New Order Reissues Plagued With Sound Problems

A label renowned for its elaborate reissues of vintage albums has annoyed British rock group New Order and its fans with a flawed package of the group's classics discs.

A label renowned for its elaborate reissues of vintage albums has annoyed British rock group New Order and its fans with a flawed package of the group's classics discs.

Rhino Records recently reissued "collector's editions" of New Order's first five albums, which all originally came out in the 1980s. Each one features a bonus disc, with 7- and 12-inch versions, instrumentals and remixes.

But alert fans quickly complained of about 300 errors, mostly relating to poor sound quality on the bonus discs. The pops and crackles on many of the tracks suggest they were transferred directly from commercially available vinyl recordings rather than from the original master tapes.

The discs were released in Britain last month, and music magazines there, such as Q and Mojo, did not mention any of the technical shortcomings in their rave reviews.

But Peter Hook, the bass player with the defunct group, said on his MySpace page that the reissue project was a "mess." He blamed the label for not sending out advance copies so that he and his former bandmates could do some quality control.

Despite the discontent, Rhino released the discs in the United States last Tuesday, and U.S. fans noticed the same problems. Rhino, an affiliate of Warner Bros. Records, plans to reissue the reissues, and will allow fans to exchange their dud CDs.

"Warner Bros. UK, Rhino and New Order regret that the initial pressings of the Collector Editions of 'Movement,' 'Power, Corruption & Lies,' 'Low-Life,' 'Brotherhood' and 'Technique' contain some minor audio problems on the bonus discs," a statement issued yesterday (Nov. 20) said.

"We are now in the process of correcting the problems, but it should be noted that due to the age and condition of some of the original source tapes, the sound quality may vary. A further statement will be issued once the corrected product is available. At that time, the procedure for exchanging CD's will be announced. Thank you for your patience while we resolve this situation."


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