A careful restoration of Joy Division/New Order’s years on Factory Records (and maybe a little before and after).
All tracks were taken from the best/earliest possible sources to avoid modern mastering techniques which crush the dynamics. Tracks sourced from vinyl have been carefully cleaned and EQ levels have been tweaked for consistency. The artwork was scanned at the highest possible resolution and the type was reset when possible using the original fonts.
All of these singles are out-of-print. Many of the tracks have never appeared on CD. This was a labor of love from a small, devoted circle of fans.
The post accompanying each single contains scrupulously detailed historical information about the release and recording of the songs on that single. For instance, we learn about the 1980 rerecording of “She’s Lost Control” (emphasis mine):
Perhaps only the late Tony Wilson knows why Factory asked the band, already at Strawberry Studios, Stockport in March 1980 to re-record Love Will Tear Us Apart, to also record a new version of their already-a-classic She’s Lost Control. The story goes that it was intended to launch the band in the US dance clubs, and while we’ll never know if it would have worked due to intervening events, it did give the world a new, fresh interpretation of the track. And the story also goes that Martin Hannett used this track to audition some new production techniques he’d been working on.
Two distinct variants (due either to perversity or poor master reel labeling, nobody knows for certain) eventually were issued. The original, what we are calling the 12” Version, is what was released August 1980 in the US and one month later in the UK as FACUS2. The alternate Full Mix - and it’s definitely a different mix, more in a moment - first appeared on UK copies of 1988’s Substance, while US copies retained the earlier 12” Version. The Full Mix also appeared on 1991’s Martin compilation, issued by Factory to memorialize the late Martin Hannett, which is where I sourced the version presented here. 1997’s Heart And Soul featured the Full MIx as well, though several other compilation or soundtrack records post-1997 featured the earlier version.
They are definitely different mixes: the 12” Version is more claustrophobic and dense than the Full Mix, it has a longer keyboard/synth part (essentially, it comes in earlier in the mix), and the entire track fades out prematurely. The Full Mix has a different mix of acoustic/electric guitars, as well as some of the underlying electronic sounds/effects.
It’s really quite astonishing to the hear the difference as I alternate between my Substance-ripped version of the full mix and this 12” remaster. Although I haven’t heard any of the 2007 album reissues, this recording is basically the best I have ever heard Joy Division sound.