New Order: Touched By The Hand Of God UK CD5 
- Touched By The Hand of God [Twelve inch mix] – 7:04
- Confusion [Dub 1987] – 5:23
- Temptation [Original Mix] – 7:01
This was a single that seemed to come out of nowhere, but the A-side was massively beefed up from the track the New Order had recorded for the Salvation OST, where they sort of split duties with Cabaret Voltaire. I bought this in a store [probably Murmur Records] on its release. The extended A-side was a New Order A-side heavy on the beatbox, but with Arthur Baker mixing, you knew that it would be. The Peter Saville/Trevor Key sleeve was still completely abstract with no cover identification or typography, as was the style for New order releases of the period. So bold and iconic at the time, but Saville could probably not have foreseen a future where all indie rock stole his ideas indiscriminately. If I see a cover that looks like this now I am assured that it’s some exceptionally po’faced indie rock made by someone who was guaranteed to be absolutely miserable.
New Order for me peaked in ’82-’85, but they were far from down for the count in late 1987, when this single was released. I enjoyed Arthur Baker’s dalliances with the band, but preferred the original 12″ of “Confusion” where his patented electro/hip-hop sound was dominant. This track seemed to be a left over from the “Brotherhood” album for every inch of its length. If anything, it could almost be a close relative of “State Of The Nation,” though I actually prefer this song. In its favor, Bernard Sumner’s vocal and lyric was much more intimate and it charmed me in a way that the overbearing “State of the Nation” failed to. New Order records should ideally be intimate; even if they have an expansive sonic palette. To its discredit, 1987 was a shockingly late period to be indulging in the 8-Bit Orchestra Hit, since I had thought that Giorgio Moroder had hammered a thousand nails in its coffin on the Oakey/Moroder album of two years prior.
The second track was a no-one-asked-for-it dub mix of the vastly inferior “Confusion” re-recording made especially for the would-have-been-perfect-if-it-didn’t-have-re-recordings 12″ collection “Substance.” The dub mix here was even more perfunctory and abrupt; making it all sound like some more faceless dance act covering “Confusion” rather than a re-recording by the band who had originally recorded it. The full version of “Confusion ” had been released a few months earlier in the Summer of 1987 on “Substance,” and therein lay a tale of embitterment for me.
I had been excited to learn that all [or so I thought] of New Order’s 12″ mixes and B-sides were planned to be released on CD format that year as “Substance.” In a fit of naive optimism, I traded off many of my New Order 12″ singles since they would be replaced in my heart and listening with the “Substance” set. Imagine my dismay when the purchase was made; many weeks after ditching my beautiful 12″ singles of: “Temptation,” “Thieves Like Us,” and “Murder” in the mistaken believe that they would be accurately replicated on the 2xCD. I held onto “Confusion” since I knew that only two of the four tracks on it were making the digital leap. I soon discovered that the running order of the “Substance” set had inferior new versions of “Temptation” and “Confusion” replacing the versions that I knew from vinyl.
Ideally, I was all set to forgive the band for having the temerity to record and release on CD an inferior version of their finest song, “Temptation,” when I saw that this CD5 single had what was billed as “Temptation [Original Mix]” as the third track. Unfortunately for us, the version on this CD is the same version of the song on “Substance.” Grrrrrrr. To this day, it seems like the only place where the glorious original 8:54 version of “Temptation” made it to CD was in the sloppy2xCD DLX RM in 2009 of “Movement” and in the “Retro” 4xCD boxed set. Though there seems to be a promo disc of highlights from “Retro” that has the desired track. Maybe, I’ll have to secure a copy of that, because it bothers me terribly that this track has been missing for… [checks] 30 years from the Record Cell!!
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