13 October 2009

Recycle 15: Touched By The Hand Of God

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (71 MB)

Touched By The Hand Of God
Factory Records FAC 193
Produced by New Order. Touched By The Hand Of God mixed by Arthur Baker.
December 1987


1. Touched By The Hand Of God
2. Touched By The Hand Of Dub (7" Edit)
3. Confusion Dub 1987
4. Temptation (1987 Version)
5. Touched By The Hand Of God (12" Mix)
6. Touched By The Hand Of Dub

1 and 6 sourced from PolyGram CA Blue Monday 1988 CD single 870 354-2
2 edited from 6
3-5 sourced from Factory UK CD single Facd193

Notes from the restorer:

Written for the soundtrack to the movie Salvation!, Touched By The Hand Of God isn't one of the group's stronger tracks IMHO, although there's nothing offensive about it either. The single version was remixed by Arthur Baker, and it sounds very much of its time, complete with the ubiquitous orchestra hits. The vinyl was backed with a mostly-instrumental dub mix, and the CD single came with two other unique tracks… or at least, it was supposed to. Along with a previously-unreleased dub mix of the 1987 version of Confusion, the sleeve claimed to have the original mix of Temptation which was not on CD at the time. In actual fact, the disc plays the 1987 version found on Substance, helping to establish a long tradition of the band's releases having the wrong track names or details (one which Warner/Rhino has generously continued on through to the 21st century with the recent re-issues).

One truly remarkable thing about this song is the video for it, which consists of scenes of car chases along with footage of the band dressed up as a cheesy hair-metal act, acting out every cliché of the genre. It's hilarious, and even more so when you remember that back then, there were actually people who listened to (and even performed in) hair metal bands without irony.
The version as it appears on the soundtrack to Salvation! is actually very raw - almost like a demo. It was refined for the single release, and despite what the above says I think it's one of the better late-80's New Order tracks.

Apart from the band dressed in over the top heavy metal gear, the video also features Bill Paxton and Rae Dawn Chong in uncredited roles.

I still remember the day when my local record shop got the CD single in. It was December of my Senior year, and I'd skipped out of school. I was so excited I couldn't wait to get home and play it. A year later I'd have almost the same experience with Fine Time.


  1. A little story about the video...

    I'd have been into New Order far earlier if it weren't for this video. Being around 16 when this was released, and as a fan of synthpop at the time, I was told that I'd probably love New Order by an 'in the know' music fan friend of mine.

    However, I caught their video for this single on TV one Saturday morning, and judged the band by their look, thinking 'why would my friend have thought I'd be into hair metal bands'?

    I didn't realise at the time they were just poking fun, and me being young(er) and stupid(er), couldn't see past the outfits and hair to hear the song itself.

    Thankfully, I gave New Order a second chance shortly after this incident, and within a year had nearly every inch of one of my bedroom walls covered in New Order posters.

  2. Awesome, this CD's the very first one I spent my own money on. Thanks for completing the circle!

  3. Picking up this 12" from my local record shop, Hyde Park Corner in Irvine, CA (now gone), was a highlight of my high school youth. I have such good memories of that record shop and it's beautiful imported records from the UK, wonderfully wrapped in protective cellophane... yes, these are imports to America. The TBTHOG sleeve just glowed.

  4. @Eric - for me, it was Cut Corner Records in Lexington, Kentucky. They'd just moved into a new location (two doors down from their previous one), opposite the University of Kentucky's campus and almost in the sight line of the student-run radio station. Cut Corner had a sister store in Chicago, and the guy who ordered all the imports would start to get everything New Order for me he could find. I ended up with most of the first run of Factory CDs that had the car carry cases thanks to him.

    A year later I'd start filling in on the radio station's alternative dance music show as a DJ - a gig I kept for several years.

  5. My local gig for the NO product was the Turntable (RIP) in Schaumburg, IL (and then briefly in Palatine, IL before they closed up shop). I went there religiously, once a week, for about 5 years pretty much as soon as I had a drivers license and snapped up everything New Order I could. I still smack myself for not getting the car carry cases though, or the few CD-video CD singles, since I couldn't afford them! I did fill up my 12" collection however, which alas only survives in my memory (bar the original Ceremony 12") due to various financial needs in college...

  6. Yeah i got my copy from hyde park corner records as well but i also used ot hear it on Kroq's Import Tunes with The Swedish Egil

  7. I loved Cut Corner, most of my meager teenage dollars were spent there. I think my 12"ers of "Fine Time" and "Round and Round" came from their bins, as well as my "Technique" tape. "Substance" I picked up used from Bear's Wax next door... happy times...

  8. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I appreciate the effort and the attention to detail. This is really quite spectacular!

  9. Hey, another Lexingtonian!

    There's no telling how many thousands of dollars I spent in Cut Corner...it seemed like all of my available income went straight into their cash register.

    I used to love flipping through the cassettes they had along the north wall. I've never seen another record store that used those types of display racks.

    I used to work at The Fudgery in Festival Market, and my friend Raff Hall worked at the Disc Jockey Records down there (before he worked at Cut Corner). The December '88 afternoon I got the Fine Time 12" I was on my way to work, and I wasn't going to be able to wait until I got home that night to hear what Fine Time sounded like, so I took it into Disc Jockey and had Raff play it for me.

  10. Thanks for these singles once again. They've been an excellent introduction to New Order. I've started collecting their albums now!

  11. Wow, can't believe all the Lexington folk here. I used to frequent Cut Corner when I went to UK, too. That was the only option unless you headed to Cincy. I also did some slots on RFL. Would love to hear some of £50 Note's shows from the past if he has any.

  12. @David I recorded every show I did, so I have a lot of cassettes. I used to sit in on the Beat Bash with Brian and Michelle, then I took over the show alternating weekly with Jim Owens in '91, then co-hosting with Tam Tam (Tamara Lockman) around '93 or '94. I let Tamara take the show over and I started doing an early Saturday morning show covering the history of electronic music. The last time I was on the air was sometime in '95.

  13. Thank you for making these available! Now if someone would do this for Dead Or Alive my life would be complete. BTW, the download for this doesn't seem to be working. I had no problem with the other ones. Thanks again!

  14. I have to make a comment - actually two: Firstly, this is an amazing resource, especially for myself who has listened to New Order before anyone seemed to know who JOY DIVISION was here in Chicago, but more interestingly, I'm astonished that you would use the UK CD version to release these recordings, as the UK 12" version was sonically leaping out of the speakers by comparison. I bought the UK CD single several months after the 12" and was disappointed by its muddy sound.

  15. The video was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who'd just directed NEAR DARK with Bill Paxton. She won the Oscar for THE HURT LOCKER earlier this year.