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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 2 January 2013
I was not expecting much from this release. I bought it because it was cheap, because there was an unreleased track on it and because I wanted a well-mastered CD copy of the rarer versions of the New Order tracks which are part of this compilation and which I had until now only owned on the original vinyl.

I listened to it in my car during a long and boring drive. Classic New Order has always been my favourite soundtrack for long journeys. It turned a boring drive into a journey of the mind and a lovely potted history of my favourite group.

I am well accustomed to hearing beautifully remastered versions of most of these Joy Division tracks as they have been re-released on so many different compilation albums over the last ten years, so no surprises here, but I thought the JD tracks - and indeed all of the tracks on this album - were very well chosen and the remastering at least as good as any that has so far been achieved.

The restoration on the older New Order tracks was startling. This compilation includes rarer original versions of the songs which have been largely overlooked since their vinyl releases in the early 1980s as the songs were subsequently re-recorded by the band with more poppy production. The production on these versions is cruder and the performance less honed, but the tracks' lack of commercial slickness reveals the raw spirit and soul of the songs. The digital remastering process has provided us with beautifully restored recordings rich in texture and raw detail. It's the aural equivalent of leaving an old coin in vinegar and pulling it out bright and shiny a few hours later, or watching an art restoration specialist painstakingly cleaning a classic painting to reveal new intensity and detail in the tones and colours.

I suddenly feared for my hearing as I realised that Blue Monday was next up. My eardrums had been fair grated by the freshly scrubbed textures of the old tracks and I was expecting my head to be blown apart by the new rendering of that oh-so-familiar disco beat intro... but I was wrong. It was there, clear and present, but well matched to the preceding tracks. The dynamic range had not been mashed into the upper decibels but the remastering engineer had instead gone to work on the tones and textures of the track, treating it as a song rather than a disco stomper. Refreshing.

Where the compilation starts to founder of course is when the original production becomes too slick and bland and digitally refined to make any difference on this re-release. Basically from "Regret" onwards. The original production is so saturated and compressed that there is nothing the remastering engineer can appreciably do except match the levels to the preceding tracks.

The final track, previously unreleased, was a fruity, liquour-soaked cherry on the otherwise slightly bland sugar frosting of New Order's post-Factory tracks. I like the newer albums well enough in their own right, but included on this compilation it sounds as different to Factory-era New Order as New Order does to Joy Division. But that era needed to be represented and the tracks were a strong, if obvious selection.

I like it. Looking forward to The Lost Sirens now!
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on 2 June 2017
Good cd with tracks from both joy division and new order
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on 16 June 2011
Not necessarily for the track selection, which is is excellent actually, but by virtue of the fact that this is the best remastered CD of any Joy Division/New Order CD to date. The fiasco that was the 2008 New Order reissues has probably taught the record company a lesson in how to handle releases, and is certainly a far cry from the disastrous ear-splitting, dynamics-crushing Singles release from 2005.
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For anyone, especially younger people who are just starting to discover Joy Division and New Order, and the joy that their uplifting, sometimes broody synth-pop music brings, this 2011 compilation does the job in providing a good introduction to both.

The 18 track album, not only has excellent remastered sound quality, it was the first to contain songs from each of these two bands on the one collection. The result is like owning two mini greatest-hits sets, although Joy Division is represented with only five songs, whereas the remaining thirteen are from New Order. As a bonus for those who already have these songs, at least one of them is a previously unreleased New Order track, 'Hellbentk'.

All of the really famous hits from each of these groups are here, and who can resist the indie-anthem 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' (one of my all-time favourites), 'True Faith', and 'Regret'? These highly influential post-punk groups made some timeless music which will always be the history books, and continue to inspire young people today.

You could say that 'Total: From Joy to Division to New Order' is nothing really more than a cash-in, but if you don't already own an album by them, the quality of both the music and the track listing, really makes it a damn good one. Devoted fans will only need download 'Hellbentk' though.
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In 1987 there was "Substance". That had a point : most of New Order's singles at that point hadn't been on any album. In 1994 there was "(The Best Of)" which had a couple of re-recordings on. In 1995 there was "(The Rest Of)" which was a bunch of remixes. In 2002, there was "International". And "Retro". In 2006 we had "Singles". In 2011, we have "Total". And I have had enough.

There's one new song here which is thoroughly average b-side fodder. The rest of the music is brilliant. And since "Blue Monday" sold something like 3,000,000 12" singles, and is also on all six of the 'Best of' records, there must be about 20 people that don't have a New Order song in some form. This then, is for them. If you want an introduction to a now split-up band or don't own any of their stuff then this is for you. The rest of you, and the band, should know better.
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on 11 January 2014
Listen, this release is awesome, there are versions on here that have never been released on CD before.

