22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Buy only for the quality of the (re)masters,
This review is from: Total: From Joy Division To New Order (Audio CD)
Initially at least, the idea of combining JD and NO on one compilation is an attractive and sensible one: after all, one group emerged from the ashes of the other. It's a wonderful story which deserves to be told.
However, this collection, the latest in a long and pointless series, doesn't tell it. It feels like yet another bloody NO compilation (the seventh, if my memory serves) with a few JD tracks tacked on. No real thought has been put into the track selection, with no attempt to construct a narrative. So you get all the usual suspects, with the occasional oddity (eg Isolation) thrown in.
The best you can say about "Hellbent", the much-trumpeted unreleased "bonus" track is: "Move along, nothing to see here." It's a typically inconsequential, rather dispiriting guitar-driven mediocrity of the type that sadly came to embody the group in the period 2001 - 2006. Thin, blokey and unmemorable. I love(d) New Order. I saw them live 73 times between 1981 and 2006. But they went on too long (they should have called it a day after Reading 1998) and should never have made those last two feeble albums. This compilation is just another showcase for the group's post-"Republic" decline, a fall that was as sad as it was precipitous.
So, not much reason to buy, but there is one plus: the quality of the mastering here is very good, better than the "Singles" abomination or the flawed 2008 reissue campaign. The music on tracks 1 to 15 is magnificent, and sounds better than it has before (original vinyl pressings excepted, of course) thanks to Frank Arkwright's remastering. The sound quality on the stodge comprising tracks 16 to 18 is equally fine - if only they were worth listening to.