Friday, April 13, 2007

New Order - "Best and Marsh"

Don't ask me why, but I've always been a sucker for a slick piano riff over an electro dance beat. I really have no idea why. I guess that's why I always liked this track: the piano bit that comes in at 1:50 just gets me every time. I know it's a bit of a throwaway, but I dig it.

I have no idea how the work is divided within New Order, but I assume the whole band didn't contribute to this track. Based on its similarities to the b-side of Electronic's "Getting Away With It" single, which came out around the same time, I'd to guess this is Sumner alone in the studio, but I have no evidence to back that up. Bottom line: an unremarkable b-side so completely non-descript that the band, in their recent aggressive fits of repackaging, have felt no need to include it on any of their numerous compilations. At least that I can find. So what we've got here is a bona fide rarity.

I can remember buying the "Round & round" (yes, it's capitalised like that on the packaging) twelve-inch when it was new at the Tower Records (why is that site still up?) in Boston. It's a terrific single (with a subtly creepy/sexy video to match), from arguably the band's last great album. There were, of course, several different versions of the single, each with its own permutation of the same group of half-a-dozen remixes, plus "Best and Marsh". There were even different releases in Canada and the US. Anything to soak the die-hards, I suppose. Mine is the plain old American one. It's got "Best and Marsh" on it. And some remixes.

Buy it... on vinyl.

From my deck to you: New Order - "Best and Marsh"

[File removed 23 April 2007]


Christopher said...

You know I still have not come around to the merits of Technique and Republic apart from the later remixes - they were really polishing sneakers. "Round & round" was always my favorite from Technique - mostly because of that choice video - but like the rest of that record the album version is way too long, totally underdeveloped, just fucking around on Ibiza. The tightened up remix from '94 or whatever, when they did that round of what I'd call "perfect mixes" including "Bizarre Love Triangle," "World," "1963" and I think a couple of others, for the Best Of (excepting of course "True Faith" which has never been topped from the Hague original - check this article out

Anyway I don't remember you being so huge into NO at the time, I thought you were in that CVB/Monks of Doom phase? I definitely hated Technique when it came out, I thought it was faggy disco bullshit (we were what 13, 14?) and I think at that point I considered Galaxie 500's "Ceremony" on par with the original. Basically what I'm saying here is I had no taste. Eriksen had the 2LP Substance with the Rorschach that was a beautiful vinyl set.

Remember EAT? I have "Mr. & Mrs. Smack" somewhere upstairs.

Chris Ott said...

Sorry, my point was, Electronic's first album is fucking superb and "Get the Message" and the B-side, dude, "Free Will"? I had posted it on Shallow Rewards a while back, those are the best 89-91 string hits you'll find.

Bjorn Randolph said...

At the time I had just discovered 120M thanks to the magic of J—S—'s VCR and was into all things "college rock" (remember that genre name?). CVB were certainly my favourites of the bunch, but I liked pretty much anything they backed. As a result I own more than one Mighty Lemon Drops album. Take a moment to digest that revelation.
Interestingly enough, I got into New Order primarily through K—E—, who turned me on to the magic of Substance through the very 2LP set you mentioned. Technique was the new one at the time, so liking it was de rigeur [sp?].
By the way, I still think it's a terrific record, and I rate it, as I said, the last great NO record. Although I really like the one with the dude with the camera on the cover as well; I just count that one as a reunion album.

Christopher said...


Kristoffer said...

I remember that double LP well. I must still have it somewhere, probably tucked into a corner of my Mom's attic in Hingham, hopelessly warped from years of neglect and New England summer heat. If I can dig it up and get it to either of you guys, it's yours if you want it.

I have to admit my NO-foo is a little rusty. Both my Technique and Republic (which I remember liking at the time) CDs disappeared in college, so it's been a while for me. This might be heretical, but my favorite NO album, and the only one still in regular rotation for me, was Movement. It melded the essences both of NO and JD and wasn't nearly as uneven as say, Power, Corruption, and Lies or Unknown Pleasures, which both had some tracks that we transcendent, and others that were simply unlistenable.

What I do remember is that I always thought the album mix of Round and round (by far my favorite track on Technique, or Republic for that matter) was way too short, not too long, though I agree that it was underdeveloped. I'm not familiar with the '94 remix.

For what it's worth, here are two other more recent tracks whose album mixes I found too short: "Little Fluffy Clouds" by The Orb and "Wreath of Barbs" by Wumpscut, both of which have superior remixes.

I always found 120M hit or miss. For every NIN, Greater than One, or Mary's Danish there was a Specials or Soft Cell, though had I known about "Sex Dwarf" back then I might have a better opinion of SC. ("Tainted Love" is a piece of lame, commercial crap.)