New Order
Substance


5.0
classic

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
June 19th, 2006 | 60 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist


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.

New Order
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.]

Pros
Fusion of post-punk and dance music
Amazing songwriting
Not a single bad song

Cons
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

Recommended Songs
Ceremony
Temptation
Blue Monday
Bizarre Love Triangle

FINAL RATING: 5/5



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An essential electronic compilation....


Comments:Add a Comment 
mr_jackalope
June 19th 2006


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Absolutely essential, as these guys were definitely a singles band, even though their albums were great. "Temptation" is probably my favorite song ever.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 19th 2006


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same here. I listen to it so often and it just never wears off.

Zebra
Moderator
June 19th 2006


2647 Comments


I need to get this album. I've only heard the addicting singles so I'm compelled to pick this up soon. Congrats on the 100th, this was a good choice.

Hatshepsut
June 20th 2006


1997 Comments


Great review, especially #100 .

Interstate
June 20th 2006


23 Comments


Nice Review Bread, congrats on the 100th!

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2006


15743 Comments


Congratulations sir, very good. Didn't JD do a compilation two years before called Substance?

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 20th 2006


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I believe it was released a year after the New Order one. The Joy Division Substance is marginally better, I think.

Zorg
June 22nd 2007


65 Comments


"They're a singles band" - not entirely true considering how good Brotherhood is as an album. Otherwise, tell me about it. This Message Edited On 06.22.07

xNintendoCorex
July 26th 2009


1272 Comments


picked this up on vinyl for $8 at a record store the other day.
MINT!

STOP SHOUTING!
October 20th 2009


639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Some of the songs on here are so good (Ceremony, Temptation, Thieves Like Us, The Beach, 1963). This band are massively underrated.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 20th 2009


6002 Comments


love joy division but for some reason have never been interested in listening to new order :S

jagride
October 20th 2009


2379 Comments


joy division are most certainly not 'massively underrated'

STOP SHOUTING!
October 22nd 2009


639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

JD massively over, NO massively under.

Enotron
November 18th 2009


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

diggin the shit out of this

bloc
November 18th 2009


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

no one blames you ;)

Enotron
November 19th 2009


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

btw most accurate recs, when concerning the record.

STOP SHOUTING!
November 20th 2009


639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good recs, but this is totally different. There's a mad disco trancey thing going on here. But it's a good disco trancey thing.

Enotron
November 20th 2009


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i kind of understand the depeche mode comparison, and the joy division comparison for the songs that are less dancy in nature.

bloc
November 20th 2009


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i loooooove when they do disco trancey stuff; it works really well for them.

KingUbu
April 10th 2010


7 Comments


'Temptation' makes me want to jump up and down for a bit and then watch Trainspotting.



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