In the nick of time for the holiday season, iconic British synth-pop act New Order will next month release “Retro,” a four-disc survey of its career, to be followed in January by “International,” a single-disc collection of hits. The box is scheduled for a Dec. 17 release, while the hits set is due Jan. 28; both will be issued via Warner Bros.
Assembled as a museum tour through New Order’s history, each of the discs that make up “Retro” was “curated” by a different person. Journalists Miranda Sawyer and John McCready assembled the first two discs, respectively, while Manchester, England-based DJ Mike Pickering handled the third, and Primal Scream vocalist Bobby Gillespie brought together the fourth.
Discs one and two cull album tracks, singles, B-sides, and such. On the first, Sawyer relies on such hits as “Temptation,” “True Faith,” “Regret,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” and “Blue Monday.” McCready’s collection differs with its focus on deeper album cuts such as “Your Silent Face,” “Sooner Than You Think,” “Everyone Everywhere,” and the rare B-side “Cries and Whispers.”
Pickering’s disc three is mostly made up of remixes, and includes six tracks previously unissued in the U.S. Among the highlights are an extended instrumental mix of the Chemical Brothers-produced “Here To Stay” and a Lee Coombs remix of “Crystal.” Also featured are tracks remixed by Koma & Bones, Robert Racic, Sabres, John Robie, Steve “Silk” Hurley, Jam & Spoon, Shep Pettibone, and Arthur Baker.
To create the final disc, Gillespie sorted through hundreds of hours of live recordings to choose 14 tracks, none of which have been previously released anywhere in the world. His selections span New Order’s entire career, ranging from an early recording of “In a Lonely Place” from a Glastonbury Festival appearance in 1981 to a version of “Crystal” performed earlier this year during a stop on Australia’s Big Day Out festival tour. Live recordings of “Procession,” “Everything’s Gone Green,” “Age of Consent,” “This Time of Night,” “Turn My Way,” and “Temptation” are also included.
“International,” meanwhile, will assemble 14 New Order songs, including the original 12-inch version of “Blue Monday,” Pettibone’s mix of “Bizarre Love Triangle,” and such favorites as “True Faith,” “Regret,” “Crystal,” and “60 MPH.” A limited number of copies will also include an additional five-song second disc, the content of which was unknown at deadline.
Last year’s “Get Ready” ended an eight-year studio album silence for New Order (heralded a year earlier by “Brutal,” which appeared on the soundtrack to “The Beach”). The Warner Bros. set debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Electronic Albums chart and No. 41 on The Billboard 200. On Billboard’s Hot Dance Music charts, lead single “Crystal” topped the Club Play tally and reached No. 3 on the Maxi-Singles Sales roundup.