17 December 1985
source: Hooky's rubbish bin (the "stash" tapes)
lineage: Master soundboard recording cassette
analogloyalist mastering August 2012
At long last I'm starting to fix up and free a stash of gigs - which first saw the light (heh) in 2004 on the long-defunct Sharing The Groove, but were essentially untouched beyond basic cleanup - that really show how brilliant New Order were in their prime in the mid-'80s.
The quick-and-dirty background: Whilst cleaning house, a set of master New Order soundboard tapes (various mid-80s live gigs, some rehearsals, and a DAT or two from the band's 1989 US tour) was found by Hooky under the floorboards at his studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England. At some point, these tapes ended up in Hooky's trash as he thought they were shite, apparently. After a drunken night at Casa de Hooky, a musician friend of the bearded bass player, who was in his employ for a duration in the early 90s, rescued the tapes from the rubbish bin. Ultimately the tapes ended up being auctioned to a well-known New Order internet site proprietor in Florida, a fellow who is not commonly known for sharing the wealth. In the interim, ATR (sometimes called Stash) obtained digital transfers of these tapes before they were shipped off to the Sunshine State. ATR then shared them amongst the New Order cognoscenti, and then in 2004 we fed them to the world via Sharing The Groove.
All these gigs had their various problems as-received from the source in between Hooky and us, the least of which were sector boundary errors (which means, if burned as-is to CD, there are audible "pops" in between tracks) and all off-pitch by varying degrees. Some were extremely muddy, and others were far too bright. None of them were just right, but my aim is to make them so.
(The New Order "stash" gigs that were on Sharing The Groove, and various other torrent sites and blogs from 2004 onward, are all from those original 2004 releases and have not been formally mastered since, until now.)
Previous "stash" tapes posted, 2012 masterings all:
7 July 1984 Barcelona
7 Dec 1985 Slough
13 Dec 1985 Orleans
Here's another one. There are two common circulating variants of this - that from our 2004 "stash" tape seed (muddy), and that taken from a circulating video of the gig (not very good for general listening). The version here is mastered from the 2004 source, and shines. It's night and day in terms of clarity and listenability. One minor issue with the stash source is that it's missing the last ten seconds of "The Village", which is where a C90 cassette would split. The 2004 seed patched the last ten seconds with the audio from the video; I've not done so here as it's just too clashing and impure (I've faded out instead).
"Let's Go" features a lovely bum note from Gillian when she falls on the keyboard at approx. 2:05. "Atmosphere" - while featuring wonky keyboards - sounds stellar. "Blue Monday" simply has to be heard to be believed, it's probably my favorite performance of this along with that from Orleans a few nights previous. Barney channels Jimi between "Subculture" and "Atmosphere", which I've tracked separately. Barney drops lyrics all night, most notably on "Blue Monday". All said, it's a lovely little gig that certainly I've neglected for far too long; now I don't have to!
01 Let's Go
02 Age Of Consent
03 Thieves Like Us
04 The Perfect Kiss
05 State Of The Nation
07 As It Is When It Was
08 The Village
10 All Along The Watchtower (snippet)
13 Blue Monday
FLACs here. Starting with this post, the linked track above is a full-length MP3 of the mastering presented, so you can sample before pulling down the FLACs.