15 May 2011

Recycle: Record Store Day - Ceremony 30th Anniversary Edition

[Link removed 20 November 2012]

New Order/Joy Division
Ceremony - 30th Anniversary Edition/Record Store Day
Rhino Records UK
16 April 2011


New Order
1. Ceremony (1st Version)
2. In A Lonely Place (1st Mix)

Joy Division
3. Ceremony (Rehearsal)
4. In A Lonely Place (RSD 12" Take, Stereo)
5. In A Lonely Place (Heart And Soul Full Take, Stereo)

Sourced from:
1: FAC 33 Italian 45 RPM 12" single
2: FAC 33 45 RPM UK 12" single (green sleeve, 2nd version of Ceremony on A-side)
3-5: Low (1st?) generation copy of 1/4" rehearsal recording reel

Notes from the restorer:

Despite being spread out over the entire side of a 12" single, the Italian pressing of the original New Order recording has loads of compression on it. I suspect this was applied at the mastering stage but I don't know.

Tracks 1 and 2 were transcribed at 33 RPM, de-clicked, and then pitch-shifted to 45 RPM in the digital domain at which point the remaining processing was done (20Hz highpass filter, convert from stereo to mid/side, noise reduction on side channel only, convert back to stereo, EQ and just a touch of limiting).

Tracks 3-5, for the purposes of this post, magically landed in the restorer's lap courtesy of some kind and generous space aliens. It is alleged they were taken from a possibly 1st generation cassette dub from the rehearsal room 1/4" reel master, but this is only supposition. A fair amount of work was needed to goose the recordings into quality listening material; mainly EQ and, surprisingly, mid/side decoding due to the supplied source coming to us mid/side encoded (engineer technobabble, those with further interest are suggested to Google it). A touch of gentle noise reduction, tasteful limiting, and done.

As archivists dispatched to preserve the Joy Division and New Order single release legacy, the ultra-limited 2011 Record Store Day 12" featuring the original New Order "Ceremony" and "In A Lonely Place" recordings, and on the flip the Joy Division rehearsal recordings of the same, could not be ignored.

We've already discussed the original FAC33 here, and have used these same files for the A-side of this re-factored FAC33. The only difference between the 2011 Rhino FAC33 and the original Factory FAC33 green-sleeved 12" (the *very* original that is, with the September 1980 recordings) is that Rhino used the mix of "In A Lonely Place" which featured on the re-released cream-sleeve FAC33 12" and, later, on
Substance - not Martin Hannett's original less-thunderclappy mix originally released in early 1981. We've preserved the original mix here, as it was originally released at the same time as this version of "Ceremony".

On the other hand, the Joy Division half is quite a new one. 1997's
Heart And Soul box set featured two never-released rehearsal recordings (supposedly found on a tape by Peter Hook, whilst rummaging behind his couch or some similar story), those of "Ceremony" and an edited "In A Lonely Place". "Ceremony" is complete, but "In A Lonely Place" - as all serious fans know - abruptly ends at roughly 2:30, or shortly before Ian Curtis would begin singing the third verse. Allegedly this is the only version that existed on Hooky's tape, so it was what got used.

Leaping forward 14 years, new sources were located for both Joy Division tracks, essentially from a rehearsal room recording reel-to-reel tape. "Ceremony" from the reel was the same take as on the box set, but in a bit higher fidelity. Also on the reel was more than one take of "In A Lonely Place" - the full, unedited version of the take used on the box set (which was the last one on the reel, sequentially, and therefore surmised to be the last one they recorded), and the take - the last-but-one on the reel - used by Rhino on this year's Record Store Day 12".

It was discovered that - roughly speaking - the versions on the reel had been (technoweenie talk ahead) "futzed with" by (presumably) the survivors, trying to pull out Ian's lyrics for their own versions of the songs. The box set featured the futzed-with "Ceremony", and a collapsed-to-mono "In A Lonely Place". Without getting too detailed, "Ceremony" on the box set is a modified, compromised stereo that's not true, while on the RSD 12" it has been restored to real, as captured by rehearsal room microphones, stereo. Similarly, "In A Lonely Place" is also full-stereo on the reel, and presented in true stereo on the 12". Fans will be glad to know that were it not for other fans, these restored versions would not have been used on the 12".

