Joy Division: Classic Or Dud?

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Inspired, of course, by Sundar's post about them on NYLPM.

So, answer the bloody question already: is Ian Curtis an overbearing tuneless twat head that needed to be drowned out by higher guitars, or are Joy Division perfection incarnate?

Myself, I can't help but agree with the NYLPM post's assesment that if you believe anything other than Joy Division are classic as is, then you are just plain Wrong.

Ally, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Hm, let's see, I have this _Heart and Soul_ box set for a *reason,* I think. I distinctly remember forcing a friend to drive me to my fave record store to pick up the one remaining copy, at that.

Gods. As most everyone else did, I'd bet, I came to them through New Order, but thankfully my timing was such that 1) _Substance_ (the JD one) had just come out around the time I got my first CD player and 2) I had learned about the JD/NO connection around that time as well through a quite good article on both of them in _Musician_ in 1988, of all places. So while Ian's voice and the early sound threw me a bit (I mean, you listen to _Brotherhood_ or the NO _Substance_ and then you hear "Warsaw" and it's like, "Huh?"), it didn't take long for me to be quietly enthralled. The rest followed naturally. I still am really * really* jealous of a friend who got to see them in the UK in 1979 on a visit. Lucky bastard.

"Transmission" in particular -- man. That song is a cold blue laser light of power, and I can't put it any other way, really.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Classic, silly.

, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Until recently, I would have called them classis solely on the strength of the cassette version of their _Substance_ tape. Having heard the _Heart And Soul_ box set, I'm glad I guessed correctly.

CLASSIC CLASSIC CLASSIC. In every imaginable sense of the word. (Although, I will argue that many of the songs are so brilliant in and of themselves that they can be interpreted in alomst any manner imaginable and still be fantastic.)

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I think we should change the question to "Joy Division: Is There Anyone Here Who Doesn't Like Them?". That should get things over and done with a bit quicker.

DG, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

GODDAMNIT, isn't there anyone here who hates Joy Division? I'm really irritated now. I wanted to see someone who hated them.

Wait, I think Tom thinks Joy Division are crap but for a handful of songs. Or maybe that's Fred. Or maybe I made this person up.

Ally, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Didn't Kris say he could never get into JD because of Ian Curtis' voice? He doesn't have a rock voice. But Joy Division were hardly rock, they were disco-rock, post-disco, post-rock, what have you. I have trouble understanding why anyone wouldn't wanna rock, but Joy Division help me to. I've never completely gotten into JD either, but in this case all that means is I haven't exhausted the music's worth yet.

Otis Wheeler, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Classic! "Unknown pleasures" is, along with Cure's "Pornography", my favourite "dark" album... They started morphing into something different after (they became more like New Order which were their next incarnation)

Simone, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Joy Division with Ian Curtis -- Tuneless crap. For "minimalist" tunes, there was maximal hand-wringing "kill me now" wanking. Since nobody took Curtis seriously, he just went ahead and killed himself. Joy Division without Ian Curtis -- New Order. Back when they had no vocals in their songs at least they couldn't be tuneless. Then they decided that people should "dance", this from the folks who thought Curtis' onstage seizures constituted good dance form. From DUD to DIE FUCKING DIE YOU FUCKING FUCKING DUD.

Tanya, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I disliked and/or ignored them at the time - probably because they sounded too dull and English but I've come to like them a little more these days. As per the many other posts above - Transmission is amazingly good.

philT, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Used to hate them. Too gloomy, the cult of Ian, etc. Recently I've become more forgiving, tried to view them in a other way than that 78- 80 depression, we wear black worldview (what a shame Michael Mann didn't use the orginals in 'Heat' instead of letting that arse Moby cover 'New Day Fades'.) And so I finally got 'Closer' and it is very good. I will never really love them, like so many of you do, but there's something in the music. And Transmission is indeed brilliant.

Omar, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Sure they were rock and so was Curtis' voice. I used to hate them 'cause of this obnoxious fan I knew who used to boast of how many times he had attempted suicide. But I was wrong. Classic.

