album.
After the demise of Factory, this album smacks of London Records on a mony making exercise. Who in their right mind would put 'Ruined in a Day' on the Best of New Order? Other than a record company out for a quick buck, I can think of nobody.
Anyway, back to the point. For an introduction to the band, this is a reasonable start, and if you see this cheap in a bargain bucket somewhere, get it. For a real introduction though, get Substance 1987. 150 minutes of audial ecstasy (except 'State of the Nation' and 'Shellshock') and the best compilation album ever made. Get that instead.