This last single in phase one of Recycle is a good one: the Joy Division recordings
are not captured from vinyl, but are the exact sources given to the label for the 12" release (compressed for Recycle, that is - the label was not provided with lossy AAC/MP3 masters!). We've auditioned the actual 12" and determined that the mastering is very faithful to the source given to the label. That said, multiple keen listeners have discovered a mastering flaw - on multiple copies of the 12" - beginning towards the latter third of the Joy Division "In A Lonely Place", whereby it gets a bit distorted in places. The version here, doesn't.


  1. What a pleasant surprise! I had heard about the RSD release, but I didn't figure you guys would bother with it (especially since you're in the middle of the Smiths project). Thank you once again!

  2. Great work and thanks for the background details!

  3. Thank you! I've been looking for this everywhere!

    Very cool to have the "final" Joy Division song at last!

  4. Prayers answered. Thank you very much.

  5. Wow - didn't see this one coming! I kept your link in my NetVibes RSS reader just in case and look at that another single! Thanks alot!!!

  6. WoW!
    Way cool!
    Thanks so much!

  7. thank you more than a million times. unbelievable.

  8. Thank you so much for your continued efforts in getting rare JD and NO material out to the fans in the highest possible fidelity!

  9. Almost makes me regret buying the RSD 12", but not quite!

    Great work nonetheless. Can't wait to download it.

  10. Thans for this. The NY version is prob the closest we will get to what they heard at the time but it sounds a bit alien to my ears - too clean and a bit fast too. Maybe Hannett accounted in the mix for the humm that vinyl would add to the bass and the chainsaw distort on the guitars that a MW peel play would create through a tinny radio and the warmth that a warped and scratched 45 would add as the speed varied. I am sure it is largely due to time and familiarity with versions of a different generation. Its Steve's best drum pattern and awesome and so changing it sounds random in places it is so central though like a lead guitar. All the instruments are equal and there is a bit of a turn the amps up and fight it out Sister Ray vibe to it. Maybe before you sign off the JD/NO recycle you could do a dirty singles release. Sandpaper your vinyl and leave it by the radiator for a week then play it full blast thru giant speakers putting the mic on the floor in the next room just to collect the rumble and the static and the noise bouncing off the walls and the neighbours banging on the door shouting you to turn it down. Just a thought :)

  11. Absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much!

  12. As usual, fantastic work. Big, big thanks!

  13. a question : where and when were the joy division tracks recorded?

  14. Hi Slinky,

    That question would be better addressed to Mr. Analog Loyalist here.

  15. That looks SO much better! :)

  16. Phenomenal and much appreciated.

  17. Thanks for the Joy Division Ceremony rehearsal you had here. I put the recording through some gadgets and my ears over the weekend to try to hear the lyrics and interpret them. Obviously this is just one interpretation of many of an imperfect source and therefore not intended to be finite but I thought you and your visitors might be interested anyway.

    The lyrics so far as I can tell are pasted below and my reading of them is that the narrator in Ceremony can be viewed as an angel speaking first to another angel then directly to us on the subject of his sadness as he struggles with the rules and reality of non intervention in response to the prayers of souls he hears. From this perspective Ceremony touches on similar themes as Wenders 1987 film Wings of Desire where the angels can watch people but not act to help them. I could go on but that will do does as a summary.

    -- JD Ceremony Rehearsal 1980 --
    - Wings of Desire Interpretation -
    Dont you find that prayers are moving?
    Nothing sadder than peoples stories
    Spoke to us while the worlds were forming
    Blown away but said again this time

    Broken hearted in pain he was calling
    I said again that we will free him
    Then I thought that I was a kind of
    Evil venom there to slay his heart

    Well I'll break them all no mercy shown
    heaven knows I've got to crack somewhere
    A passenger on a sinking ship
    After tonight we felt it was his time

    Well I'll break them all no mercy shown
    Heaven knows I've got to do something
    Avenues all lined with dreams
    Picture me then you fear watching

    Watching forever
    Watching forever

    Everything let it be so
    For everything let it be so
    Who wouldn't care for these wee souls


  18. I am having trouble extracting this file, can you please advise me on how to do this so I can listen finally to these JD demos? Many thanks! Cresh in NY

  19. Could any of you who downloaded please reupload it somewhere?

  20. New here. Please can someone help supply the file now that the link has been removed? Thanks.

    1. use soulseek, just type recycle 1981-1990 :)

  21. compile it from first ceremony single (tracks 1&2, side a) and "b side" from lossless rehearsal tape as i did.