New Order

Retro

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Yet another New Order compilation? Add Retro to the dizzying stack of New Order compilations and best-ofs. Actually, it was the second comp to come out in the last half of 2002 (International was released in October and contains nearly every song that is on Retro). With that said, Retro is probably the most expansive and interesting New Order compilation since 1987's Substance. Keeping an eye and ear on the amazing Joy Division set Heart and Soul, Rhino stepped in to publish this box as well (that alone will give Retro a bit more credibility). The packaging is more or less identical to Heart and Soul's four-CD orientation and comes complete with its own Peter Saville-directed artwork and 70-plus-page booklet. Unlike the Joy Division set, Retro makes no attempt to create a comprehensive or complete look at New Order's expansive catalog. Rather, it is set up as an ultimate mix tape that might be made for someone's cousin who knows nothing of this band. And like a mix tape, everyone's track list would be different and would probably carry on a different mood. This one is curated by four individual selectors, and each disc carries on with a major theme. The first disc, "POP," is compiled by U.K. journalist Miranda Sawyer and contains all the major New Order favorites: "Blue Monday," "Bizarre Love Triangle," "Confusion," and a few minor surprises such as "Brutal" (featured on the Beach soundtrack). John McCready, journalist and Hacienda DJ, put together a "FAN" disc that contains some moodier album cuts like "Your Silent Face" and "Sooner Than You Think." Mike Pickering (M People, Hacienda DJ), selects New Order's dance-friendly material on the "CLUB" disc. Finally, Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream) picks up some "LIVE" tracks -- which proves to nicely distill New Order's generally hit-or-miss concert performances. While Retro may not be a complete necessity ("Blue Monday" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" should never appear on another New Order disc), it does pull together into one spot enough rarities (nothing too impossible to find, though) and a rather entertaining track list for obsessives. For the uninitiated, Substance is probably still the best place to start. [A five-disc version was released on a strictly limited basis that held some harder-to-find tracks.]

blue highlight denotes track pick