Side by side: New Order – ‘Ceremony’ 2019 12” reissues and 1981 originals

Rounding off 2019, time to look back to earlier in the year and also 1981, with New Order’s ‘Ceremony’ re-issues and originals (at least the UK 12” ones anyway).

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue front sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue front sleeve design.

Accompanying the super deluxe box set re-issue of the ‘Movement’ album, the bands first four 12” single releases were re-pressed and issued afresh in March 2019 to support it. Let’s not get into the whole debate on whether this was a rather odd way of going about things, given that the super deluxe box set did not include any of the recordings from these 12” singles… Ho hum. And when I say the first four… well, two of these are versions of the one song, ‘Ceremony’, of course.

What can’t be argued however is that a good bit of effort went in to these re-issues and compared to many re-issues on vinyl that have appeared since the vinyl revival, the attention to detail on this occasion was high. (Which sure is a lot more than can be said for many a New Order re-issue on CD format, but let’s leave that for now…) Printing is crisp, card stock and inks high quality – a long way away from some of the very poor reproductions in many a vinyl reissue where a scanned copy of an original LP sleeve has quite clearly been the source, leading to fuzzy, dull and lifeless reproductions.

Rant over. So, with this post I have taken photos of my copies of this year’s re-issues alongside my original copies, so that with packaging and design and finishes can be compared. Mind you, in saying that, there are variations to be found aplenty of the original releases, which I’ll also make mention of.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue rear sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue rear sleeve design.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue rear sleeve design [detail].

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue rear sleeve design [detail].

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue label side A.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue label side A.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue label side B.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue label side B.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue inner sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue inner sleeve design.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue inner sleeve design [detail].

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue inner sleeve design [detail].

Straight off, let’s acknowledge that these are nicely done editions and make a fine purchase for anyone who may not already possess them, or are unwilling to cough up a good amount of money to obtain them in anywhere near mint condition. Because make no mistake, with ‘Ceremony’ in particular, getting your hands on nice condition originals at an agreeable price isn’t easy these days. There are some differences though, so don’t worry about mistaking your wonderful original copies for any of these new ones – no danger of that.

On the ‘first’ version, this has remained closest to the original, the tell tale differences being;

  • A new inner sleeve complete with the Factory Communications Limited logo (first seen on a New Order release on the inner sleeve of the 1981 original of the ‘Movement’ LP).
  • The additional Warner Music UK credit in the bottom right of the rear of the sleeve.
  • The updated Warner Music copyright credits around the rim of the labels.
  • The spine of the sleeve now has text added too (New Order, Ceremony, FAC33).

The mixes to be found on either side of this first 2019 12” are the originals too (i.e. those recorded September 1980 in America while the band were still a three piece – ‘Ceremony’ here is the more abrasive version, compared to the gentler intro version of the re-recorded, slightly shorter version that was done after Gillian Gilbert had joined, recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport. While the A side has always been easy enough to tell apart (and both its versions have been found on various different CD releases over the years), the same cannot be said for side B. When it comes to ‘In A Lonely Place’, it appears there are three versions released over the years:

  • the original full length version on side two of the first 12” release.
  • the shorter 7” – this is identical to the original 12” version but fades out by 4 mins 38 secs or so into the song.
  • an alternative mix of the full length version – this apparently first came out on side 2 of the second 12” version – this version is what has been included on all CD releases over the years, as far as I can tell.

As it turns out, the same mix of ‘In A Lonely Place’ has been used on both versions of the 2019 reissued 12” singles – the original mix.

On those two mixes of the full length ‘In A Lonely Place’ and telling them apart:

  • on the original mix, the ‘digital thunderclaps’ first arrive with a very noticeable series of  short, sharp thunderclaps at the 3’01” point and continue as longer rolls through to approx. 4’16”, then a lull, before reappearing from 5’07” onwards until 5’30” and then no more – the song ends with a fainter ‘noise’ outro fade-out.
  • on the alternative mix the thunderclaps arrive much earlier – first at 0’33, then 1’21”, 1’29”, 2’12”, 2’19”, 3’05 onwards through to 4’28”or so and then a lull until 5’31” and then it carries on right to the end until the ‘noise’ outro fade out which is a lot harsher on this version. Also, when it comes in at approx. 3’18” the bass guitar seems far more prominent in the mix to my ears?