"In a bid to offer existing fans something new compared to previously existing compilations the album included four never-before on CD versions of the bands tracks, including the original 7″ version of "True Faith" and Shep Pettibone's 7″ remix of "Bizarre Love Triangle". It also includes the shorter 4:24 edit of "The Perfect Kiss". All tracks were mastered from original source tapes by Frank Arkwright."

The sound quality is crisp, clean, nice bass, basically it is not brick walled and all the details are separate as it should be. It seems these days digital remastering is getting better and better in sound quality. People are finally learning how to do it right. Yay! All the Joy Division tracks sound great. And you can tell this is a new digital remaster. Better than even the most decent previous efforts on New Order and Joy Division re-releases and best of's.

Anyone ever wish that the Shep Pettibone 12" Remix of 'Bizarre Love Triangle' were also mixed in to a shorter 7" edit? Because that remix is damn long. Well, there actually was a 7" remix edit released back then. And it's here on CD for the first time. And it's not found on any other past New Order best of compilations. I always prefered Shep Pettibone's extended Remix of 'Bizarre Love Triangle' over the shorter original album version. I had no idea there was an edit of the Shep Pettibone 12" remix. I am so excited about this. It is far superior if you ask me, since the original version is missing some very important parts.

And how about 'True Faith'? Anyone ever feel that all the versions of that song were too long? I had always wished for a shorter edited version. Well it exists! It's here for the first time on CD. The 'True Faith' 7" Edit is basically a single version that was released back in the 80's, but it has never been released on CD ever, until now.

'The Perfect Kiss' is basically the single or album version, but this version included on here is an even shorter edit. I also had no idea this was ever released back in the day. AWESOME! It flows much better as a single version.

The remastering on this collection is the absolute best you will find anywhere up until now regarding New Order and Joy Division. The detail is meticulous, it's perfection. 'Blue Monday' finally get's the excellent remastering it always deserved. The remastering alone is worth the money, but the rare 7" versions are also a must have for collector's (most notably 'True Faith' 7" Edit and also 'Bizarre Love Triangle' Shep Pettibone 7" Remix Edit.)

I do not think 'Thieves Like Us' 7" edit version has been released on CD before, or at least on many past best of compilations. On here it is remastered so wonderfully. I think this 7" edit is only included on that dreadful sounding "Singles" collection from back in 2005. So the 'Thieves Like Us' single is also important.

Another worthy note is the 7" edit of 'Fine Time', which again I think was only included on the horribly remastered "Singles" CD from back in 2005. This new remaster sounds better than anything released up to this point by the band.

I think the most exciting track on here is the Remix Edit of "Bizarre Love Triangle", so awesome they released this. I also find the version of 'True Faith' on here to be exciting, because I have always felt certain New Order singles were way too long in length time. I prefer many of these 7" edits over the original album version's. Now if only there were a 7" edit of 'Blue Monday' that would be awesome. But of course I enjoy the original version of 'Blue Monday' just fine. It sounds great here. This release is worth it for the excellent digital remaster itself. This is a must have.

What some of you negative reviewers are missing is that the sound quality on this release is different than past releases. I have to say, regarding the new track.... I like the last track. The unreleased 'Hellbent'. It sounds like a single from their last album. Really very quite good.
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on 13 June 2011
Yes it's been done to death before- the new order compilation. But don't be too harsh on the band. This is likely a scheme hatched by the record company and the band will have to go along with it. And remember, if it introduces some new people to New Order & Joy Division- people who, remember, will not have heard of Substance or the best of or Retro or Singles- then it's done its job.
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on 8 May 2012
What a mixed bag of reviews here! As a fan all I will say is that even though I have all this stuff elsewhere except for Hellbent, it is really interesting to hear the music in this continuous sequence to show the progression of one band into the other, in particular Ceremony, right on the cusp between the two and an emotional memorial to the brilliance of Ian Curtis. Other standouts: She's Lost Control (need I say more?): Regret (I really had forgotten how good this was) and of course the best footie song ever.
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on 18 January 2012
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.
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on 11 July 2011
Excellent CD that spans the works of Joy Division and subsequently New Order after the death of Ian Curtis. Plenty of excellent songs as well as a few dodgy ones, but it does contain the John Barnes rap from englandneworder's World in Motion so this CD is a must.
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