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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very "New Order" box set
What is a box set for?
Is it a sort of tombstone for a band, a collection of all their essential works in one package? A treasure trove of rarities and unreleased tracks for fans? A definitive compilation of their entire recorded works?
'Retro' is none of these.
The box is dedicated to New Order's manager, the late Rob Gretton who originally initiated this...
Published on 10 Dec 2002 by T. Robinson

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another pointless NO re-release
As a died-in-the-wool NO fan, I still can't quite believe the pointlessness of this release. The only good thing seems to be the sleeve. One would think, given the number of compilations which already exist, this box set might offer the complete set of NO recordings, rather like the JD Heart and Soul collection. But no. Surely then, it includes some out-takes and...
Published on 31 May 2010 by Steve


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very "New Order" box set, 10 Dec 2002
By 
T. Robinson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
What is a box set for?
Is it a sort of tombstone for a band, a collection of all their essential works in one package? A treasure trove of rarities and unreleased tracks for fans? A definitive compilation of their entire recorded works?
'Retro' is none of these.
The box is dedicated to New Order's manager, the late Rob Gretton who originally initiated this project, which would have been called 'ReCycle'. Rob's original vision would have included every recorded version of every New Order track, plus unreleased material and would have run to 20 discs! Steven Morris explains in the sleeve notes that he was all for releasing a 'Pick and Mix' of 5 the 20 so you wouldn't know which ones you were getting. Given the fuss over the bonus disc that comes with the first 5,000 copies, I'm sure the fans would have *loved* that.
As it is you get four discs, with a thematic track listing. So you get The Hits, the classic LP tracks/B-sides, Remixes and Live tracks. If you are lucky you will get a fifth disc of rarities including an 18 minute version of Elegia and other rarities.
The content of this set has no doubt been the subject of much discussion over the last few years, during which New Order have reformed and released a new LP, much of which is on this set in one form or other. This and the sleevenotes by the band make clear that New Order are happier with their current incarnation than their past. They actually enjoy being New Order these days. Witness Barney Sumner whooping with joy during the later live tracks on CD4....this is the sound of a happy one.
So its no surprise that they hi-jacked Bobby Gillespie's 'Live' disc which they felt dwelt too much on early stuff, and added performances from their recent tours. This is a shame because the first few tracks on this disc give a tantalising glimpse of the fragile, faltering New Order of the early 80s when, as Bernard Sumner describes, he would often have to clamber onstage to repair their malfunctioning equipment before gigs with a soldering iron.
There is a real sense of tension and struggle about the early New Order sound which, impressive as they sound, the later live recordings do not match. I don't think New Order really understand how much interest there is in these early recordings. Bobby Gillespie does and I believe they had a blazing row about the decision to change his original track listing.
So, bar the live disc, there really isn't much on this set that a big fan of New Order won't already own.
But it does look great. Peter Saville designed the sleeve which has been likened to a clue from 'Catchphrase'. What would it be though? Disco Eagle? Glitterball Talons? Golden Balls? Only Saville knows.
It's the same format and shape as the brilliant and comprehensive Joy Division box-set (Heart and Soul), and will look great next to that one on your CD shelf., which is probably Peter Savilles main concern here.
But this is still a brilliant selection of tracks. From the wonderfully ham-fisted attempt at House music of 'Fine Time' to the gorgeous swagger of 'Lonesome Tonight' to the slick, electro-glide of 'Bizarre Love Triangle' and the perfect Pop of 'Regret'. All sides of New Order are here. Despite the glaring holes (the superior 7" version of Ceremony, Run 2 and MTO to name but 3) its still an absolute joy to listen to.
You also get a really good 72 page booklet containing a witty commentary by the band on the tracks they could be bothered talking about, and an article by each of the CD compilers. It is also full of excellent, mostly unseen photos of the band and their supporting cast of '5th Members'. (Rob Gretton, Martin Hannet, Tony Wilson, Peter Saville and Alan Wise).
As a Definitive box set...its rubbish! But that wouldn't be New Order!
There are loads of tracks left off. It's a bit of a shambles. It won't sell because no-one will know what its for. But its cool, its confusing, its enigmatic and it looks and sounds great.
Its SO New Order!
Perhaps the last word should be left to the enigmatic "Good Doctor" himself, Mr Alan Wise, who as New Order's MC crops up during the fourth disc..."Its not the Beatles...Its not the Rolling Stones....Its f****** New Order again!"
