New Order/Retro [Box Set] Disc Four Live Compiled By Bobby Gillespie


Ceremony—-This is wonderful if only for the remarkable raw and basic recording quality of the song. This is underproduced and as real as you can hope to find from this band. Even the bass line sounds a bit full of tin. The vocal is almost unheard as the mix moves it way to the back of the mix…this is classic Joy Division styled recording…this is post punk, pre-synth recordings that fill me with euphoria and accomplishment…because I have the rarest version available!!!

Procession—-Recorded at the same show, this allows you to glimpse the progression of the synth driven music and the heavy bass line and how it transformed this band. the recording is pretty rough, although the vocal is moved a bit more to the front od the mix. this is wonderfully dark, pre-eminent of the masterful synth lines that would reform the sound of the band. this is raw, hesitant and remarkably full of stumbles and foot falls as the band struggled for identity. A true piece of recording history.

Everything’s Gone Green—-Gosh…..I’m in heaven with this stuff….this is raw and wonderfully voyeuristic as the band delivers the very first of their post Ian performances. imagine how nervous the band had to be after the wonderment that Curtis brought to the band. this does not venture to far from the original sound, but the vocal is nothing like Curtis would deliver but it worked wonderfully well in the grand scheme of things. this is post-punk, synth driven music moving into a new life and era….brilliant!!!

In A Lonely Place—-Seeming to be recorded at the same show, the sound is as deep as the previous recordings. the remarkable atmosphere is addictive…drawing you into the rather sedate monotone quality of the music. Bernard enters with a vocal that almost seems removed from his body…the sound quality literally sucks…but this catches the band at its most raw delivery that has ever been recorded. I would have been pissed if I was at this show….having it years and years later on CD is almost a treat. This is freakin more masterful than anything I can imagine!!!

Age Of Consent—-This seems to come alive much more as the synth delivery drives the pace of the song. Compared to the recorded version of the song this is very fast and hyper driven. Bernard sounds much more comfortable and the sound recording is almost acceptable. the vocal enunciation are much more pronounced and the Hook bass line is right in your face. The energy is undeniable and the sign of the times of better engineering allows the song to have these huge atmospheric flows that makes me smile into next week.

Elegia—-Full of tin and lacking the necessary emotional quality of the music necessary, I quickly skip over this..only because the sound is terrible…you would think they would find something a bit better for the price they charged for this box set….oh well….next……

The Perfect Kiss—-Now, this is much more clear and delivered with recording equipment that was meant to capture a band as they deserved to be captured. The heavy bass lines are much clearer and the sharp synth lines are right in the center of your forehead. this is remarkable…the sound is so crisp and clear, it is as if I have been delivered from a dark and dank land into the sunshine. Almost better than the original studio version!!!

Fine Time—-Finally finding a huge arena and a sound engineer that is able to record at the right levels, this is almost again, better than the original. there is a great level of energy and Bernard delivers lines right at the audience rather than for the audience. I could not ask for more…although a bit to sharp at times, this is none the less a classic rendition of a wonderful song!

World—-Moving to the other realm of everything, this is almost too polished for a live recording and I wonder how much of this has been pre-recorded. The vocal is nice, but the song loses a lot of atmosphere and meaning. this falls really flat for me…the emotional quality of the original is gone!!!

Regret—-This is huge….delivered with remarkable accuracy, every single synth line is perfect…every bass line from Hook is practised and the vocal is crystal clear. I still do not know why this rubs me the wrong way…where is the raw energy and the quicker version of the live rendition. This is so true to record that you wonder how much of this is pre-recorded…I still love this, but I remain disappointed.

As It Is When It Was—-OK….this is freakin’ brilliant…I have never had the privilege of hearing this live rendition and the delivery on this recording is remarkable. This literally brings tears to my eyes..the intensity and comfortability of the vocal is remarkable…the higher pitched Hook bass line is precious and the overall atmosphere of the song leaves your head hanging low and examining everything wrong in your life. This is the TRUE highlight of this disc!!!!

Intermission—-Nice, but unnecessary…………..whatever!

Crystal—-Delivering a masterful rendition of one of the last proper singles from the band, it is still difficult to imagine that the whole damn thing was imploding at the time of this recording. But indeed it was. by this point in the band’s career, they had this whole live thing down pat and this is a perfect example of the supposition. this is wonderfully delivered, full of enthusiasm and recorded with finesse. I will miss this remarkable sound.

Turn My Way—-Ok…..this definetly has some vocals from Billy Corgan on it….how freakin’ fantastic. the result is an even beefier version of the original. The synth line is a masterful lazy delivery of synths and Hook bass lines, with Corgan contrasting sharply with the easy vocal of Summer…this is lackluster, sounding at times rather confused and disjointed…should have practised this thing in advance guys….!!!! Jeez!

Temptation—-Ending this live disc with a rapid fire piece of history, this live rendition is so much faster in pace and delivery that you lose a bit of the emotional impact of the original. That is the price of technology I suppose…at least they end the whole damn thing with a classic…without a doubt, the weakest disc in the collection.

*** out of 5


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