- The 2-LP set of SUBSTANCE, a collection of 12" remixes of New Order's most popular pre-1987 singles, is wholly contained on the first CD. The second CD features the B-sides of these 12" singles (most are unavailable anywhere else), none of which were included on the LP or cassette.
- New Order: Bernard Sumner (vocals, guitar); Gillian Gilbert (keyboards, synthesizer); Peter Hook (vocals, bass); Stephen Morris (drums, background vocals).
- Originally released as a 2-LP set.
- New Order always shone brightest as a singles band, and this stellar two-disc set collects most of the a- and b-sides from singles released between the band's inception and 1987. "Ceremony," a leftover from the band's past as Joy Division, opens the proceedings. It is followed by 150-odd minutes of material that, through the 1980s, set the standard for dance music. Classics like "Everything's Gone Green," "Perfect Kiss" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" appear next to alternate versions of the stunning "Temptation" and "Confusion." Also included is "True Faith," which, along with "1963," was recorded especially for this collection. Opening the second disc is another Joy Division leftover, "In a Lonely Place," a haunting epitaph for the former band.
- "Procession," "Mesh" and "Hurt," all great evocations of loss and healing, lead into "The Beach," an instrumental (and far superior) version of the dance classic "Blue Monday." "Murder" is New Order's creepiest moment, with its sampled "I hate them!" from the film "Caligula" and assorted samples of HAL, the computer from the film 2001, descending into insanity. SUBSTANCE is not only the sound of an evolving band, but the sound of an evolving musical style that has influenced countless other artists.
Spin (p.140) - "[They] sought bliss in clubland, preserving a deep-blue melancholy in the warm electro-disco amber."
Q (9/93, p.97) - 4 Stars - Excellent
Q (10/00, p.154) - Included in Q's "Best Best Of... Albums Of All Time" - "...Provides a more honest account of the band's first 6 years....Not a duff track among this dozen..."
Alternative Press (7/95, pp.115-116) - "...reiterated New Order's position between the rock and dance poles by stressing remixes of their singles..."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/01, p.86) - "...Surely one of the greatest band best-ofs of all time...Oh, the power!..."