20 November 2009

That's a wrap!

20 singles
100 songs
9.5 hours of music

It's been both mine and Bruno's sincere pleasure to compile this virtual box set. There will be some additional materials for those of you who've been assembling the mini sleeves - a booklet and some packaging suggestions/instructions.

To date, Ceremony has logged the most downloads at just under 2000. London/Warners, are you listening? There is a market for a carefully curated box set.

We'll be taking a break for a few weeks, returning after the holidays to tackle 9 Joy Division singles:

1. An Ideal For Living
2. A Factory Sample
3. Transmission
4. Licht Und Blindheit (Dead Souls/Atmosphere)
5. Love Will Tear Us Apart
6. Komakino
7. She's Lost Control
8. Atmosphere (1988)
9. Love Will Tear Us Apart '95

Each of these will include bonus tracks, some of which have never been heard by a wide audience.

Recycle 20: World In Motion

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (74 MB)

World In Motion
Factory Records Fac 293
Produced by Stephen Hague (except The B-side, produced by Roli Mosimann)
May 1990


1. World In Motion
2. The B-side
3. World In Motion (Subbuteo Mix)
4. World In Motion (Subbuteo Dub)
5. World In Motion (Carabinieri Mix)
6. World In Motion (No Alla Violenza Mix)
7. World In Motion (Alternate Subbuteo Dub)

1 - 6 sourced from rips of PolyGram Canada CD single 846 237-2
7 sourced from Factory/MCA UK 45 RPM 12" single Fac 293R

Notes from Bruno Republic:

A string of tragedies struck English football starting in the mid-80s. On May 11, 1985, 56 people were killed in a horrific fire at Valley Parade stadium in Bradford. Later that same month, 39 spectators were killed at Heysel stadium in Brussels at the European Cup Final between England/Liverpool and Italy/Juventus after confrontational Liverpool fans started a melee. On April 15, 1989, 96 people were crushed to death at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield due to inadequate crowd control. Finally, on June 3, 1990, mobs of football fans pushed sales of this single to the top of the charts, giving New Order as well as Factory Records their only number one hit. How did this happen? Well, the song was done as the theme for the English football team during the 1990 world cup.

50PoundNote doesn't want me to be too harsh on this song, so I'll hold back the snark from this point on, and stress the positives.

[Insert protracted silence here.]

Not too much to do here, mercifully. For the most part, just volume adjustments.

There are numerous different edits of several of the tracks. We've gone with the longest ones that we know of in each case. The only exception to this is what we're calling the Alternate Subbuteo Dub, which appeared on the remix 12", which is being included as it's a slightly different mix and cannot be recreated from editing down the longer version. There's a few snippets of spoken word near the beginning and end, the now-horribly-dated M1 piano sound is panned slightly differently.

Many thanks to JohnC for the lossless rips of this single. The Canadian CD from which most of this was sourced now goes for a fortune on eBay, as it's the only place where many of these mixes ever appeared on CD. Although for many years I could easily obtain this disc locally, I never bothered. I chose to get a UK copy instead because it had a superior tracklisting, with only four versions instead of six.
Some notes from Wikipedia:

• The lyrics were co-written by comedian Keith Allen, who also appears on the track
• The original title was to be "E For England", but the Football Association nixed it
• The backing track is strikingly similar to the Reportage theme, which was also written by Stephen and Gillian
• The track has regularly topped polls to decide the best football song ever

At the time it was released, I quite liked this track. May 1990 was pre-internet, and Americans were/are largely ignorant to the World Cup, so it was a nice surprise to have an unexpected New Order single dropped in my lap. It's a shame, though, that the band's only #1 single amounts to a novelty song.

11 November 2009

Recycle 19: Run 2

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (38 MB)

Run 2
Factory Records Fac 273
Produced by New Order
August 1989


1. Run 2
2. Run 2 (Extended Version)
3. MTO
4. MTO (Minus Mix)

Source: Run 2 Factory UK 12" single Fac 273.