Patrick, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, i hate them except for "atmosphere" which gets by largely on that. actually it's the combination of the lyrics and voice smacked against that serene, warm track, best part: "people like you think it's easy..."

but that's the only joy division track i need and i've listened to a lot. they mostly strike me as plodding and entirely uninteresting, largely due to curtis's monotone. i've never "connected" with them, so here's the question: is there anyone here who rates them classic and doesn't relate to the lyrics? or who gets by on them for purely musical reason, i.e. melody and backing music?

fred solinger, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Fred, me ;)

I'm normally a big one for lyrics but I think Ian Curtis' were pretty dire - all that Ballard-rip-off stuff and the existential pomp of it all. Salvaged a bit by his voice, which I do like a lot. I don't even think "Atmosphere" has good lyrics. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" has BRILLIANT lyrics which from an artistic p.o.v. is the saddest thing about his death - that it seems like a breakthrough in terms of writing humane but unflinching stuff about relationships. But lyrically, generally, dud.

But the music! Bloody hell - the drive and claustrophobia and dynamics and Martin Hannett's production....it's extraordinary. A lot of it is Hannett and I think it's a shame that AFAIK I'm the first person to mention him in this thread. But that band could motor - "Dead Souls", for example, where the lyrics are pretty much irrelevant next to the huge concrete smack of the music. No, for the music, classic.

Tom, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Fred. Me. I think Joy Division's lyrics are, by and large, awful. In fact, reading the lyrics years ago, I thought they were, by- and-large, just so average moaning that I never bothered to actually figure out when Ian Curtis was saying any of it. Their lyrics are what I'd describe NOW in my old age as "Radioheadesque", which, if you know me, is not a compliment. I cannot sing along with any Joy Division song besides New Dawn Fades and Love Will Tear Us Apart. ANY of them.

I love the sound. I love the feel. I love the way Ian Curtis sings. Simple as that. I don't understand how you can love Atmosphere for its atmosphere but dislike the rest of their songs, which have similar-if-not-better atmosphere.

Ally, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Damnit, Tom. GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

Ally, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'll second that Martin Hannett thought. Joy Division had a sound like no other due in no small part to MH. And those 'lectronic drums were sweet.

Steven James, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

"atmosphere," i find, is different from most of their other songs in that the arrangement is spacious and not constricting. and it's one of the few tunes of theirs that i'd call "beautiful" and the juxtaposition of the track and curtis, who adds a somber touch if you're paying attention to the lyrics or not, is striking. "the eternal" would be good if it weren't so long.

actually, it seems the qualities i admire in "atmosphere" share similarities with the qualities of the earlier cure tracks that i like, e.g. "all cats are grey," "faith," and "the same deep water as you." all have warm, heavy basslines and occasional shimmering keyboards and thudding drums, beautiful instrumentation clashing with the morosity of the lyrics and singer. make of that what you will!

fred solinger, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Ally & Tom...separated at birth?

Perhaps they were conjoined twins, and after the operation everyone involved decided it would be best if one of the little tots were shipped across the ocean, so everyone could get on with their lives and forget about the trauma of the birth. ;-)

Oh, and Joy Division? Classic. But Tanya has had the audacity to steal my Ian Curtis joke from Duel, so she had better watch her step in the future. If I see her, I will be forced to kick her ass and steal her boyfriend.

Nicole, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Count me in among those who prefer Joy Division's music to their words. Not the melodies, 'cause there aren't many, but the sound, feel and atmosphere. Though the words do match the lyrics pretty well - the way the obsessively repeated line "I put my trust in you" in "A Means To An End" matches the inexorability of the beat is a good example.

Patrick, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I've actually heard maybe three or four Joy Division songs in my entire life. Classic: the basslines. Dead: Ian Curtis.

E. B. Krayzay, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i made no mention of lyrics in my review for a reason, mainly that i still don't know most of the words to "glass" or "digital" aside from the obvious repeated phrases. (i'm actually not sure that there is more to those lyrics than a few repeated phrases.) if i made a personal cult around much of curtis's 'poetry' in my late teens, the most that can be said for that now, literary-wise, is that it led me onto gogol, dostoevsky, and the romantics. _closer_ is my least favourite of their releases now, in large part because the overblown cliche-ridden lyrics dominate the music (not even so much because the voice is prominent but also because of the lyrical style) more than on the others. i still have time for the lyrics to "isolation" and "colony" and most of their other lyrics, especially on _unknown pleasures_ and the other records as well as the one patrick mentioned, sound all right with the music. ian curtis could throw off a great line here and there and he had the voice to justify some of his apocalyptic pronouncements. i still don't know what "31G" is a reference to. all this to say, me too, now anyway.

kris: you might prefer the earlier joy division where curtis used a more expressive vocal style.

sundar subramanian, Friday, 6 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

haven't listened to it properly for some time - but is the MUSIC on closer gloomy: gentle and silky and whatever, but gloomy?

