13 September 2009

Recycle 14: True Faith



[Link removed 20 November 2012] (108MB)
(File name should be truefaithv3.zip - verified all files will open)


True Faith
Factory Records FAC 183
Produced by Stephen Hague and New Order. Evil Dust and Paradise produced by New Order.
July 1987

Tracklisting:

1. True Faith
2. 1963
3. Evil Dust
4. Paradise (Robert Racic Remix)
5. True Faith (Shep Pettibone Remix)
6. True Dub
7. True Faith (UK 7" Edit)
8. True Faith (The Morning Sun Edit)
1 and 2 sourced from Factory UK 12" single Fac 183
3 and 8 sourced from Factory UK CD-Video Facdv 183
4 sourced from Retro London EU CD 0927 49499 2
5 sourced from 1963 London UK CD single NUCDP 6
6 sourced from Factory UK 12" single Fac 183R
7 sourced from Factory UK 7" single Fac 183

Notes from the restorer:

When I first did this up a few months ago for my own amusement, I thought I had collected all the versions and related material. However, I was mistaken... in any event, I've fine-tuned the tracks I had done previously, so here they are once again.

This is probably my favourite New Order song ever… it's a close toss-up between this and Regret. However, as a single, I think this is their very best. Not only is the song absolutely top-notch, but the B-side is equally good. 1963 could've easily been a single of its own, and that eventually happened some 8 years later. Oh, and it has coherent lyrics too!

In the mid-80s it became common for UK bands to issue multiple versions of a single, and True Faith was the first time New Order would take this route. In addition to the regular 7" and 12", a second 12" was released with Shep Pettibone's remixes. On top of that, the single was also released on the short-lived CD-V format, a hybrid CD/laserdisc which provided the video of the song playable on a LD player, and a few audio tracks playable on any CD player. Here it was presented with Evil Dust, an instrumental dubby remix of the song Angel Dust from Brotherhood, and an edit of the Shep Pettibone remix. Oh, and the Australian remix edition included a Robert Racic remix of Paradise which wasn't issued anywhere else until the Retro compilation in 2002. This might all seem kind of crazy, but it's nothing compared to the marketing and remix insanity which would occur in the early 90s.

Personally I'm not too fond of the Shep Pettibone mixes. I think he goes just a little too far over the top here, and takes away from the lushness of the original song… or perhaps the it just doesn't work very well in a purely dancefloor context. Nonetheless, others love this - one person commented on 50poundnote's Flickr stream that it was Shep's finest moment - so to each their own and all that.
True Faith was New Order's conscious effort to break America. When they entered the studio with Stephen Hague, no one was sure which would be the A-side or the B-side, so work on both songs progressed at the same time. Although the band now says 1963 was a waste as a B-side (and as Bruce said it would see release as an A-side in 1995), the pairing here places this as my favorite single of all-time, right alongside Love Will Tear Us Apart b/w These Days. Everything from the sleeve (an icon of our generation) to the video (shamelessly aped by Fine Young Cannibals a year later) made a strong statement. It was released just before my 17th birthday and my Senior year of high school, so it's the soundtrack to a very formative period in my life.

Unlike Bruce, I disagree about Shep Pettibone's mixes. They were a real touchstone of the late 80's alternative dance scene, and even now - 22 years later - I can spin his mixes and fill a dancefloor. They never get old.

Evil Dust found a broader release in 1988 on the
Funky Alternatives Volume One compilation.

I never knew about the Robert Racic remix of Paradise until about 1991, although I certainly knew his name. Racic was a celebrated DJ and producer in Sydney who worked with Severed Heads and would go on to work with Boxcar and others.

10 September 2009

Tweaks

• If you downloaded Bizarre Love Triangle before noon PST, Wednesday, September 9th, please trash those files, scroll down, and download it again. The files I posted were not properly mastered and have been fixed. In addition, the Canadian 7" edit has been redone/re-EQed and sounds significantly better.

• Of the 20 singles in Recycle, only one - Procession - had a slipcase design that opened on the top like the original 7" single, instead of on the side like a 12" single. This bugged me. I have redesigned it so that all 20 singles will be consistent. To download it, click on "all sizes", then click on "original" to get the full resolution image.

• Since Ceremony came in two different 12" configurations with any number of A-side/B-side combinations, I've designed an alternate slipcase, jewel case insert, and CD label, so you can choose between the green sleeve or the blue and white one.

05 September 2009

Recycle 13: Bizarre Love Triangle



[Link removed 20 November 2012] (77 MB)

Bizarre Love Triangle
Factory Records FAC 163
Produced by New Order, remixed by Shep Pettibone
November 1986

Tracklisting:

1. Bizarre Love Triangle (12" version)
2. Bizarre Dub Triangle
3. Bizarre Love Triangle (7" version)
4. Bizarre Dub Triangle (7" edit)
5. Bizarre Love Triangle (7" version re-edit, AKA "unique Canadian edit")

1 and 2 sourced from Factory UK 45 RPM 12" single FAC 163
3 and 4 sourced from Factory UK 7" single FAC 163-7
5 sourced from Factory/PolyGram Canada 7" single FAC 26, revised version, EQ'd to match UK 7". Thank you very much, Clive!

