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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like New Order Buy This, 20 April 2004
This review is from: In Session (Audio CD)
Ok if like me, you have everything that New Order have released, remix CDsthe lot, then what would you want with another version of these songs? Well to be honest, I had no idea either and I only purchased this to getmy delivery free from Amazon. But, after the first play, it's not beenout of my CD drive. I know that these old favorites are timeless but...
The quality of the recording is excellant and they all play in tune (NewOrder have been rubbish live in the past) and the instrument mix is great. The bass is distinct, the drums have that raw; live edge and the singingisn't flat.
Finally the version of Tranmission is part of the 'enhanced CD' which is a'video' that requires to be played through your PC.
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4.0 out of 5 stars After much fan pressure..., 26 April 2004
By 
This review is from: In Session (Audio CD)
...well I like to think that it was the petition that myself and otherfans signed to get this released that was the catalyst in its creation butit would appear that the powers that be at the beeb and Strange Fruit hadthis in mind all along to join with the other Joy Division/New Order PeelSessions CDs.
Kicking off with the 'live' recordings from 1998's reunion we are treatedto newer takes of old favourites. The recorded sound is good but Barney'svocals need turning up. It is the new arrangemnets that are of interest aswe get a more cohearant rendition of songs availiable on the live atReading DVD but without the full live experience quirks of the band -namely not playing in time or tune!
The second half is more recent material from 'Get Ready' and actuallydoesnt hold up as well. Its more rock oriented nature give the listener aless than crisp sound and the arrangement of 'Close Range' is ashambles.
The best parts are the 3 Joy Division songs that get an airing, the lastone being in the form of a live video. The songs sound fresh and areplayed with the sort of passion you would expect from a band redescoveringtheir roots, the spiky Transmission video shot for John Peel's 40 years onthe radio party sounding great. Its video however...
This video is what really lets the album down. Granted it came from awebcam but some form of post production to sync images to sound would havebeen nice. My guess is that it is a homage to the Love Will Tear Us Apartvideo which also sufferes from a similar lack of post production.
Overall its a welcome edition from a band that really know how to re-flogtheir back catalogue but when the songs are this strong it really doesn'tmatter.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Order release long-awaited BBC Radio sessions, 27 April 2004
By 
Alistair Murray "amurr586" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In Session (Audio CD)
This CD brings together two separate BBC Radio 1 sessions recorded by New Order in 1998 and 2001. Of course there are many fans out there with ageing bootlegs of the sessions (myself included) but there is something nice about having a proper mastering of these mostly fine versions in your CD collection. True Faith, Isolation, Touched, Atmosphere, and Paradise are from the John Peel session recorded in 1998 as part of their comeback after a lengthy "most of the nineties off" hiatus. As the first recorded material by the band since 1993's "Republic" fans eagerly tuned in and were not disappointed by these excellent and cleverly updated versions of New Order classics including two Joy Division songs.

1. True Faith is by far the best track on this album and this version is based on the House-influenced Perfecto mix previously available on the True Faith-94 single. The band adapts Perfecto's version seamlessly into their arrangements and the combined sound brings a 1987 classic into the 21st century. Danceable and guitar orientated at same time with Peter Hook's weaving bass lines guiding the way this is trademark New Order at their best.

2. Isolation is a track originally featured on Joy Division's second and final album "Closer". With Bernard Sumner delivering an almost perfect vocal, and a vastly updated electronic backing including a drum'n'bass influence; this is further proof of New Order's versatility as musicians.

3. Touched, is a similar True Faith-esque update of the bands 1987 single "Touched by the Hand of God". There's a wonderful use of electronics on this track, including vinyl scratches and great drumming from Steve Morris to boot.

4. Atmosphere, another Joy Division track, is also handled very well. The band stays mostly true to the original version, which ultimately can never be bettered by anyone. Bernard gives a fine performance of the lonely vocal while Hook's poignant bass carries the song from start to finish. The only minor criticism is the electric guitar riffs can sound slightly overbearing at times next to such a fragile backing. The original didn't really have any electric guitar either.

5. Paradise, in my opinion, is the weakest track from '98 Peel Session. Once again it's a straightforward update a'la True Faith and Touched but I never really enjoyed the original from 1986's "Brotherhood" so in my opinion, hit the skip button here.

The 1998 Peel session is basically a five star release in my opinion, but the quality control begins to waver as we reach track six and the second session from Steve Lamacq in 2001. All four tracks bar one are originally featured on the 2001 "comeback album" Get Ready and while I think GR is a great album with some fine songs, New Order seem to have chosen to showcase a few of the weakest here:

6. Slow Jam, not hugely different from the original, is the first track. There's no denying the intro drum beat and echoed guitar line sounds cool but once the track gets into full swing the guitars sound rather murky and the production is a bit flat. The lyrics are also pretty dubious too. Decent track if you're in that sort of rock'n'roll mood; not awful but not that great either.

7. Your Silent Face, with the original hailing from 1983's "Power, Corruption & Lies" album, certainly brings up the session quality. A brilliant homage to Kraftwerk this is easily the stand-out of the Lamacq session. Lamacq actually informed listeners before the original broadcast that this was recorded "as a bonus track for fans" and it was much appreciated.

8. Close Range, another song from Get Ready is actually a bit of an improvement over the album version. It sounds rawer, faster and is generally a fine New Order rock track. The additional guitar lines at the beginning help and this version generally gets a listen each time I play the album. Good stuff.

9. Rock The Shack, this is a controversial one with New Order fans (!) some love it, some hate it and unfortunately I'm not too keen on it. It's basically straightforward rock instrumentation plus clichéd rock lyrics, which are never good unless you're AC/DC and they're not! OK if you want some murky guitars and a dodgy chorus, but pretty pointless and painfully obvious filler otherwise. Didn't really work on "Get Ready" and doesn't work here. There were so many other quality tracks they could've tried out in it's place e.g. Dreams Never End, Age of Consent, Dream Attack.. too many to mention!

The final track is an embedded QuickTime video so you'll need to play or rather watch via your PC or Mac. It's a version of the Joy Division post-punk classic "Transmission" performed as a tribute to DJ John Peel who championed the band in their early days and still does. It's a pretty standard "session/live" version that doesn't differ much from the original; a nice gesture.

Overall, four out of five stars and an essential purchase for New Order fans even if it's just for the first 4 tracks and Your Silent Face. Although this is one fan who hopes the band's new LP will feature less Rock The Shacks, and more True Faiths...
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