Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures (side B as side A)
Blasphemy? Think again. It’s not so much that the LP can’t start with the low-key “Disorder,” as much as the bleary “New Dawn Fades” cannot end side A (or occur in the middle of the song order on my iPod)! I know it’s so obvious to begin an LP with a “single” but, for me, “She’s Lost Control” is a crisp beginning, allowing a perfectly downward “arc” of song order following, and makes a strong LP even stronger. Yes, I’m aware of the “Outside/Inside” side titles, and that this LP technically has no “side A and B.” I mean…”Outside/Inside?” Huh? Of course “Inside” comes first! I was a sensitive kid! I was thirteen! What did I know? I wore glasses! Are Factory Records really surprised? Now it’s too late. An ideal for listening!
New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies (side B as side A)
This LP has to start with side B’s “Your Silent Face.” Go ahead and throw tomatoes. Again, I blame Peter Saville’s cryptic LP artwork for me not knowing which side was which during puberty. And the excellent “Your Silent Face” just sounded like the first song on the LP! Now it’s written in stone (in my mind). Yes, I know this puts “Leave Me Alone” as the closer to side A, and that song is low-impact enough (unintentionally?) that this works. Ditto on the official side A’s “Age of Consent,” it’s just not strong enough to begin the LP, and fits perfectly nestled mid-album. More tomatoes? Now, the trickier part of side A-as-side-B here is of course this makes the weird “586″ the LP-closer. Doesn’t work at all, right? Well…this is where iPods particularly come into play. With all the bonus singles and extra tracks tacked onto the remastered version(s), deciding what order to put them in (or have them there at all) is a whole other days-long, yes-it’s-worth-the-time dilemma… it’s like your favorite 80’s LPs in the 00’s have grown a whole new limb. Personally, I choose not to amputate, and have all those extra tracks on at the end here (dump those pesky instrumental versions! bleh!) Initial 90’s CD pressings of this LP included “Blue Monday” (don’t get me started on how this single and its instrumental ‘The Beach’ did not belong smack in the middle of the song order on 90’s CD pressings of Power, Corruption and Lies! No! ‘Blue Monday’ is its own separate entity and belongs nowhere on this LP! However…) because there are so many of these tracks at the end here, now, it works as an iPod version LP-closer cluster (particularly the weird single ‘Murder,’ which, unlike ‘Blue Monday,’ does sound like an album track on this LP), aaand… with side B as side A here, “586″ is the perfect segue into this mish-mash of singles and oddities appended here! Take that cryptic, award-winning, cerebral, 80’s design aesthetic!
Siouxsie & the Banshees - A Kiss in the Dreamhouse (side B as side A)
“Cascade” is one of their weaker “Spellbound” clones… so with things switched it’s a perfect opener to side B! This makes the odd, dramatic ballad “Melt!” (why was this a single?) the perfect LP opener right out of the gate! Yesss! Now, on the official LP song order, why oh why does the trippy “Circle” end side A? And the minimal, drumbeat-heavy “Slowdive” close the LP? It’s like there’s a song missing near at the end or something. A dud. So anticlimactic. Instead, flip them, and the whatever “Slowdive” easily segues the mid-LP point, and of course the anthem-y “Circle” is the perfect LP closer, what an ending! Only problem: this order puts the jazz-bop “Cocoon” as the 3rd song on the LP, (a tongue-in-cheek song that belongs more lingering around side B, which it officially does), but I can live with that. *smooch!*
They were my developmental years!