Notes from the restorer:

Bizarre Love Triangle is truly a classic, right up there with Blue Monday. It's gone on to become one of those seminal tracks that is ubiquitous at any 80s retro dance event. Unlike the much-criticized and overcooked Sub-culture remix, here Shep Pettibone brilliantly shows how to adapt an album track to the dance floor. The breaks and effects are perfectly timed to keep people on their toes, without being so overboard or excessive as to wreck the flow of the song. Meanwhile, the 7" version is not an edit of this or the LP mix, but a unique creation which balances elements of both.

Now, it's been over a month since we posted State of the Nation… so what happened, you ask?

Well, presenting this track here turned out to be much more difficult than initially expected. While the dub version was not included on Substance, it was issued on a US CD single - inexplicably retitled "I Don't Care" [supposedly manager Rob Gretton's flippant answer to a rep from the US label who phoned up to ask what the dub mix was named. - 50poundnote] - in 1994, some 8 years after its initial release - a testament to the song's enduring popularity! We had planned to use that as a source. Likewise, there was a unique edit of the 7" version which was issued only in Canada, and in a lovely gatefold sleeve (FYI, custom 7" sleeves were quite rare in Canada, as most 7" singles were sold with blank or company sleeves). Since both 50poundnote and I had copies of these singles, we figured we were set.

Problem number one: the US CD single turned out to have surprisingly crushed dynamics, a sign of the loudness wars to come. EAC might show peak values of only 80%, but beneath that it was fairly crushed. Also, the EQ was pretty wonky. Sourcing one track from Substance and the other from this single would've led to inevitable inconsistencies. I tried to find a used copy of the vinyl 12" single locally, but came up empty-handed. Eventually 50poundnote mailed me his copy, which took about two weeks to arrive.

Problem number two: while waiting for that, I started working on the UK 7" version, which is not an edit of the album mix (though it initially sounds like it is), and then the unique Canadian version. However, both our copies of the Canadian version simply played the UK 7" mix. I figured that the "unique Canadian mix" was simply one of those mix-ups or misunderstandings that got perpetuated over the internet, and gave an update to the New Order Online forum that it was a myth.

Only it wasn't. NOOL member Old Blue mentioned that he had the record, and it was unmistakably different, right from the very start. A check of the deadwax inscriptions confirmed that the record was initially released with the UK 7" version, then subsequently done with the new edit. Both 50poundnote and I had original pressings. Trying to order this online would be risky, since aside from a tiny deadwax number (FAC-26-A for original, FAC-26-A2 for the re-edit) the two different editions look nearly identical. Same sleeve, label, time listed, etc. Fortunately, Old Blue was willing to loan his copy to me. Despite Old Blue sending his all the way from the UK, his copy arrived first, but that wasn't so surprising. I long ago discovered that something mailed from across the Atlantic ocean will arrive sooner than something mailed from across Lake Ontario.

Problem number three: when I compared similar sections on the dub version to the A-side, I could hear major differences in EQ. After painstakingly matching the EQ on dub to get it consistent with the A-side, I discovered that other portions of the song sounded completely messed up. I debated breaking it down into chunks and EQing each section individually, but thought better of it. So I've left it as-is. The only other thing I did was fix the click that happens right on the 5th kick on the 12" version. This is on both Substance and the 12", but not the 1994 CD single, so I'm guessing it's a flaw on the master tape which was later fixed. It's always bothered me, so I've copied-and-pasted an adjacent kick to patch it.

Problem number four: the artwork. I figured with the sleeve looking like one big blur, it would be easy to assemble the artwork. Not so, for there are several distinct lines and forms, and 50poundnote struggled to weld both sides together while reconstructing the small portion that runs across the spine. Also, we wanted to include the shot of the band from the Canadian gatefold. The fold from the spine runs right through Bernard's face, making it difficult to photochop out. 50poundnote has a large poster of this photo hanging in his home, but when he went to photograph it, he discovered the seam was there too. Seems they simply copied the single for the poster as well. Truly LULZ-worthy.

So, after many trials and tribulations, we finally have this done and out of the way. Hopefully the rest of this project should go much more quickly.
My first experience with New Order was hearing the 12" version of The Perfect Kiss. It was April 1985 and I was 14. A friend who worked at an indie record shop played it for me, and while I liked it, I didn't buy it. It stayed in the back of my mind, though (and would go on to become my all-time favorite song). Jump ahead 18 months to November 1986. I'm a Junior in high school and watching MTV one evening before dinner, when this colorful, energetic video comes on with this great hook "every time I see you falling..." It was Bizarre Love Triangle. The next day I rode my bike to the record store near the University of Kentucky's campus and bought Brotherhood on cassette. It didn't leave my Walkman for months. I bought the import 7" because it was closer to the mix used in the video, but I don't recall owning the 12" version until I got Substance a year later.

Incidentally, the video (which was directed by artist Robert Longo) went on to define the look of MTV with it's quick editing style.

To this day, Bizarre Love Triangle remains my 2nd favorite New Order track, as well as one of my all-time favorites. It's such a wonderfully uplifting song that, no matter what my mood, it will make me smile.