When New Order's Bernard Sumner joined the Smiths' Johnny Marr to form Electronic in 1989, some called it a dream collaboration. Marr's gifted guitar work made him a star musician on top of making the Smiths one of the greatest bands to emerge from post-punk. Sumner and his coolly boyish vocals stepped up to fill the shoes of his old friend, the late Ian Curtis, upon the end of Joy Division in 1980. New Order and the Smiths were two bands that matched one another in appeal and importance. Both groups also defined what would be known as alternative rock, so Marr and Sumner coming together just made sense. Get the Message: The Best of Electronic is a definitive look at how the super duo succeeded in making cohesive and appealing dance-rock and became one of the greatest alt-rock bands. All three albums -- 1991's self-titled masterpiece, 1996's Raise the Pressue, and their 1999 hidden treasure, Twisted Tenderness -- are represented throughout along with an assortment of outtakes and remixes. Their various collaborations, including their very memorable work done with the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant, cannot be forgotten, either. Their U.K. Top 20 hit "Getting Away with It," the fluid acoustic guitars of "Get the Message," and the previously unavailable single mix of "Disappointed," all of which feature Tennant on vocals, remain timeless standouts for Electronic. Other highlights include the sexy synth beats of "Imitation of Life" (B-side to "Forbidden City") and "All That I Need" (B-side to the Karl Bartos-penned hit from Raise the Pressure's "For You"). With Rhino's meticulous selection of tracks, Get the Message is definitely one of those collections tailored for both longtime fans who already own everything and for new fans seeking a great prelude.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson