New Order: Touched By The Hand Of God JPN CD-3 
- Touched By The Hand Of God 
- Touched By The Hand Of Dub 
I remember the late 80s introduction of 3″ CD singles vividly. The first one I saw in the stores was Frank Zappa’s “Peaches En Regalia” but not having the Frank Zappa gene meant that I had to wait some months before finally getting one of the things into my home. What’s not to love? A CD-3 looked as cute as a Chu-Bop® but it sounded a whole lot better! Probably tasted better, too. Before they were rolled out in retail, I actually remember having anticipatory dreams about finding some of my favorite artists singles back catalogue in record stores as CD-3s! Unfortunately, the day never came when one could actually buy Cab Volt’s “Just Fascination/The Crackdown” 12″ single on the tiny format.
In a perfect world, I would have a finite, but comfortable, amount of money and no job. One of my hobbies would be to burn CD-3s of every single by artists I collected with full, elaborate mini jewel cases sporting slick artwork. Then, all of the hundreds of singles I made would be compiled in thick, three-ring binders with plastic insert pages holding nine CD-3s per side. And the binders would have elaborate inserts touting the contents within. And I would spend hours poring over the beautiful objects in detail. Sigh.
So since most of the CD3s in my collection live off-rack in a mini milk crate of the sort that my 7″ singles live in, I have decided that I needed to pay more attention on them, since listening to music in a car [like 80% of my listening] precludes playing the physically incompatible discs. The first disc I’ll examine is a bit of a doozy.
By the time I purchased this single in Tampa’s Vinyl Fever, it was possible to drop $15 a pop on Japanese CD-3s which were among the most exclusive and desirable [not to mention expensive] music objects imaginable. One night I was shopping in Vinyl Fever before some concert that I can’t exactly remember. I didn’t see too many shows in Tampa, but my ticket cache is at home right now as I type these words at work on my lunch hour. So I have no way of checking.
I already had the UK CD-5 of “Touched By The Hand Of God” and it only had the 12″ version of the A-side on it, in addition to the then-m.i.a. original 12″ mix of “Temptation” and the 1987 dub mix of “Confusion.” When I found this puppy in the glass case at Vinyl Fever’s checkout I had to investigate further. To my delight, I saw that it replicated the UK 7″ of the title with the single mix of the A-side and a dub mix on the B-side that was not on the CD single that I already had. As far as I can see, “Touched By The Hand Of Dub” has only ever surfaced on CD in Japan; in its 7″ mix [4:12] on this disc and in its full 12″ monty [5:36] on the 5″ Japanese CD single of this title [Factory 15CY-5017].
The 3.375″ x 6.875″ disc came in what was called a snap-pack as shown at left. The waffle-shaped part of the plastic tray as seen at lower right would be flexed and broken off, allowing the paper cover to be folded up to be made into a neat 3.375″ square package with a plastic tray/spindle holding the disc safely inside. The inside of the cover usually had the lyrics printed on it.
Japanese CD-3s were all of this format and I bought them when I was lucky enough to come across examples of them by groups that I collected. Not may filtered down to the humid climes of Florida where I lived, and those that did, were pricey. I may have a dozen or so Japanese snap-packs. In 1988, buying any and all New Order singles was still very much a going concern. But by the 1990s, the band’s inertia, coupled with their tepid “Republic” album served to taper off my New Order music purchases.
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