Coming Around Again Podcast: 'Substance' Is the Best New Order Compilation, But Is It Also the Best New Order Album?

New Order photographed in 1987.

Welcome back to the Coming Around Again podcast, part of the Pop Shop family, where host Andrew Unterberger and a variety of guests will be discussing notable anniversaries being celebrated in the music world.

This week, Andrew is joined by his ex-Stylus Magazine co-writer and brilliant Humanizing the Vacuum blogger Alfred Soto to discuss Substance, the classic singles compilation from '80s dance-rock paragons New Order. Though ostensibly a greatest hits set, Substance enjoys an outsized reputation within the New Order catalog, for not only collecting many of their best songs, but also cohering as an album and presenting a compelling case for their overall importance.

We discuss whether or not Substance should just be considered a New Order album -- and whether such distinctions even really matter so much in 2017 -- and talk about how the set demonstrated the band's underrated versatility, and overpowering brilliance as performers and songwriters. Finally, we share our surprise at how New Order has finally come to be revered by critics on the same level as Joy Division, their more dour, rock-based precursors.

Listen below, and be sure to check back every week to see which classic artists, albums and songs are Coming Around Again.


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