As well as the physical 12” releases documented here, they have also been released digitally so at long last the original mix can be bought digitally. It has been cleaned up slightly – the original vinyl has a noticeable ‘drop in’ tape sound (for want of a better description) just before the drums start – that’s been snipped from the 2019 version.

I must say, I have always much preferred the original mix and found it frustrating that there has never been a CD release of it.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original front sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original front sleeve design.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original rear sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original rear sleeve design.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original label side A.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original label side A.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original label side B.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 1 original label side B.

When it comes to 2019’s Version 2, it has strayed farther from the original for whatever reason. As mentioned above, the A side is the second, later mix that features Gillian Gilbert, but the version of ‘In A Lonely Place’ is the original, not alternative mix.*

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue front sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue front sleeve design.

The tell tale differences as noted above for version 1 apply for the second version too (the new inner sleeve, the additional credits on the rear and the label rim text and the additional spine text), but noticeable are the changes;

  • the ‘box outline’ on the front cover no longer has a grey background – it’s edges are also much closer to edges of the sleeves itself.
  • the middle coloured ‘stripe’ is wider on the 2019 re-issue and a noticeably different shade of blue – less of a faint sky blue and with more of slight green tint in it.
  • the rear cover no longer has the ‘LEAGUE OF ARTISTS’ logo (something of a Peter Saville nom-de-plume from the mid-1981 period – check out the sleeves for Martha Ladly’s ‘Finlandia’ single and Ultravox’s ‘All Stood Still’ single –  both of these Saville designs credit ‘LEAGVE’ and additionally the ‘Dessin Controlee’ logo on the Ultravox one uses the same ‘urn’ motif as found here?).
New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue rear sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue rear sleeve design.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue rear sleeve design [detail].

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue rear sleeve design [detail].

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue inner sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue inner sleeve design.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue inner sleeve design [detail].

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue inner sleeve design [detail].

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue label side A.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue label side A.

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue label side B.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 2 re-issue label side B.

In researching this post, I came to realise that there are a lot more variations to the pressings than I had ever realised. Some years ago there was a wonderful online blog, ‘New Order/Joy Division: Recycle – The Factory Years’ where no small amount of effort by some clearly talented individuals led to the sharing of files remastered from the original vinyl, including sleeves too. It was very thorough and cane in handy for this post no end. (For example, it’s the only source digitally of the 7” edit of ‘In A Lonely Place’ I have found. I wish I had been more on the ball at the time to download the whole lot, since the site has long since disappeared from the ‘net. I swear that the best masters of the ‘Ceremony’ tracks are all from this source even now!

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original front sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original front sleeve design.

As well as the obvious source of the entry on Discogs.com, there is a detailed post on the Zydeco Fish blog that covers multiple variations available of the original releases, which include the later re-recorded versions shipped in original first issue green sleeves, different cuts of the second version that are noticeable by just looking at the vinyl. Plus the original versions come with two variations of green depending on the version you got. (‘British racing green’ versus ‘forest green’.) *One thing of note though, the page states that all the later, second version pressings include the second, ‘alternative’ mix of ‘In A Lonely Place’ – but that doesn’t match my original second version in the white/blue sleeve/labels – it has the original mix of that song.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original rear sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original rear sleeve design.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original rear sleeve design [detail].

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original rear sleeve design [detail].

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original inner bag manufacturing detail.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original inner bag manufacturing detail.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original label side A.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original label side A.

New Order - Ceremony - 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original label side B.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 1981 UK 12 inch version 2 original label side B.

Leave a Reply