I was very tempted to call an end to this series after World In Motion given that we are now onto the London era with the band signing to the label after the sad and bitter collapse of Factory.

It took nearly three years for the follow-up to the #1 hit to be released. By this time, the music scene in the UK and the US had gone through a number of major changes and there was a feeling that perhaps there was no longer a need for New Order. But doubts were banished when the first few notes of the comeback single were first heard:-

mp3 : New Order – Regret (7″ mix)

OK….it’s not exactly dance hall New Order, it’s not exactly electro New Order and it’s not exactly guitar-led New Order. But it is a rather lovely mid-tempo pop song in which the vocal comes through nice and clear over some polished and professional playing. There was no doubting that Stephen Hague‘s fingerprints were all over it as it sounded sublime coming out of a radio.

It was ‘new’ New Order, so to speak – one that seemed to promise much, albeit it was the sound of a band perhaps accepting their halcyon and wild days were over and it was time to settle down and make music for grown-ups and the baby boomers. They would no longer be a truly essential part of anyone’s aural landscape, but as long as there were enough songs of the distinction and quality of Regret, we’d have nothing much to worry about.

Except of course it didn’t happen that way.

Which is why this is the last 45 to be given a feature on its own, with all the b-sides brought together for your enjoyment. From here on in, the 45s will be lumped in on the basis of the albums they were lifted from.

Regret was released in 7″, 12″ and CD format. All of the b-sides were variations on the hit, which reached #4 in the UK, the last time the band enjoyed a Top 5 achievement:-

mp3 : New Order – Regret (New Order Mix)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Fire Island Mix)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Junior Dub Mix)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Sabres Slow ‘n’ Lo)
mp3 : New Order – Regret (Sabres Fast ‘n’ Throb)

Fire Island and Junior Dub are the work of Terry Farley and Pete Heller. Sabres are that man Weatherall again…and both come in at more than 12 minutes in length. Here was the band showing that they could, indeed, still be relevant to dance halls. But you’d be hard pushed to recognise either of them as being related much to the original.


13 thoughts on “THE NEW ORDER SINGLES (Part 20)

  1. Love regret. From there on in felt like they kept remaking the same record until the last lp which is a massive return to form. Crystal has been the only other highlight in terms of singles

  2. In this series I have raved about the early run of extraordinary inventive singles New Order released, damned a couple of what I saw as mid-steps with faint praise, and again raved about the later twin peaks of True Faith and Touched by the Hand of God.

    Technique was definitely less patchy than previous NO albums but to my ears the singles released from it were like slightly inferior re-treads of former glories.

    I liked the World Cup single. Good fun.

    I regret to say I really really hate Regret and it was at this point that me and NO parted ways, seemingly forever.

    From the cheesy opening riff to the terrible cheesy sing along chorus with truly terrible lyrics, this is a song I just wish I had never heard and wish my favourite band had never recorded, a bit like Aztec Camera and Somewhere in My Heart.

    To think the band that released this lump of cheese is the same band that brought us Ceremony, Temptation, Age of Consent and the rest….

  3. This was the record they pushed into my field of vision on. I first heard Regret when I was thinking ‘maybe there’s more than just Heavy Metal in the world of good music’. And there was

  4. Regret is great- but its the last time they were great as I think JC’s series will show. For the record, the Sabres Slo n Lo mix is a wonderful dub mix which I love. The Fast n Throb has a lovely steel band melody in it. Both worth the price of admission to these ears.

  5. I have to come in on the side of JC and SA here. After World In Motion, music became such a crowded place. I was juggling House Music with Shoegaze and Acid Jazz and still following those Post Punk Heroes of mine that managed to make it into the 90s. Because they were among those PP Heroes, a new song from New Order was something I knew I had to hear.
    Regret isn’t so many steps on from many of the songs on Technique, but it does have a more widescreen sound and a familiar percussion pace, reminiscent of True Faith.
    What I have never been able to get my head around is the New Order Mix of the song which manages to make the song a bit more bland.
    As for the other remixes – the Junior Dub is an average Italo-Piano house track that seems to have some relationship to Regret, but just. The Fire Island Mix lacks passion. If it had a bit more body, it might have been the best of all the versions, but instead it just makes a pleasant pop song a pleasant dance track.
    The Weatherall tracks are real curiosities. The Sabres Fast N Throb Mix is the sound of house music played on a carnival carousel and I think the bassline from Regret is in there somewhere. The Slow N Low Mix takes New Order on a Dub Reggae trip to nowhere.

  6. New Order was well into my rear-view mirror by this time, and it isn’t doing much for me as I listen to it today. Quite a few people I respect are showing love for it on this page, but I’m just not with you fellas on this one. Bland is the optimal word here.

  7. I echo Brian’s words. This one was so dishwater dull, that I stopped cold on New Order. As JC stated, “Here was the band showing that they could, indeed, still be relevant to dance halls. But you’d be hard pushed to recognise either of them as being related much to the original.” And therein lay a huge problem with so many bands I loved 90s remixed output. A descent into dance porn that was reductive and boring to me. Dance music was something I had enjoyed throughout the first half of the 80s. The dance trends got boring and super repetitive to me once it became strictly machines. Expansive 12″ mixes that added to what was already there were right out, it seemed. Of course, the killing blow with this single was that the original was also deadly dull to these ears, so New Order had entered into their “worst of both worlds” phase and this hastened their exit from my universe. Can’t say I’ve missed them.

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