Notes from the restorer:

Released at the height of their popularity, this single is surprisingly rare. A remix of a track from their 1989 album Technique, it was quickly deleted after John Denver took action against the band, claiming that part of the tune resembled his song Leaving On A Jet Plane (after listening to Denver's song, I must confess I don't really hear much resemblance).

For the longest time, this was the most expensive record I'd ever bought. I paid $50 for one in a rather battered sleeve over fifteen years ago. I'd never seen another copy before, and I still haven't seen one since, so I was a bit surprised to read that apparently 20,000 were pressed. I've also been told that the single was deliberately limited and this was the plan all along, but that would seem to defy even Factory's reality-deficient business logic.

In addition to being quite scarce, this single is unusual in a couple of other ways. It's cut at 33 RPM instead of 45, and the overall quality of the pressing isn't as high as their other releases.

Slight cut at 3KHz.

Oh, and there are a couple of really bad edits in MTO -- so bad that I thought the needle had jumped the groove when I first heard it.
Run 2 was remixed by Scott Litt, who during the late 80's was notable for working with REM. The main difference between the album version and Run 2 is that the song has been made more radio-friendly by replacing the long instrumental run-out with another repeat of the chorus. I'm not sure if this was geared toward the American market, but the video was in rotation on MTV's 120 Minutes and there were promo cassettes of these tracks circulating at Warner Brothers during the summer of 1989. My hunch is that the lawsuit nixed a US single release because Denver had to be given a co-writing credit (and would have to be paid royalties).

Despite being listed on later compilations, Run 2 only appeared on this single. All other tracks titled Run 2 play the standard album version from
Technique - with the exception of the video on A Collection.

It's never been clarified whether the B-side MTO stands for "made to order", "mid tempo one" (standard demo naming convention within the New Order camp), or "much too old", which is a play on the lyrics from Fine Time. It's pretty much a throw-away track, and the bad edits in question are actually more like the effect of a DJ cutting in and out of a song by using the faders on a mixer - something I've seen and heard Derrick May do during his live sets.

"Little Lewie For New Order"

Round & Round

Thomas puts on his best Sleeveface.

10 November 2009

Recycle 18: Round & Round

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (104 MB)

Round & Round
Factory Records Fac 263
Produced by New Order and Stephen Hague
February 1989


1. Round & Round (12" Version)
2. Best & Marsh
3. Vanishing Point (Instrumental 'Making Out' Mix)
4. Round & Round (Club/Ben Grosse Mix)
5. Round & Round (12" Remix)
6. Round & Round (Detroit Mix)
7. Round & Round (7" Version)
8. Best & Marsh (7" Edit)

1, 3, and 7 sourced from Factory UK CD single Facd 263
2 sourced from PolyGram Canada CD single 874 079-2
4 - 6 sourced from Factory UK 3" CD single Facd 263R
8 is an early fade of 2

Notes from the restorer:

Not too much to do here. For the most part, just a slight bit of EQ and volume adjustments on the UK CD singles, as well as fixing a couple of polarity issues.

The perfect blend of pop, dance, and rock, Round & Round shows the band at their best. The catchy melody and superb production is enough to allow me to forgive the heavy use of an orchestra hit in the track. I remember actually hearing this a lot on top 40 radio back in the day, which was quite rare for New Order.

According to Wikipedia, the song was inspired by their deteriorating relationship with Factory owner Tony Wilson. Drama begets pop music.

I don't really have much to add to this one. It's not one of my favorite singles, although I think the extended 12" version with the long lead-in is far superior to the version on
Technique. I'm all about Best & Marsh (composed by request for the UK sports program of the same name) and the instrumental mix of Vanishing Point used as the theme to Making Out, a BBC dramedy that aired from 1989-1991.

08 November 2009

Recycle 17: Fine Time

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (64 MB)

Fine Time
Factory Records Fac 223
Produced by New Order
November 1988


1. Fine Time (12" Version)
2. Don't Do It
3. Fine Line
4. Fine Time (Silk Mix)
5. Fine Time (Messed Around Mix)
6. Fine Time (7" Edit)

1 sourced from Factory UK 45 RPM 12" single FAC 223
2 - 6 sourced from PolyGram Canada CD single 827 277-2

Notes from the restorer:

Acid house arrives, and New Order embrace it. The sleeve deserves an award for the 'most obvious drug reference that anyone ever got away with'.