IC is gloomy: the band (by then) are anything but gloomy

this only applies to closer and maybe (from memory) "atmosphere" — and of course the jangly OMD-tribute "love will tear us apart", a hugely overrated release that would have been immeasurably improved if Dan Perry had supplied lyrics (cf sexual healing classic or dud)

to me, curtis and the others were growing apart anyway (they were outgrowing HIM — this being an unspoken element in the whatever surrounding his death)

when it first came out, Kumar, percussionist in the band I then played guitar in, who was JD-besotted, explained that it was a great title because it meant two things, depending on how you pronounced it:

closer soft s: i.e. the last LP they would make now Curtis was gone

closer hard s: i.e. closer to what the record they meant to make all along

mark s, Friday, 6 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I gotta say I love the words to "Novelty", especially if they're directed at Ian himself : "can't stand on your own in these times against all the odds/you'll just fall behind like all the other sods"

I saw this new vinyl record yesterday called Warsaw, which would seem to be all early JD recordings. Has anyone heard this ? Is it a for- fanatics-only kind of deal ? I like the early songs on Substance a lot.

Patrick, Friday, 6 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The 'Warsaw' recordings are an endlessly bootlegged series of early demos for RCA records. Some of them showed up on the box set. Nice but not essential -- if it's a cheap boot, go for it.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 6 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I bought a vinyl copy of Warsaw yesterday, actually. The sound quality is kinda lacking at times (some skips and pops from other vinyl versions they mastered this one from). It's different takes, anyway, than the Substance versions, so it's worth getting if you're worried about a repeat factor. It's also more electronic than I thought it would be, which has me wondering about how much is over- credited to Hannett with regards to their sound. Although, two separate versions of "Transmission" is a little excessive...

Vic Funk, Friday, 6 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

tom: hannett was an innovator who shaped the sound of jd records. but listening to the _preston 1980_ live album and to tapes of the 1980 eindhoven and amsterdam gigs one hears an intense powerful band. one different from the recorded sound in some ways but great all the same. more forceful and violent in some ways.

ned: i actually got into no via jd. as a rocker, i hated no growing up. i was introduced to jd by a fan of emo and post-rock. i'd been curious for a while because of all the awestruck rock criticism, which often made strange comparisons to the velvet underground, whom i liked. once i heard _closer_ i listened to nothing else for a week. after i got all the jd records i bought the first few no records.

sundar subramanian, Saturday, 7 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Found JD from NIN's cover of Dead Souls off The Crow sndtrk. Back-asswards, non?

Heard the live version of Transmission off Still where the instrumentation starts to fall off and all you hear is Curtis SCREAMING...

DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE TO THE RADIO.

Damn near gave me nightmares. Classic.

JM, Saturday, 7 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Joining this one late, I haven't much to add, except of course - CLASSIC! I have lived with JD's music for 20 years and it's still special. Side 2 of "Closer" still takes me to places no other music can. Hannett's genius was a major part of the story too.

I saw them live 4 times in 1979/80, and the Preston gig album kinda sums it up - you never knew if they were going to be either awful and beset with equipment problems or overwhelmingly great. Frequently they would veer from one extreme to the other, and it was always touch and go whether Ian would make it through the set. I still think this is how live music should be though - LIVE!

There will be more live album releases, but I hope not too many. I've heard rumours of cleaned-up radio broadcasts of the Paris and Amsterdam shows, which have been available as bootlegs for ages. I hope one or both is released, and then let's leave it at that.

Dr. C, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I've been playing Les Bains Douches on and off for a week now, and it's BRUTAL. The Unknown Pleasures material is incredible - Barney's guitar on "Shadowplay" and "Day of the Lords" sounds like an industrial chainsaw slicing a car in half. They're obviously still trying to feel their way through a couple of the Closer tracks so they don't pack the same punch, except for "Atrocity Exhibition". I've never thought much of AE in its album form, but this version really works, with Steve Morris's Jaki-L groove really pushing hard.

If anyone was wondering how good JD could be live, then get this and don't bother with the live half of 'Still'/'Preston'/disc 4 of 'Heart and Soul'.

