First released in 1987, Substance
was a two disc collection of singles, B-Sides and well known tracks by New Order. The record is primarily a collection of 12" singles that were designed for play at dance clubs. As well as being New Order's first compilation, Substance
is also their most popular, well known, highly rated and arguably their most influential record.
Bernard Sumner - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Peter Hook - Bass, Keyboards, Electronic Drums
Stephen Morris - Drums, Keyboards
Gillian Gilbert - Keyboards
History has been kind to Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris. After the tragic suicide of Ian Curtis and the demise of the trio's first (and incredibly influential) band Joy Division, the three musicians changed their name to New Order and revolutionised music all over again. While Joy Division revolutionised what punk rock could be and were one of the most important groups of the post-punk era, New Order changed people's perceptions of what a rock band could be. Equal parts post-punk and dance music, New Order were and still are loved as both rock music and dance music. With their fusion of drum loops, synthesisers and electronic beeps and boops with acoustic drums, catchy bass riffs and shimmering guitars, New Order are widely considered to be one of the best bands that the UK have ever produced.
So where does Substance
fit into New Order's catalogue? For a band with such an overwhelming discography, Substance
provides a perfect starting point. Collecting all of the band's pre 1987 singles and most popular tracks, Substance
is a long yet worthwhile record. "Ceremony" (written while the band were still Joy Division) opens the album with a simple but incredibly memorable bass riff. All of the band's best songwriting moments are on here; "Temptation", "Blue Monday", "Bizarre Love Triangle" and "True Faith" are without a doubt some of the greatest pop songs ever recorded. Interestingly, the majority of the songs on Substance
are well over the standard 3 minute mark, most of them hitting 6 minutes and above. That said, it is very rare for the songs to drag on. Unlike a lot of electronic pop acts from the early 80s, New Order really haven't aged a bit. Sure, the songs definitely sound like they are from early to mid 80s, but this is never to their detriment.
Though the cd version of Substance
spans 24 tracks, it is quite an easy record to become familiar with. Though New Order have released countless compilations that span the band history, Substance
is inarguably the best introduction to the band and the best possible collection of the band's singles from the beginning to the middle of the 1980s. One of the greatest compilations ever made from one of the greatest bands of the 80s. A must own.]
Fusion of post-punk and dance music
Not a single bad song
The songs are quite varied, so listeners may not enjoy every track
Some listeners may not find much use for a lot of the second disc
Bizarre Love Triangle
FINAL RATING: 5/5