I don't have much else to say about this one… I know it's a favourite of many, but I always thought it was one of the weaker tracks from the
Technique album.

I didn't know that the 12" version was slightly different from the LP version until £50 Note pointed it out to me. Whether by accident or design, there are a few variations in the mix, and this version has never appeared on CD. The rest of the tracks were lifted from the Canadian CD single, which contains all the other versions. However, it has a few quirks: Fine Line and Don't Do It have their channels reversed compared to the UK 12", and all the tracks are EQd somewhat strangely, as if the release was geared for AM radio. The bass is reduced and there's a big boost in the upper mids, making it sound rather tinny. These oddities have been undone to the best of my abilities.
One of my favorites.

The band was accused of jumping on the acid house bandwagon, but considering the slick dance/rock hybrid they'd been perfecting over the five previous years, I see it more as a defining statement. Recording had commenced in Ibiza, which was a haven for European clubgoers. The band owned The Ha├žienda, which was finally starting to explode as a nightclub instead of a live venue, going on to become one of the greatest clubs in the world, ever. Madchester was beginning with the likes of Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, and all the other baggy bands. Fine Time anchors them in the middle of a scene they largely facilitated, and was the perfect lead single for the album that would follow three months later.

01 November 2009

Recycle 16: Blue Monday 1988

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (68 MB)

Blue Monday 1988
Factory Records Fac 73R
Produced by Quincy Jones, remixed by John Potoker
March 1988


1. Blue Monday 1988
2. Beach Buggy
3. Blue Monday 1988 (Dub Version)
4. Blue Monday 1988 (7" Mix)
5. Beach Buggy (7" Mix)
6. Blue Monday 1988 (Alternate 7" Mix)

1 , 2, and 4 from Factory UK CD single FAC 73R
3 from PolyGram Canada CD single 870 354-2
5 from Factory/Nippon Columbia Japan CD single 15CY-5020
6 from Factory UK FACDV 73R

Much thanks to Osamu T. for providing track 5 and Clive W. for track 6!

Notes from the restorer:

Blue Monday 1988 was the first in what would become a long line of remixes of Blue Monday. Produced by Quincy Jones with the actual remix done by John Potoker, it keeps most of the original track intact, and simply adds a few minor parts and loads of utterly ridiculous sound effects on top. I've read that this remix even outsold the original, but others have told me it didn't. I hope not.

As for the mix itself, well… it has its fans, but I'd never choose to hear it over the original. While some of the added synth parts are good and work quite well, the sound effects are a total ADHD attack. To me, it's like listening to the song in the same room as someone channel surfing through the most banal TV programming imaginable. Had it been done today, I would expect to hear "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!" and maybe some Jar-Jar Binks amongst the sonic detritus peppered across the tune.

The flip side, Beach Buggy I suppose is an update of The Beach, and includes brief samples of other New Order tracks. How very meta.

I suppose my indifference to this remix is quite evident. However, as needless as I felt this was, it was nothing compared to the onslaught of needless remixes which would start in the mid-90s, oh no.

The alternate 7" mix appeared on the CDV. It has the structure of the released 7" version, but portions of it are from the 12" mix.
With New Order now signed to Qwest in the US, Quincy Jones saw an opportunity for their groundbreaking track to have a legitimate single release and a shot at radio airplay, where it peaked at #68 (although it reached #1 on the Billboard Dance chart). It also served as a chance to bundle in non-album single Touched By The Hand Of God, and made a nice stop-gap falling almost halfway between Substance and Technique.

I agree that the mix is a little ADHD, but it gave Stephen Morris a chance to use some of the odd samples he'd been collecting. It's saving grace, though, is the wonderful video directed by William Wegman, featuring his dog Fay Ray, and animation sequences by Robert Breer. It's one of the band's best clips.