CDV Review: New Order – True Faith

I quickly adopted all kinds of optical disc technology by the mid 80s. My first CD player was purchased in 1985, and two years later, I finally made the plunge into the specialist laserdisc format of home video, which I’d been considering for long years by that point. I already had  βeta format VCRs with hi-fi stereo so I was a videophile at this point in time. looking for the best home video experience. By 1987, I figured the laserdisc format wasn’t going anywhere any time soon, so I dove in and began collecting laserdiscs at a furious clip. I bought around a disc a week for several years. The format lasted another decade before the DVD eliminated it in about 18 months.

Laserdiscs were the first laser read optical media, so the format laid the groundwork for the technologies that followed in its wake, like CD-ROM, compact disc, and DVD. Laserdiscs sold primarily in the US and Japanese markets, which was handy, since both markets used the NTSC broadcast system, making the discs trans-Pacific compatible. If you know my tastes, you can imagine that obtaining music programs was my primary focus. While the US music laserdisc market was dominated by hideously mainstream music title, the Japanese market was wide open with amazing things that never even got releases on video tape in NTSC.

So all of those UK and German home videos by favorite bands got a NTSC release only in the highest quality video format of the time courtesy of our friends in Japan. This made me very happy and I would buy each copy of the Japanese catalog Laserdisc quarterly [at great cost] and wade through the thumbnail images of disc covers looking for things to buy. The catalog numbers were there for every disc in print in Japan each quarter with the cover being about three quarters of an inch square; usually in a green ink. Highlighter in hand, I would write down the catalog numbers and titles I was interested in and send them off in a letter to the dealer on the West Coast that I bought from. Several hundred dollars later, amazing video programs on laserdisc would be delivered to my door. That’s the way it worked for about a decade.

1986 brought with it a new format tailor made for my interests, the CDV, or CD-Video. The 5″ discs were fully compatible with CD players and featured up to 20 minutes of digital video, along with high-quality laserdisc video. By that year, laserdisc players gained digital stereo playback, with the 12″ discs gaining CD quality and all players released after that were fully compatible with CDs as well, so the hybrid format made a kind of sense. The uncompressed analog video [CDVs are incompatible with computer playback] was relegated to about half of the disc area, so only five minutes of video would fit on the golden colored discs. Just perfect for a music video and nothing else.

I bought many of these, but for some reason, there were many titles released in the UK and Europe, so the discs had PAL video on them which were incompatible with US/Japanese laserdisc players. In those cases, it was the audio tracks, rather than the video, that drove my purchase. One of these that remains a feather in my Record Cell’s cap is the New Order “True Faith” DVD that Factory released when that single was new.

Factory Records | UK | CDV | 1988 | Facdv 183

Factory Records | UK | CDV | 1988 | Facdv 183

New Order: True Faith UK CDV [1988]

  1. True Faith [Remix 12 Inch]
  2. Evil Dust
  3. True Faith [7 Inch]
  4. True Faith [Video]

What made this a no-brainer was that it was the only place to commercially obtain the Shep Pettibone “Morning Sun Remix” of the triumphant New Order single of the gods. Shep Pettibone and co-writer/producer Stephen Hague were definitely products of their mid-80s time. I have many of their productions in the Record Cell because they worked extensively with my favorite artists of the time, but I can’t get too enthusiastic about much of their oeuvre. I do have to say that everyone involved gave their all for this song, which make no bones about it, was a deliberate attempt to crack the American market. Never has the sound of selling out sounded so magnificent!  And it even became a US hit single, so high fives all around. Sure, sure. Point a gun at me and when asked “quick…what’s New Order’s best single,” and I’ll blurt out ‘Temptation!’ But this song is always my number two choice. It’s absolutely, unapologetically glorious.

Not only was the amazing remix of the A-side on this disc, but there was a remix of “Angel Dust” from “Brotherhood,” called “Evil Dust” here, that was only on this CDV. The audio program was rounded out by the 7″ edit of “True Faith” for a neat and tidy package. Who cares if the video wouldn’t play in the laserdisc player? I only had “True Faith” with the 6:00 12″ mix as on the “Substance” 2xCD set that was so valuable at the time. I snatched this puppy up without a second thought, though I can’t remember where exactly I bought it. Possibly from a catalog or at a record show. or was it Park Avenue Discs? Yeah, that seems familiar.

It remained until the DLX RMs of “Brotherhood” in the new millennium for “Evil Dust” to become more broadly available, but Quest Records, the band’s US label, did release a US promo of “True Faith” on CD5 that had the Pettibone remix, but I didn’t run across that until a year after I had already bought this disc, and even so, the cost of that item in the gray market was considerable. Since I had this, I passed.

