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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Retro in retrospect, 24 Aug. 2008
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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Nov 2011, 16:32:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Nov 2011, 16:46:09 GMT
BigK90 says:
Godfathers of dance music - a bad thing?

The Cure clearly ripped off New Order and Joy Division (and dont get me wrong i love them) and not vice versa!
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