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New Order

The Perfect Kiss (4:48)

"The Perfect Kiss" is a 1985 single by New Order. It was the first New Order song to be included on a studio album (Low-Life) at the same time as its release as a single. The vinyl version has Factory catalog number FAC 123 and the video has the opposite number, FAC 321.

The song has a complex arrangement which includes a number of instruments and methods not normally used by New Order. For example, a breakdown features frogs croaking melodically. The band reportedly included them because Morris loved the effect and was looking for any excuse to use it. At the end of a track, the faint bleating of a (synthesized) sheep can be heard. Sheep samples would reappear in later New Order singles "Fine Time" and "Ruined in a Day". Despite being a fan favorite, the song was not performed live between 1993 and 2006 due to the complexity of converting the programs from the E-mu Emulator to the new Roland synthesiser. However, it returned to the live set at a performance in Athens on June 3, 2006.

"The Perfect Kiss" reached only #46 in the UK charts, most likely due to a lack of marketing by Factory Records and the obscure Peter Saville sleeve: uniform grey with the word "perfect" embossed on the front side and "kiss The" on the back, like a wraparound band.

Lasting nearly 9 minutes, the full 12" single version of the song is longer than even "Blue Monday", New Order's 1983 dance epic. This version also appears on the vinyl edition of Substance, with the CD pressings deleting 44 seconds of the climatic finale, due to time limitations of the CD format in 1987 (future remasterings of Substance did not restore the missing 44 seconds, even though newer CDs would allow for it). The full version was eventually released unedited on the 2-disc deluxe edition of Low-Life, marking its first appearance on CD.

The version on the original Low-Life and all post-Substance compilations is a 4:48 edit that omits the third verse (the one that mentions the song's title) and fades out before the climax; this same version (in some cases without the percussion introduction) appears on most 7" issues from various countries. The UK 7" promo release on Factory Records is a rarely-heard edit which compresses most of the elements of the full 8:46 version into 3:27.

There is also a live studio recording which corresponds to the music video; it is available on the bonus disc included with some editions of Retro and on various promotional vinyl releases.

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