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Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in Wednesday Rock Blogging | 14 comments | Print Print

Joy Division

From wiki:

Joy Division was an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion).

Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences to develop a sound and style that pioneered the post-punk movement of the late 1970s. According to music critic Jon Savage, the band “were not punk but were directly inspired by its energy”.  Their self-released 1978 debut EP, An Ideal for Living, caught the attention of the Manchester television personality Tony Wilson. Joy Division’s debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was released in 1979 on Wilson’s independent record label, Factory Records, and drew critical acclaim from the British press.

Despite the band’s growing success, vocalist Ian Curtis was beset with depression and personal difficulties, including a dissolving marriage and his diagnosis of epilepsy. Curtis found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, and often had seizures during performances.

On the eve of the band’s first American tour in May 1980, Curtis committed suicide at age 23. Joy Division’s posthumously released second album, Closer (1980), and the single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” became the band’s highest charting releases. After the death of Curtis, the remaining members continued as New Order, achieving critical and commercial success.


  1. If you have never heard “Ceremony” by Joy Division/New Order (they both have a version), then you really have not heard any note ever played. It is awesome. other good New Order songs – Age of Consent, Atmosphere, Regret, Krafty, Bizarre Love Triangle. Great post Jim! Deep cuts!

  2. I recommend watching the Ian Curtis / Joy Division biopic “Control.” The actor is spot on and the film does a great job capturing late 70’s Manchester.

    Also, “24 Hour Party People” is a fun look at Tony Wilson, Factory Records, and the Hacienda.

  3. I had to do a double take and recheck which site I was on .. Thanks, Jim! I love this song!

  4. “24 Hour Party People” a classic fer sure.

  5. “Joy Division”


    Are you always languid in answering calls? Now I see why.

  6. Not sure what you mean by that.

    I like Hendrix too, but that doesn’t make me a heroin addict.

  7. Cool. Never did quite understand how New Order came out of it, and Bernie never could sing worth a darn anyway.

  8. now just surprise me one morning with some 80’s Prince & the Revolution and you can have my listing! 🙂 j/k (maybe not?)

  9. If you want to hear an “updated” version of Joy Division, check out Interpol – a great band from NYC. And if you like dark early-80s-inspired Manchester guitarchitecture… the Chameleons (also from Manchester) will buckle your knees.

  10. JtR, I never pegged you for a moody, GenX-er like myself. I always thought you were more of the classic rock/KLOS kind of guy. Anyway, good post!!

    I was fortunate enough to grow up within broadcast range of Live 105 in the Bay Area. Therefore, New Order got regular play time. That was back in the day when “alternative” actually meant something. I also remember the only time you could watch “alternative” videos was on MTV-120 minutes. That was good stuff!!

    There were no decent record stores in my part of suburbia so I had to go into the seedy parts of town if I wanted to pick up an alternative LP. I remember being stoked when I stumbled upon a rare import of Brotherhood. New Order was famous not only for their music but for their album covers. The album covers were almost always untitled and lacked any pictures of the band members. Except for Low-Life, of course.

    “Bernie never could sing worth a darn anyway.”

    Although it is hard to argue with you on that point, Sumner was a much better choice than Hook. They tried to carry on Joy Dovision through Hook but fortunately it didn’t succeed. Sumner did a fine job carrying on the tradition of Joy Division through stellar lyrics and better production.

  11. Excellent selection Jim.

  12. JtR, I like when you sometimes let us ‘catch you’ listening to a tune as you approach a listing.

    When you post a full music video we get a chance to share some of the music you enjoy; its a nice touch.

    BTW, my favorite “Post Punk” band is Gang of Four.

  13. I second “hyperpretension”. Great post Jim. As a child of the 80’s this brings back excellent memories of the music from that era. It may have often been a little depressing but it sounded great, was real, and made you look within. Another favorite was “The Style Council”.

    The Mod Father rocks and so do you JtR!

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