Dr. C, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Just bought said live LP on your recommendation Dr.C, and it is indeed fucking brilliant !

Alasdair, Saturday, 26 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I see in some countries, Canada being one, they're printing pictures of lung tumours and rotting tongues on cigarette packets along with the usual warnings. Why don't they include a mini-CD with Ian Curtis' voice on it as well?

tarden, Saturday, 26 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I wish I could say I didn't like them , but I can't . Infact I just covered the enitre Closer album two week s ago and recorded it.

Mike Hanley, Saturday, 26 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

A few observations about Joy Division:

1)The mawkish, morbid 'Cult of Ian' that emerged following his suicide ('he died for you') was more than a Cobain-like outburst of fan mourning. It was openly encouraged by Factory eg the cover of 'Closer', the Anton Corbijn video for 'Atmosphere' (which even Rob Gretton found dubious), and 'Anthony' Wilson's attempts to position Curits alongside the likes of Hendrix and Jones in the pantheon of dead rock geniuses. All highly questionable ("the flogging of a corpse" Paul Morley).

2) The band flirted with neo-fascism, in style if not substance; 'you all forget Rudolf Hess', the choice of name (and then New Order). Curtis, a complex figure, was very right-wing and, according to his widow, possibly racist. In that light the despair of his lyrics, and longing for 'purity' can emerge in a very different, and sometimes sinister light.

3)They were sonic visionaries however. Sumner listened to Chic, Curtis Kraftwerk and Krautrock. Hooks low-bass rumblings allied to Morris's astonishing drumming created a sound that will endure. They shone like diamonds. As a 16 year old I heard 'Love will tear us apart' on the radio and within weeks had left for Manchester by train with my savings to buy as many Joy Division records I could find/afford. They were a life-changing force and I will always revere them.

Stevo, Sunday, 27 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

They sell Joy Division outside of Manchester, you know.

Ally, Tuesday, 29 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

LOL. I lived near Manchester, and there were little or no Joy Division records in my home town.

Stevo, Wednesday, 30 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Thats bullshit, Joy Division aren't fascist. You jump to conclusions.

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 30 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

It's true that Factory's distribution was terrible - it's well known that Joy Div and possibly others would have got higher chart placings if only Factory could have got records in the shops.

Mike - sadly, Stevo is correct - it's not possible to ignore the fact that JD used fascist imagery. Look at the cover of the Ideal for Living EP, the content of No Love Lost, Leaders of Men, They Walked in Line...

Maybe you can USE fascist imagery without BEING a fascist. I'd say they were pretty thoughtless, young and stupid, that's all.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 30 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I agree that they used fascist IMAGERY. But for years they have been dealing with this PR nightmare; they are anti-fascism! They used the imagery to set the mood, not to promote opression. THe Rudolph Hess comment was explained by barney as being not a cry for Hess' freedom, but rather asking poeple to think about him, alon e in a cell for years. I meanm to call them fascist is to say black people are racist for callin g each other "nigga".

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 30 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

For a more detailed explanation ...

This thread pop up on Usenet every now and then, and to give you the answer first: NO!!! This thread, however, did not start on Usenet or Internet. It started in the british music press more than 15 years ago, and since Joy Division gave very few interviews the rumours were allowed to grow in the press. Here's a few points to clear up things: > The version of "At a later date" that appear on the "Short Circuit" compilation opens with Bernard shouting "You all forgot Rudolf Hess!". At that time Rudolf Hess, 83 years old, had been imprisoned at the Spandau prison in East Berlin for more than 30 years. You don't have to be a nazi to feel sympathy for a sick old man that was heavily guarded by some 100 KGB soldiers. > According to Fernando Lopez-de-Victoria: Bernard (and perhaps Ian in some obscure interview) has noted that they like the regalia and art (?) of the Nazi's, but in no way liked their philosophy. This can be seen in some of their artwork, for example: > Bernard made the design for "An Ideal For Living", it included a drawing of a Hitler-jugend-look-alike drummer boy. But on the same fold-out sleeve there's a famous picture from the Warsaw ghetto during 2WW: A young Jewish boy standing with his hands up in the air being guarded by a nazi storm-trooper. Now, is that good nazi propaganda ? > The name Joy Division was associated with nazism, journalists didn't like it (the same thing happened with New Order). As you can read somewhere else in this FAQ "Joy Division" really has a connection to nazism: It was chosen from a book that describes the horrors in a nazi camp during 2WW, not the prosperous future... "Through the wire-screen the eyes, of those standing outside, looked in at her, as into the cage of some rare creature in a zoo. In the hand of one of the assistants she saw the same instrument which they had, that morning, inserted deep into her body. She shuddered instinctively. No life at all in the House of Dolls. No love lost."

