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The John Peel Sessions

New Order Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Rising from the ashes of the legendary British post-punk unit Joy Division, the enigmatic New Order triumphed over tragedy to emerge as one of the most influential and acclaimed bands of the 1980s; embracing the electronic textures and disco rhythms of the underground club culture many years in advance of its contemporaries, the group's pioneering fusion of ... Read more in Amazon's New Order Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Nov 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Strange Fruit
  • ASIN: B00004Z1BX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,506 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

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Simultaneous to the release of their debut Movement album in 1981 and only 10 months on from the tragic demise of Joy Division and the resultant fall-out from Ian Curtis' death, New Order's first John Peel Session now sounds like the withered electronic chill of a pre-transitional outfit, a band suspended in unanimated limbo between the grey-tinged gravitas of their forerunners and the looser, rhythmic dance leanings of their gloriously inventive future. The latter tendencies, though, start to creep into view on the second Peel Session from the following year, with "586", in particular, pointing the way to the vigorous but characteristically glum techno-pump of Power, Corruption and Lies. Two further tracks from the same session, "Too Late" and a cover version of Keith Hudson's "Turn The Heater On" also aid the post-Joy Division thaw and are unavailable elsewhere. The omission of New Order's third, best and most representative John Peel Session (five songs including versions of Joy Division's "Isolation" and "Atmosphere" and a guest appearance from Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie), which was originally broadcast at the time of the band's reformation in 1998 seems, at the very least, a most curious oversight. --Kevin Maidment