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another pointless NO re-release, 31 May 2010
By 
Steve (By DUNDEE Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
As a died-in-the-wool NO fan, I still can't quite believe the pointlessness of this release. The only good thing seems to be the sleeve. One would think, given the number of compilations which already exist, this box set might offer the complete set of NO recordings, rather like the JD Heart and Soul collection. But no. Surely then, it includes some out-takes and rarities, such as B-sides like Don't Do It, Best & Marsh etc. No again. We get a collection of obvious hits (which any NO fan already owns several times over- Everyone Everywhere is a good choice, though), a 'fan' line-up which is half-decent, some remixes (pointless, since remixing New Order is like painting over a Rembrandt), and live stuff (and we all know that NO are not very good live.)

And that's it? This is the summing up of one of the greatest groups ever? Very poor. I wouldn't even recommend it to those new to the band- get Substance 1987, and 1994's Best Of, instead of this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Retro in retrospect, 24 Aug 2008
By 
coca-ebola (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
This box set has been rather too harshly criticized - so here's my defence of it.
If it were narrowed down to three discs instead of four or five it would serve a purpose.
The Remix disc is the major flaw for me. Even though Everything's Gone Green and World In Motion have been shunted to the remix disc, it's expendable: only a few remixed songs have been given valid alternative treatments (Confusion and, oddly, Fine Time stand out), most have been destroyed and/or are unrecognizable.
Disc 5 will have been a disappointment to those who acquired it. It's comprised of remixes, a semi-live version of Perfect Kiss, the much touted 18-minute version of Elegia in which nothing happens four or five times (it sounds like each segment of the standard issue version has been artifically lengthened through tape-looping), and - the dubious highlight - a version of Transmission in which the tempo slows gradually, like a real-time imitation of a portable tape machine running out of juice.
The real value of this set lies in Discs 1 and 2: they add up to a greatest hits set for the connoisseur or well-read newcomer. `Pop' lives up to its name, gathering together all the most accessible/familiar NO material (`True Faith', `Bizzare Love Triangle', `Regret' et al), taking care to include the originals of Temptation and Confusion which wasn't available on CD (through legitimate channels!) at the time. `Fan' actually contains the material New Order's legendary status rests on: `Sunrise', `All Day Long', `Broken Promise', `Procession', `Dreams Never End', `Run Wild' and what we'll conveniently call `the "once out of reach" song' (to avoid confusion) - all of which are among the best, most inspired and inspiring, pop/rock of the past three decades (and yes, the r-word is applicable to much of this). To revive an old controversy, it's true that New Order often seemed to be following in the Cure's footsteps (not the other way around), but so what - the songs they came up with were quite different in tone to those of the Cure, and just as powerful and affecting (in their non-linear sort of way).
The much-criticized live disc is actually one of the plus points, for me at least. New Order are loose and spontaneous on stage - often shambolic, but that's part of the fun, there's plenty of `you can't do that on stage anymore' folkloric value in this live material. (And it's the only place you get to hear the third verse of Perfect Kiss on this box set).
Remixes included to appease the proponents of those who claim New Order as dance-music godfathers (not a title to be proud of). Disc 5 material included to satiate fan curiosity. Everything else: essential, or at least valuable, audio history. The compilers made a major mistake in failing to restore the missing '80s b-sides (from the cassette edition of Substance) to the catalogue. But, really. if that's the worst you can say of this box set, it can't be that bad.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Complimentary but not complete reflection of New Order, 11 May 2014
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This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
I did enjoy this compilation but, like Joy Division, New Order deserve a more thoughtful refection of their prolific work. I tmisses the mark.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Retro-grade, 2 Feb 2004
By 
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
Firstly, I'm not faulting the music. It's New Order, they're brilliant, but then you knew that.
The packaging, as ever, is by Peter Savile. Need I say more?
The reason this box-set fails is that they handed it over to others to compile. I can see the point in that, but the over-riding impression is one of laziness. If 4 people are going to compile a box-set, it might be an idea for them to speak to each other. That way we might not have had 3 versions each of Fine Time,Crystal,Regret,Perfect Kiss*,Elegia*,Temptation*(*if you have the 5CD version).
There are some excellent box-sets around, and NO need have looked no further than the excellent Heart and Soul for how to compile a box-set. I appreciate that JD's catalogue is smaller, but it's clear that more thought went into it. The Bunnymen's Crystal Days is another example of a box-set compiled with the hardcore fan in mind.
