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.