Rob Jones

First of all came the New Order Music Complete and now we are the recipients of an album of extended versions of that original material which means Complete Music. Apart from ‘Singularity (Extended Mix)’ which was included on the single release, this is the first time these mixes are available outside of the Music Complete box set (the versions of ‘Restless’ and ‘Tutti Frutti’ included on the single formats were different mixes). Complete Music, features alternative artwork from Peter Saville and it is housed in a cardboard slipcase. The release is available as a 2 CD set and as standard and hi-res audio downloads. Both the physical and digital editions also include a digital copy of the original album.

The return of New Order with the first offering was fully justified and their post punk dance drive is in full flow. The departure of Peter Hook means that New Order has had a major change in personnel. However, the original core of Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert are united; and, the addition of Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman has helped expand the New Order story. After a ten year break from recording New Order delivered the eleven tracks of Music Complete and their debut disc on the renowned Mute label was a commercial and critical hit.

A contemporary team of tunes can satisfy those punters seeking an alternative edge while also cutting the mustard with the club aficionados. A blend of guitars and synthesisers forges the fare forward as New Order provides a kaleidoscope of up tempo aural colours (and the singles Restless and Plastic showcase the merchandise). The invite of guests such as: Iggy Pop, Elly Jackson (La Roux), Tom Rowlands (Chemical Brothers) and Brandon Flowers (Killers) also leads to a re-interpretation of the rhythms-and, the newer mixes take the material on another rhythm ride expanding upon the templates that were put in place on their arrival. Sumner states ‘To be a real band, a live and vibrant entity, you have to do the things that bands do–and that’s make music, not just keep replaying the past.’ However, a revision of recent rhythms is not a cash in but another interesting journey for a selection of soaring songs.

It would be easy to thrive on a repertoire that includes not just the New Order CV but also the works of its predecessor, Joy Division. However, Bernard and the group want to look ahead as he goes on to state ‘In a studio you’re looking at life through a letterbox; you don’t know what’s turning your fans on, but we know from playing all those gigs that the dance side of New Order is very important to our fans’.

Music Complete can power it up or pop it out and Complete Music can use studio style to make for a record that could keep the club DJ in a lap of luxury ! Whatever direction is taken by this release there is a distinct declaration that advancing age is not a barrier to aural aplomb! Sumner and Morris have created quality craft since the arrival of Unknown Pleasures in 1979. As many musical peers from those yesteryears have either burnt out, faded away or simply feast upon nostalgia it is credit to these troubadours for striding forward as positive People on the high Line.

1. Restless (Extended Version)
2. Singularity (Extended Version)
3. Plastic (Extended Version)
4. Tutti Frutti (Extended Version)
5. People On The High Line (Extended Version)
6. Stray Dog (Extended Version)
7. Academic (Extended Version)
8. Nothing But A Fool (Extended Version 2)
9. Unlearn This Hatred (Extended Version)
10. The Game (Extended Version)
11. Superheated (Extended Version 2)