This verse from Cetinsky's "The House Of Dolls" was included on the version of "No love lost" from recording session (2).

The weird thing is that many other punk-bands used much more direct nazi symbolism in their relation with the press, and still got away with it!! Though the press never got to interview Joy Division about this topic they could have checked Joy Division's lyrics. If they had they wouldn't have found a shred of nazi propaganda, on the contrary! Take for example "They walked in line": "All dressed in uniforms so fine, they drank and killed to pass the time. Wearing the shame of all their crimes, with measured steps, they walked in line

They carried pictures of their wives and number tags to prove their lives, and made it through the whole machine with dirty hearts and hands washed clean."

And, to really tear down the nazi rumour: Joy Division have participated in a Rock Against Racism benefit concert (at Kelly's in Manchester 12 October 1978) and an Amnesty International benefit concert (at Eric's in Liverpool 3 May 1979). To summarize: I can't find any evidence that JD has shown any sympathy with fascism/nazism, only the contrary. ++++++

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 30 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

BTW that is from an wepage here http://www.fys.uio.no/~bor/diskog/ascii/joy.division

so as not to plagarise.

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 30 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Dr. C -- "Maybe you can USE fascist imagery without BEING a fascist."

Sure you can.

JM, Wednesday, 30 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I wonder how this debate compares with reactions to Laibach's use of militaristic/authoritarian imagery and sounds? Was it just a giant piss-take on Yugoslavia's relationship to its WW2 past and related taboos, or was there something else going on?

Stevo, Friday, 1 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

"The version of "At a later date" that appear on the "Short Circuit" compilation opens with Bernard shouting "You all forgot Rudolf Hess!". At that time Rudolf Hess, 83 years old, had been imprisoned at the Spandau prison in East Berlin for more than 30 years. You don't have to be a nazi to feel sympathy for a sick old man that was heavily guarded by some 100 KGB soldiers."

i always found this argument dubious. given the number of oppressed political prisoners in the world, why feel special sympathy for a nazi? ic might have made the statement to mean "you all forgot what rudolf hess did as a nazi" or something though.

sundar subramanian, Saturday, 2 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
I'm really getting into listening to Les Bains Douches right now. 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' is brilliant on it - the mad, spiraling synths, the clanging percussion, and, of course, the urgent, off-the-cuff feel of the guitar playing. I like how Ian Curtis sings it fast. The intro on 'Transmission' is also fantastic.

The funny thing about the liner notes is that the kids next door have formed a ska punk band. They sound awful, but I think they're using a riff from a JD song in one of their songs.

youn, Friday, 29 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...
I can't believe you're asking such a question. Had Ian lived, JD would have become one of the most celebrated indie acts around (like New Order) and in a way, did become that years later. You don't have to be a goth or a whining moron to relate with Curtis' lyrics. Ian wrote about the problems we all face and the troubles we have in our lives. I am deeply insulted by the fact that 'twat-head' was used in the same breath as IC's name!!!

Tom Sanderson, Wednesday, 26 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one of the most celebrated indie acts around

Damning with faint praise here, I think.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
Last night I was listening to Permanent, not a very adequate collection, but the only Joy Division I have on CD. I wanted to say something but I'm not sure what exactly. I would not want to argue with anyone who couldn't enjoy this music because of Ian Curtis's singing. Possibly it would be hard for me to get past it now if I were hearing this music for the first time. But I still find some of these songs to be very powerful. The overall sound of the band is remarkable, though I'll be damned if I can put my finger on what it is in there sound that I like so much (and that sets them apart from other, somewhat similar-sounding, post-punk). I think I am personally mostly finished with this music. I listened to it very frequently, maybe excessively, for two or three years, and the experience of listening to it now is almost as much about remembering listening to it as it is about the sounds presently coming out of my speakers. I've been in such gloomy psychological places at times, and I just don't feel much attraction to the unrelenting gloom of many of these tracks. Some great music, though overly narrow emotionally. Still, when all the weighing out of strengths and weaknesses is finished, there's something there that I can't deny.

