Yet another gem in the John Peel arsenal of recordings. I would rank this very close with Joy Division's complete BBC sessions disc as far as sound quality and replay value.
The recording quality is excellent. The Peel sessions were something between the studio and a live show. Tracks were recorded in Peel's studios for broadcast later, giving them tape quality with live performance dynamics. This is the strength of these discs.
From the first few seconds of the cold, electronic thumping of Truth, the somber, blue cover art begins to make even more sense. I'm too young to remember this early incarnation of New Order, but today it appears like they were doing a pretty admirable job of regrouping after Ian Curtis' death spelled the end of Joy Division. On this release they're respectfully closing the door on that band with solemn vocals and cool musical trappings while dipping into the electronic beats and energy of what would characterize New Order's sound in the 80s.
The disc clocks in at under 40 minutes, and it's a real treat from end to end. Some of the songs are from the first New Order album proper, Movement. For Dreams Never End, the cooly catchy single, Peter Hook does the vocal duties. A couple of tracks are very rare, including a version of Turn the Heater On, a reggae tune(!) that the band manage to completely pull off. The version of 586 here is excellent as well, way different than the Power, Corruption, Lies version and the separate Video 586 disc.
This is also an excellent counterpoint to the other New Order BBC disc available that features excerpts from the 1987 tour which was plagued by technical difficulties and a drunken Bernie Sumner fudging the vocals. This Peel Sessions release has all of the quiet determination of young band and is highly recommended for new and old fans.