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 8 Sep 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is an absolute gem; the first four tracks on this LP, which were initially recorded as the first Peel Sessions EP on Strange Fruit, are absolute classic New Order. "Turn the Heater On" wasn't released anywhere else, but remains one of New Order's darkest and most magnificent moments.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Archive 14 Nov 2000
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the early material showcased on the ledgendary Peel Sessions. What you get here is the reminder of how ahead of their time New Order were and after Joy Division maintained the creative force to make them the best band ever to come out of Manchester.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any New Order fan 29 Dec 2002
Format:Audio CD
This New Order Peel Sessions are the most perfect answer to the esceptics...obviously Ian Curtis is still in Barney's voice, the band is in a transition period, etc. But every note and every song are different...they are New Order songs, not Joy Division songs. This album also includes songs of the first New Order album Movement (1981), and a rarity: a song called Turn the heater on.
Buy it with the BBC Radio 1 concert (taken from Glastonbury festival 1987), if you have the New Order albums. Don't miss them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back To Basics 19 Jan 2001
By Steven Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
To be honest, I'm not sure what it is about this compilation. Although I'm a big New Order fan I, for the most part, appreciate their later work more than their earlier releases. But even at first listen this album just intrigues me and I can't stop listening to it. It finds its way to my CD player at least once a day since I've bought it. While I've always loved the song "Dreams Never End", the first three JP tracks caused me to delve deeper into their first album "Movement" and have given me a new sense of appreciation for it. Their cover of the reggae song "Turn the Heater On" is intriguing, if not somewhat catchy. And although I've never liked the song that much, their rendition of "We All Stand" on here is actually a bit more upbeat than the version on "Power Corruption and Lies" and I like it better. The next track, "Too Late" is probably the only track here that I'm not too fond of. Still, seeing as how its not available on any other release, it is a rarity and may be a hidden gem for many hardcore New Order fans.
Now the last track has to be the greatest. The version of 586 on these sessions is quite different from the more poppy anthem it later became. While vocally inferior to the album version, the heavy synths and other instrumental components are amazing and to me this track has by far the best replay value! Personally I like both 586 versions better than "Blue Monday". Its worth the admission price all by itself, but all the tracks, including this one, make an odd, yet somehow beautiful blend of sounds that is undeniably irristable if you're really looking for something different than the stuff on the radio today.
It may not be a necessity, but I certainly recommend it for any well-versed New Order fan. Whether out of curiosity or a longing to go back to the old New Order and Joy Division days, this album should provide more than its money's worth of entertainment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEW ORDER'S BEST when they were truly NEW->from 1981 to 1982! 9 July 2003
By St. Jerome - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Classic! For me, this is an early best of. The liners say the group were in search of their new sound/direction, but they'd clearly found it and then went just a touch too far and had to back-track in search of this lost-sound, which you can hear on their best effort Low-Life. Their cover of "TURN THE HEATER ON" is worth it alone because it represents the road not taken. That track has just a crazy uncategorizable vibe that is New Order with a hint of dub and the influence of their pals Section 25. If not for transition period S25 there'd be an entirely crazy huge void left in the fact that they never wrote or recorded more in this sadly under-explored vein. Taking that with "TOO LATE" you have two exclusive tracks that would alone make this a must-have for N.O. completists, except that we also get "WE ALL STAND" and "5-8-6" here in *drastically* different versions than on PCL to the degree that these 4 tracks are vital to the serious NewOrder enthusiast. In total, there's an intimacy to recording live in the studio, especially for the wildly influential John Peel sessions that reveals them really exploring and discovering in earnest the directions they were seeking. I seriously HOPE that they find more demos like this in their vaults and release them soon if only to inspire more young groups to take up these abandoned spaces of designer music-making. If it were allowed, I'd give my contact info if there are any takers who'd like to try it with me, that's how sincerely I believe in the best of their '81-'82 sound.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Missing Link between Joy Division & New Order 9 Jan 2001
By Dan Nino Cenido - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Peel Session CDs are the hidden gems in the music industry. Hats off to John Peel for coming up with this brillant and innovative venue in showcasing new music talents. This "rough" Peel Session collection showcases one of the very first live performances of New Order, fresh from their Joy Division transformation. Though, their style and sound is much closer to Joy Division, than their current electric alternative sound, shows the evolution of the band breaking through the gloom and doom atmosphere and into the light. A definite must have for Joy Division and New Order fans, and for followers of the Manchester music scene.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Missing Link between Joy Division & New Order 9 Jan 2001
By Dan Nino Cenido - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Peel Session CDs are the hidden gems in the music industry. Hats off to John Peel for coming up with this brillant and innovative venue in showcasing new music talents. This "rough" Peel Session collection showcases one of the very first live performances of New Order, fresh from their Joy Division transformation. Though, their style and sound is much closer to Joy Division, than their current electric alternative sound, shows the evolution of the band breaking through the gloom and doom atmosphere and into the light. A definite must have for Joy Division and New Order fans, and for followers of the Manchester music scene.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Technicolor Park 13 Dec 2000
By loteq - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This new release does the logical thing of combining New Order's two "Peel Session" CD-singles into one 37-minute disc, making it an easy purchase for people who want to own the whole song material emerging from these radio broadcasts. Besides, the packaging is a lot more attractive and beautiful than the outdated grey/brown cover 'artwork' of the original CD editions. However, the first JP Session in very early 1981 must have been a somewhat frightening experience for the band - they've never been fans of live performances and had lost their former lead singer Ian Curtis just half a year before. So, instead of coming up with completely new material, they used the first JP session to play four songs which would soon appear on the "Movement" album. By the way, the production was done by Factory label boss Tony Wilson. The early take of "Truth" is quite an improvement upon the rather slick album version; it sees the quartet creating a powerful, disturbing goth-rock track with highly dramatic synth atmospherics by Gillian, low-diving bass playing, and deeply depressed vocals by Bernard, who sings verses like, "some people look down on me/I hope they like what they see". "Senses" and "I.C.B.", two more experimental tracks, are somewhat friendlier but ultimately fail to have something compelling. There are quite a lot of sound effects and studio techniques screwed around these pieces, and apart from Bernard's vocals being more discernible, they're not much different to the album versions. "Dreams never end", undeniably the most accessible song here, seems a bit amateurish due to Hooky's high-pitched, boyish vocals, but it's simply one of my favorite New Order songs. The tracks from the second JP Session, recorded in 1982, are overall more interesting, containing two songs ("We all stand", "586") which would later appear on the "Power, corruption & lies" album and two songs which are still unavailable elsewhere. I'm still trying to logically fit "Turn the heater on", a composition by Jamaican reggae star Keith Hudson, with the rest of New Order's oeuvre. It's a well-structured piece, with a deep, reggae-tinged bass line and sharp guitar splinters working against soaring synths in the background; it provides quite a counterpoint to other New Order songs released at that time. "We all stand" receives a more laid-back treatment with solid piano breaks and an almost jazzy feel. "Too late" is a distant, introverted piece with various metallic synth textures which evoke a somewhat industrial atmosphere, following New Order's material from the "1981-1982 Factus 8" EP. The last song from this session, "586", finds the band grappling with the sequencer/synthesizer technology that would propel them throughout the rest of the decade. This piece is quite heavy on the sequencer and sounds different from all other versions on the "Power.." album and on the "Video 5-8-6" single, yet I found the take on "Peel Session" a little inferior to all other versions. Realistically, many Peel Sessions lack a sense of cohesion and experimentation and don't stand up to a band's regular studio albums. In New Order's case, there's certainly nothing here which can compare with "Blue Monday" or their other smash hits, but the material is quite interesting for what it points towards, preparing the band for greater heights. Overall, I'd say that this album is well worth purchasing if you're a real fan of New Order.
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