– 30 –

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12 Responses to CDV Review: New Order – True Faith

  1. Echorich says:

    True Faith is one of New Order’s last essential tracks. Now I’m not a complete hater of the Technique and Republic era, but by this time they were following or reflecting rather than leading the way musically. True Faith restored my own faith in NO after the disappointment of Brotherhood. Let me qualify that disappointment by saying in the past decade I have come to hold the album in much higher regard than I did upon release. The thing is, Low-Life was such an amazing record, and remains so to this day for me, that anything they released was going to just occupy the dark corner of it’s shadow.
    I love the Shep Pettibone remix of True Faith…there’s a dub that adds a minute or so I think as well.
    I have only one laserdisc left in my collection, having unloaded the rest at both bargain and userous figures… That disc is Japan’s Oil On Canvas! It, when I still had a laserdisc player, was a sight to behold with all the gauze-y soft focus lighting effects and digital fidelity.
    Oh and as for the gun and the song – My answer would also be Temptation, but I would really be thinking Sub-culture. I wouldn’t want to risk the gun going off since I know I am in a very small minority when it comes to Sub-culture.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – I still have a fat stash of Japanese laserdiscs. The only ones I unloaded for a much needed cash injection over the years were David Sylvian’s 8″ Video Singles, Peter Gabriel’s CV and Pet Shop Boys Television. The Sylvian delivered the three figures I wanted… But at a cost. I regretted every moment of it.

      So you’re a “Sub-Culture” guy? Who knew! Well, diversity makes the world go ’round! The long break after “Technique” corresponded with the similar break I had made in the early 90s with: The Cure, PSB, DM, Erasure, so it was easy to lump New Order in with those bands and to just quit listening cold. I think I bought the US “Regret” CD5 used and was seriously non-plussed.

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  2. Taffy says:

    Love love True Faith. But gun to my head and I’ll say Temptation is the best NO song ever…mostly cuz it just IS, and partly cuz it takes me back to a most wonderful time in my life. Runner up could be True Faith, but I think I’d give Bizarre Love Triangle (Extended Dance remix, NOT the album version which starts cold) the nod.by a hair.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – I think BLT got a little played out for me. I can’t say that “True Faith” didn’t also, but I still roll over like a puppy for that song! It’s just magnificent. Yet it doesn’t touch my heart like “Temptation.”

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  3. Tim says:

    Big fan of Sub-Culture here, too. Wouldn’t call it #1 but it holds a respectable place in my NO esteem. I tend to agree with the first comment, a lot of Technique I can take or leave, I love it if I am in the right mood but it really dates itself. Republic is an EP fleshed out with a LOT of padding.

    I had the LD bug for a while, too. My brother owned a used record store in our home town for a while and I dumped a ton of stuff on him for credit which I used against Japanese laser disks. His importer was a total flake and of course this was all early 90’s so we’re talking faxes & phone calls as state of the art technology for a lot of people. I snagged a great deal of Japanese LD music crack at the time and over time have thinned out the LD herd significantly. All that is left today is a Bill Viola disk and a letterbox version of Peter Weir’s “Fearless” which I am going to take a crack at capturing on my PC this weekend. I think that the people who leave comments here are probably pretty contemporary of each other age wise but I will say that in the non-You Tube/band website/torrent days these laser disks were pretty much the only way that I was able to see a lot of the videos that I wanted to see.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – Now, I remember the big reason why I got off of the New Order bus following “Technique!” It was called “World In Motion!” That was buried so deep, I almost forgot it completely.

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      • Echorich says:

        Ugh, there is only one song I can think of that is more embarrassing than New Order’s World Cup song…and that it the Echo + The Bunnymen/Spice Girls/Lightning Seeds turn at it in 1998 – (How Does It Feel To Be) On Top Of The World…. I bury my head in my hands just thinking about it…

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  4. Tim says:

    Not “buried so deep” but repressed. PTSD can be a nasty, nasty thing indeed.

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  5. jsd says:

    I still have a giant stack of laserdiscs, no idea what to do with them. I think I even have the player still, no idea if it works. The crown jewel is my “Hair Of The Hound” Kate Bush LD. (All 4 Hounds of Love era videos on a 12″ japanese LD). Beautiful.

    As for New Order, I just adore True Faith. I even did a cover of it a while ago… have a listen:
    [audio src="https://www.dropbox.com/s/wqprvduw1sspuqu/truefaith.mp3" /]

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      jsd – I always wanted the “Hair Of The Hound” JPN LD, but never managed to snare a copy. Once “The Whole Story” became available I stopped looking. I need to dive into the LD stacks as I’m sure there’s lots of posts in that obscure tributary. Especially since many of the people who comment here seem to be old LD collectors as well! Save those lasers! We should make a project to rehabilitate titles that never made the jump to the now moribund DVD format. Thx for the NO cover. I’ll have to listen to it during a casual moment and report back with my findings.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      jsd – Thanx for posting the sweet “True Faith” cover! I finally got a “casual moment” to listen to it as I was cleaning out a flash drive and sorting files to where they needed to be. It was some nice ambient/electro with an ever-so-slight seasoning of glitch. A very different vibe, for certain. It’s got what we want from covers… usually.

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