New Order – ‘The Perfect Kiss’ UK 7″ (Factory, FAC123, 1985)

Rounding out May’s posts is the standard UK 7″ issue of New Order’s first single release of 1985, ‘The Perfect Kiss’.

On first sight, and in comparison to many other New Order singles of the ’80s in particular, it looks quite uninspiring and bland, taking minimalism all the way by being packaged in a high gloss plain black card sleeve, with minimal silver print typography on plain black labels. In the grooves though we find two edits that are unique to only this 7″ single and which have never found their way on to any later CD releases.

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" front sleeve and label design.
^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ front sleeve and label design.

Side one features a 3’50” edit of ‘The Perfect Kiss’” unique to this 7″. Warners had a couple of attempts to get their ‘Singles’ compilation to actually feature the versions as used on the singles themselves instead of album versions. Took a while! – that compilation first appeared in 2005 – it was the version released in 2016 that finally fixed things. But it was the 4’23” edit of ‘The Perfect Kiss’ that was used on that remastered compilation, not the edit from this single. To be fair, as you’ll see further down the page, that 4’23” edit found on that compilation was the most commonly used edit on 7″ singles from other territories.

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" rear sleeve and label design.
^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ rear sleeve and label design.

Meanwhile, side two features ‘The Kiss of Death’, which turns out to be a different mix of the A side under a whole new name. This edit clocks in at around 3 minutes here, again unique. Some US copies on 12″ had an extra sticker added to the rear cover which described ‘The Kiss of Death’ with an additional subtitle of ‘Dub Version’ (and the short, extra track ‘Perfect Pit’ as ‘Dub Beats’).

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" label side 1.
^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ label side 1.

There was also promo-only UK 7″ issued as well and that featured different mixes, with the standard album mix of ‘The Perfect Kiss’ featured on side one (4′ 50″ approx.) and ‘The Kiss of Death’ at a longer 5’09” mix (though still a couple of minutes shorter than its equivalent version on the 12″, which spreads out to a duration of 7 minutes.

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" label side 2.
^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ label side 2.

Other territories also issued ‘The Perfect Kiss’ on 7″, some in differing picture sleeves modelled after the LP sleeves portraiture, such as the Belgian Factory Benelux editions. The US and Canadian 7″ issues had a plainer sleeve design. All of these issues had similar edits with ‘The Perfect Kiss’ at 4’23” duration and the 5’09” take of the B side, which varied in title – the Belgian singles titled the 5’09” take ‘The Perfect Dub’, while the US and Canadian singles titled it ‘The Perfect Kiss (Instrumental)’.

I have never come across a copy as yet, but there is an interesting US 12″ promo (Qwest, PRO-A-2342) that features the 4’23” edit that was used in most other 7″ releases on the A side while featuring a 5’18” ‘live version from the ‘Perfect Kiss’ video’ version of the track which, as the title suggests, is from the Jonathan Demme produced promo video for ‘The Perfect Kiss’. (A full length, much longer version of of this take would later be issued on the bonus disc that accompanied the first pressing run of the 2002 ‘Retro’ boxed set compilation.

One Reply to “New Order – ‘The Perfect Kiss’ UK 7″ (Factory, FAC123, 1985)”

  1. I love that you covered this is such loving detail. Your blog title says it all!

    I was once (maybe still am) an obsessive New Order collector, and The Perfect Kiss is my favorite song of theirs (and maybe just my favorite song, period). So, I have all of the versions you mentioned.

    The UK single with the very different, never-on-digital edits on both sides (very surprising when I first heard those!) is pretty interesting because it, rather than fading out as the other “short” versions do, instead seems to try to rush through as many little segments of the 12-inch as it can while still coming to a conclusion within a four-minute window, even rearranging bits.

    Whereas the LP and non-UK 7-inch version simply trim the intro, cut the third verse, and fade out during the meat of the song, without fundamentally altering its shape. I’m curious how many people heard that UK 7-inch version and were confused by how different it is from the other available versions.

    I’ve also got the UK promo single with the LP version on one side and the 5:09 “dub version” B-side found on the US/CA/Belgian 7-inch releases. One funny thing that you note is that *none* of these actually call it “The Kiss of Death,” though the promo version comes close (“Kiss of Death”). The promo edition doesn’t actually indicate that it’s a promo, and I used to have them reversed in my mind as to which was which. However, the label on the promo, while not generic, does seem to lack that Factory finesse. So, yeah, I’ve decided it’s the promo, and that’s what everyone else seems to think (though the discographies do have some errors). The actual release has an odd design too, though, with “2” on side B but no “1” on side A.

    I also just realized today that the non-UK 4:23 7-inch edit cuts more than just the opening percussion from the album version — it halves the length of the two instrumental bridges following the verses. Otherwise, it’s the same. I sort of wondered why they bothered — I mean, anything less than the full 8:46 version on the 12-inch is a bastardization of the song, so I wonder what compelled them to have two nearly (but not entirely) identical edits.

    The PRO-A-2342 12-inch is exactly as you describe — fun to have, but sort of inessential except for a completist’s desire (which I’ll cop to) to have the 5:18 edit of the video version. That version is interesting — it drops the *second*, rather than the third, verse, and otherwise removes bits and pieces, without rearranging anything, while still coming to a conclusion, rather than a fade-out. But, again, what’s appealing about a reduced version of a song?

    Thanks again for the writeup and the nice photography.

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