Only a band as perverse as New Order would choose to release a new single and new alum on the same day – but that’s exactly what happened in May 1985 with The Perfect Kiss and Low-Life.

Having enjoyed chart success with each of Temptation, Blue Monday, Confusion and Thieves Like Us, there was perhaps a sense of supreme confidence that fans would buy both releases. It turned out to be a bit misplaced, perhaps as it was the first time the band had ever included a 45 on an LP, a move that got a bit of press criticism at the time.

The Perfect Kiss is one of their most defining and timeless moments and it certainly should have done a lot better than stick at #46 in the singles chart. It is part of a truly outstanding album, one which went to #7.

I’m going to be lazy today and lift from the Discogs site:-

New Order’s 9th single. Released 13 May 1985 as 7″ promo and 12″. It is the first New Order single to be included on a studio album at the same time. The song has some famous musical elements, e.g. frogs croaking and, at the end of the track, some bleating of (synthesized) sheeps.

Lasting nearly 9 minutes, the 12″ single version only appears on the vinyl and cassette editions of Substance, while the CD omit 44 seconds of the climatic finale. The full version was eventually released unedited on the 2-disc deluxe edition of Low-Life, marking its first appearance on CD.

The versions on the album Low-Life and all post-Substance compilations are 4:48 edit, omitting the third verse (the one that mentions the song’s title) and fading out before the climax. Most 7″s have on their A-side another version,  further edited down without the percussion introduction.

Jonathan Demme directed “The Perfect Kiss” video, set in the band’s rehearsal room. It shows the band playing the song live from beginning to end. The video got cat# Fac 321.

And so, to try and wrap up all of the above :-

mp3 : New Order – The Perfect Kiss (12″ version)

The two b-sides:-

mp3 : New Order – Kiss Of Death
mp3 : New Order – The Perfect Pit

mp3 : New Order – The Perfect Kiss (album version)
mp3 : New Order – The Perfect Kiss (7″ version)


5 thoughts on “THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 9)

  1. With the release of Low-life, New Order was entering the US market signed to Qwest/Warner Brothers (Quincy Jones’ vanity label) and musically entering what I like to call their “widescreen” period. Everything seemed to be getting bigger, beginning with The Perfect Kiss.
    This is not a bad thing, because New Order were up to the task. You can hear the confidence in the production, the performance, even Barney’s vocals.
    I know I really loved The Perfect Kiss because I seem to have the UK Silver embossed cover 12″, the US Qwest 12″, a US Qwest promo 12″, a Factory Benelux 7″ and a US Qwest 7″.
    I have to say of all the edits of The Perfect Kiss, it is the 10:55 “live in studio” version performed on the Demme video that I think is the best. There’s a rawness that replaces the production sheen of the proper 12″ I can’t get enough of. Years ago, a friend of mine gave me a pristine recording off the video copied from DAT to miniDisc. I cherish it.

  2. New Order’s run of extraordinary singles continues with a track that represents something of a hybrid between the rich seam of innovative dancefloor grooves they were and the synth pop classicism of their previous release, Thieves Like Us.

    Taken as a stand-alone track, The Perfect Kiss would be remarkable enough in its own right. That it joins on to the string of brilliant singles that precede it, makes it simply astonishing. Peerless.

  3. Echorich, ‘Widescreen’ is an apt expression because New Order had truly broken into the US market in a major way. Although, for me, it was at about this time I began to lose interest. The synthetic beats were no longer groundbreaking. They’d been co-opted by countless acts, were over-mixed with other biz by countless DJs in the clubs and, to a degree, were being bettered by other synth acts. Barney was never my idea of a frontman. His thin voice, singing anyone-could-have-written-these lyrics, had me seeking different music altogether. That’s probably blasphemy on these pages so I’ll leave it at that.

  4. I love this song. Echorich’s description of it as widescreen is perfect. I think Barney’s voice is partly what makes 80s NO so great- a singer who could actually sing would ruin some of these records. I’m with Alex, who has pretty much summed up my thoughts and feelings.

  5. Not at all my learned legal friend! Watch out for some less than favourable commentaries in a number of the future episodes….

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