I am attached to the idea of Unknown Pleasures and Closer being albums, so the thought of having their tracks simply included on a set like Hear & Soul doesn't quite do it for me.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 6 May 2003 14:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The thing that's good about Heart & Soul is that it keeps the track listing of the albums intact.

Aaron W (Aaron W), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 14:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Does it? I like that idea. I didn't feel like actually checking the box set track listing against the two albums.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 6 May 2003 14:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah we talk about her on the Disques du Crepuscule thread

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 5 July 2014 08:27 (four years ago) Permalink

Good old Hooky, still claiming the JD legacy for himself.

goth colouring book (anagram), Saturday, 5 July 2014 11:25 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

So, 34 years ago I was listening to Closer the week after it was released. And it meant EVERYTHING.

And now...it almost means more.

Ian is dead. Annik is dead. But the songs.. oh God, those songs. As much as I loved the band at the time, I never realised how much those words and those melodies coud mean, even 34 years later.

I really am too old for this to matter, but it does. "Here are the young men, a weight's on their shoulders.." and now they aren't young but the weight is still there.

We have carried the weight because of this music; these words. They really are that important and that magical. They aren't a band; they are a mystique that manages to transcend everything, even their future (and their future was magnificent).

So thanks Bernard, Peter, Stephen, Ian and Martin ( and Debbie and Annik because you, too, were part of this mythology). Thanks for every note, every idea, every tear, every laugh. You have helped to get me here, still alive and more rounded because of the music you created.

Guilty_Boksen, Friday, 25 July 2014 22:27 (four years ago) Permalink

I feel ya, man. When you live with albums, songs and people your whole life (practically), through the highest highs and lowest lows, the music, the myths and the people behind it mean more and more. Don't forget Tony Wilson, Peter Saville and Rob Gretton. All essential to the story of Joy Division.

brotherlovesdub, Friday, 25 July 2014 23:17 (four years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Dunno if this has been mentioned on the rolling BBC4 thread, but tonight there is a documentary this evening on JD.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0543ytw

Looking forward to seeing Paul Morley's big squashy face.

MaresNest, Friday, 27 February 2015 18:50 (three years ago) Permalink

*tonight/this evening* jeez, forgive my aprés work brain

MaresNest, Friday, 27 February 2015 18:51 (three years ago) Permalink

Les Brains Douche </supernerdyjoydivbootlegjoke>

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Friday, 27 February 2015 19:04 (three years ago) Permalink

That's the movie that was out a few years ago.

dan selzer, Friday, 27 February 2015 19:04 (three years ago) Permalink

xpost

dan selzer, Friday, 27 February 2015 19:04 (three years ago) Permalink

great documentary, chiefly for the archive footage of the band and around Manchester at the time, but I got really irate at that bloke who described Ian as 'bipolar'.

Dr X O'Skeleton, Saturday, 28 February 2015 20:08 (three years ago) Permalink

Watched a few bits, there have been a few JD docs: so curious how Deborah Curtis is a ghost in these...hated the conclusions of a regenerated Manchester whose nice plush housing is possibly unaffordable to most of the people that work there.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 28 February 2015 22:10 (three years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M4Itfodkac

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 07:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

I put my TRUST in you.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 07:17 (nine months ago) Permalink

Caring about betrayal is old-fashioned though because people are generally complete fucking shit in 2018.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 07:17 (nine months ago) Permalink

Sometimes people are upset about things and turn to music an alcohol and the internet, and that's okay. I'm not the kind of pussy who grew up with Safe Spaces. I'm a different kind of pussy.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 07:20 (nine months ago) Permalink

Last ILM artist poll...

(Until the next one opens)

the future is now, Thursday, 11 January 2018 06:28 (nine months ago) Permalink

Gave Unknown Pleasures a run for the first time in about five years last night, and I feel like it's kind of way better and infinitely more resonating than when I first heard it in my early twenties.

Just fantastic music.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Saturday, 13 January 2018 19:51 (nine months ago) Permalink

The way they released their music is a source of constant wonder to me. I knew Love Will Tear Us Apart and Atmosphere were non-album tracks but I never realized until recently that Dead Souls was also a non-album track, despite having listened to it dozens of times.

