Review: Jack Foley
NEW Order are often credited with being 80s pioneers thanks to
seminal hits such as Blue Monday and True Faith and
the videos that accompanied them.
Throughout their time, however, they have continually delivered
some truly great singles, from the English footballing anthem,
World in Motion, to Regret, right through to tracks like
Krafty and Waiting For The Sirens Call from
their latest album of the same name.
This 2-CD greatest hits collection, aptly named Singles,
charts the band's progress from their very first release right
through to their current effort, delivering the cream of the crop
for most New Order fans.
It's the definitive collection that ought to make its way onto
plenty of Christmas lists as thoughts turn to those stocking fillers,
especially when taken together with the two special DVDs that
are being released at the same time.
For those who don't know, New Order first broke into the spotlight
with a lively, indie-style cover version of Joy Division's Ceremony,
which established their ability to deliver catchy pop records
that effortlessly ease their way into your sub-conscious.
Tracks like Everything's Gone Green, with its synth-pounding
beats and thrashed guitar stabs, and Temptation, which
retain an endearing quality even today, followed along.
CD1 of Singles concentrates on the early years, as they
continued to build a reputation for themselves.
But New Order finally made their biggest impression at the tale
end of the 80s, thanks to the hit singles, True Faith and Blue
Monday, which saw them really being labelled as pioneers.
True Faith, in particular, contains that unique quality
to sound timeless, consistently coming near the top of peoples'
personal favourites and Xlists galore.
Both musically and visually (thanks to the astonishing video),
New Order proved themselves to be at the cutting edge of the new
From there, the band headed to Ibiza to deliver some Balearic-based
hits (Fine Time, Round and Round), which began
to introduce the appetising blend of synths and indie guitar riffs
(that continued to expand on the Joy Division sound that undoubtedly
proved an inspiration).
For me, though, they really hit their stride at the turn of the
90s, thanks to more timeless hits such as Regret - one
of the best records they have ever produced thanks to its bouncing
bassline, melancholy lyrics and perfectly blended mix of guitars
Likewise, the haunting, melancholy Ruined In A Day,
which was taken from the same album, and showed a more serious
side to the band as well as a growing maturity. It's an excellent
bedfellow to Regret.
The band went back to dance for tracks like Spooky and
World (Price of Love) but remained at the cusp of the
dance scene, and then changed pace again for the souped up Crystal,
one of the rockiest tracks they have produced (and another gem).
After a couple of years away, New Order then came back as strong
as ever with their latest album, Waiting For The Sirens' Call,
which contained the seminal hits Krafty and Jetstream.
Krafty, especially, revelled in its easy mix of past
styles and modern sensibilities, proving that the band had lost
none of its ability to conjure magical moments of indie-electronica-tinged
It capably sums up the feel-good vibe surrounding the album and
deftly illustrates why New Order have continued to remain such
a potent musical force all over the world.
And in case you still don't believe me, then try picking up Singles
and not finding anything to like. It's an epic collection from
one of modern music's pioneering outfits.