And there's no need for a live CD. New Order are not at their best live, they never have been, and this is not enhanced by a CD of bootleg-quality recordings. Live albums are rubbish at the best of times (OK, tell me a good live album then), and the inclusion of this disc is, well, a waste of a disc.
In short it's a rip off. The first 2 discs are OK, if a little disjointed, the club disc is hit-and-miss, and the live disc is just awful. I don't know who Alan Wise is, but you obviously had to be there. Why is this included on a New Order box-set? Actually, it's entirely in keeping with the shodiness of the whole thing. The bonus disc is the most interesting, and was apparently included as a concession to the like of me, who thought they hadn't included enough rare material.
New Order's music is great, but they have done their catalogue no justice here.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Money for old rope, 15 May 2003
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
This is a nicely packaged offering with a great booklet featuring interesting band member assessments of the songs contained. Unfortunately, there is way too much repetition (e.g. 3 similar sounding versions of the very average single Fine Time, 3 similar versions of Crystal and the o.k. single version and awful album version of Bizarre Love Triangle).
Basically, you need the program button of your cd player, particularly on the Live and Club discs - there are some atrocities on these, in particular a diabolical remix of Blue Monday.
There's too much overlap with Substance. This appears a release primarily for the dedicated fan. At least they didn't release a Substance pt 2 (the b sides definitely went downhill from the Technique era onwards).
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Retro-grade, 2 Feb 2004
By 
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
New Order are one of the best bands this country has ever had. Some might say they are THE best, or even 2 of the best bands. They are not served well by this box-set though. I can see the point in having someone else do it, but the end result is too much repetition. 3 versions each of Regret, Fine Time, Temptation, Crystal, Elegia and Perfect Kiss. Some communication between the compilers might have helped.
The Pop disc is fine, but is not as good as Substance or International. The fan disc is OK, but a little disjointed.
The club disc is hit and miss. 3 of the tracks (BLT, Shellshock, EGG) appeared in exactly the same form on Substance. There is only 1 good version of Blue Monday, and that is the original. The Jam & Spoon mix included here is an absolute atrocity. The mixes of Confusion, Paradise and Regret are excellent though, and the Silk Mix of Fine Time is ok, if a little dated. Christmas 1988. Acieeed.
The live disc is just awful and is a waste of a disc. New Order are many things, but they are not, and never have been a great live band, and a CD of bootleg quality recordings does nothing to change my opinion on that. Live albums are invariably rubbish anyway (alright tell me a good one then), and alas this is no exception to that rule. And who the hell is Alan Wise? Obviously you had to be there. Why is inane drivel like this included on a New Order box-set, when there are so many glaring omissions?
The bonus 5th disc was apparently included as a concession to the likes of me, but this would have been unnecessary if they'd put some thought into it in the first place.
All in all I felt cheated. Great band, but a disappointing box-set. For how to compile a box-set, see Heart and Soul, or the Bunnymens excellent Crystal Days.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have, 13 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
couldnt wait to play this after opening it on christmas day (thanks sis) and i was not dissapointed one little bit
the majority of there stuff i only have on vinyl so to have such a collection of great tracks across 4 cd's to hand is just magic
theres a real mix and the accompayning booklet gives a great insite into how the set was put togehter - songs like sunrise and eligia (especially the 17 min version on the 5th bonus disk)never sounded so great the real mix of the early through the classics is great and real show of how influential a band they have been
if you are a fan its a must have the packaging alone is superb and the tracklistings even better - and for thoose who want to get a real overview of the band and how much they did for the manchester/uk music scene buy this listen and enjoy
i felt like a young man again and that dont happen to often theese days
the dogs..............
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Box Set But Worth It, 11 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
Probably everyone would be divided over a track listing for a New Order box set, and the choice of tracks initially put me off. But I give the band credit for placing the project in the hands of others who love the group, and it is interesting seeing what other people would choose for their favourites. I was also relieved to read that the band felt the need to intervene on the Live CD, initially assigned to Bobby "I never met a photo opportunity I didn't like" Gillespie of Primal Scream. It could have been ultra tiresome in the hands of that calculating blowhard - New Order really should have told him to shut up and go home. That said, after buying this (with the 5th disc included), I'd say it's worth it for one track it DOES include, at last on CD: the original Arthur Baker version of "Confusion". Just fantastic. Add to that the usual lavish Peter Seville packaging and booklet, and you really can't go wrong. You'd still need to purchase "Substance" to bring it closer to a complete greatest set, but then, you already have that one, don't you?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 6 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Retro (Audio CD)
good box set
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