I’m a pretty big New Order fan– I was turned onto them in college via the essential Substance 2 CD set of “hits.” Through the 90’s I collected all of the albums and as many of the remixes and singles as I could get my hands on– I even have the quickly-deleted Run2 12″ that had the contested John Denver sample in it. I saw New Order in 1989 at the World Theater in Chicago in a lineup with Public Image Limited and the Sugarcubes, which was pretty exciting at the time.(Note: Apparently it was June 30, 1989)
In 1997 through a newsgroup or something I found out about a 3 CD collection of mp3’s being put out by a fan out of Quebec that had every album, every single from every country, bootlegs and included the side projects of the members (Electronic, Revenge, and The Other Two). I paid too much for it in retrospect because they are only 128Kbps rips– but in 1997 there wasn’t a better way to get something like this.
I was pretty excited to hear that usually-perfect Rhino Records was going to do a set of re-issues of the first five New Order albums (Movement, Power, Corruption and Lies, Low-Life, Brotherhood, and Technique) with second discs of bonus remixes and b-sides similar to the Cure sets they did a few years back.
Unfortunately, it seems that Rhino might not have done enough quality control on these releases when they were released in the UK and the US releases, which are based on the UK versions are plagued with the same issues. A look at the comments by Amazon reviewer Paul “Slop” from Orange County gives a very detailed breakdown of the issues on the releases including errors in the liner notes and artifacts from what would seem to be direct vinyl transfers with no cleanup. It also seems to extend into the original album tracks as well– on “Sunrise” from Low-Life there is a right-channel drop in volume, and “586” from Power suffers from “an abrupt ending.”
Rhino Records is doing the right thing by offering exchanges for the bad pressings. In their press release on the situation they state that they are in the process of correcting the problems, but note that the age and condition of the original source tapes the sound quality may vary. They only state that the bonus material has the issue, I hope that they also fix the issues with the albums, too. There will be a future statement when the issues are resolved which will include the process for exchanging the CD’s.
The bad deal here is that the botched discs are everywhere and I couldn’t find any online retailers that mention the situation– this includes Amazon who still offers them for sale. I hope that Rhino will clearly distinguish the new “fixed” pressings so that the consumers don’t end up with the bad pressings unknowingly! Beware eBay on these as well, I’d say.
I haven’t purchased these yet, so when the new pressings come out and I’ve figured out how to safely get the fixed ones, I’ll post something here for the constant readers.
Click Here for the exhaustive list of flaws from neworderonline.com