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah that was always curious to me. Transmission another one. Most of their famous songs aren’t on the proper albums.

circa1916, Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:30 (nine months ago) Permalink

Factory used to do that because it was considered a rip off to put already released songs on albums. That was pretty common with indie labels in the UK at least til the mid-80s. Sarah records were particularly militant about it

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:42 (nine months ago) Permalink

Kind of a rip off for the consumer though? Having to buy multiple singles instead of throwing down on a full LP that includes two singles or whatever + more songs. IDK, didn’t grow up in the singles era.

circa1916, Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

The thinking was that fans would buy everything anyway, so it was actually giving them better value for money by putting out songs as singles that didn't later reappear on the related album.

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:53 (nine months ago) Permalink

Right. Yeah, I guess it depends on avid fan v. casual.

circa1916, Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:57 (nine months ago) Permalink

The casual fan might well just buy the odd single and not the album so they'd be happy with the arrangement. Meanwhile, yeah, the serious fans would buy everything so it was a good deal for them to have no overlap of tracks. But of course it wasn't quite that neat and I'm sure plenty of people did prefer having singles on albums. You sometimes had them added as bonus tracks on the cassette, where there was more room.

Alba, Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:59 (nine months ago) Permalink

And if you could wait then singles would often be collected on something like Hatful of Hollow, which was sold for budget price at first I think.

Alba, Saturday, 13 January 2018 22:01 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah, was gonna say, all evens out in the end with the singles comps.

circa1916, Saturday, 13 January 2018 22:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

I used to think of them as a singles band because like a lot of americans of my age, my introduction to Joy Division was Substance, which was released with some fanfair and easier to find than the actual albums.

dan selzer, Saturday, 13 January 2018 23:34 (nine months ago) Permalink

tbh I still only own Substance.

oh wait I do have Still.

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 13 January 2018 23:50 (nine months ago) Permalink

substance I think was released by a major label. my first introduction to joy division when I was like, 14 or 15, courtesy of a review in rolling stone of all fucking places

akm, Sunday, 14 January 2018 00:56 (nine months ago) Permalink

Qwest, which was Quincy Jones imprint on Warner Brothers. He signed New Order and got Joy Division.

dan selzer, Sunday, 14 January 2018 01:04 (nine months ago) Permalink

The whole thing with standalone singles that didn't appear on the albums was a bit of a hangover from the '60s where it was mostly standard practice, at least in the UK. Plenty of bands in the '70s did this too, and it wasn't just indie labels doing it.

Full of bile and Blue Nile denial (Turrican), Sunday, 14 January 2018 01:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

My introduction to JD was through The Crow graphic novel (lol) my older brother had when we were kids. Full on song lyrics printed between chapters or something. Book is way corny but it hit me hard at 12ish. Didn’t actually get to hear them until a few years later. Took me a while to make sense of it. Sprouting young industrial child in the late 90s. NIN and like WaxTrax stuff was the benchmark and JD wasn’t at all what I expected. Was a small world for me at the time.

circa1916, Sunday, 14 January 2018 01:50 (nine months ago) Permalink

heh I don't like much else on it but I actually bought The Crow soundtrack specifically for the Dead Souls cover. (I already had the JAMC song).

Colonel Poo, Sunday, 14 January 2018 01:52 (nine months ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, I promptly bought that. I guess that NIN cover of Dead Souls was really the first JD related thing I heard.

circa1916, Sunday, 14 January 2018 01:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

It was the first time I heard that song, by anybody! I were but a slip of a lad

Colonel Poo, Sunday, 14 January 2018 02:08 (nine months ago) Permalink

it had never actually occurred to me until just now, but the first thing I ever heard by Joy Division was the nine inch nails cover of dead souls.

that means that nine inch nails was my introduction to Joy Division, Aphex Twin and Coil (the 2 latter through their work on further down the spiral).

silverfish, Sunday, 14 January 2018 04:17 (nine months ago) Permalink

Oh man, same. NIN was definitely a stepping stone for me and others in my circle growing up.

circa1916, Sunday, 14 January 2018 05:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

In 1987 my older sister's friend left a dubbed-from-vinyl tape copy of Still in my sister's room (sister later told me she played it for approximately 2 minutes and was like "ugh, no") so I borrowed it for a few hours and dubbed myself a copy. Her friend found out I had done this and was livid, since I was a grubby Cure fan and not worthy of access to such a rarity. She wouldn't tell me what the song titles were! Months later she relented and showed me the vinyl when we were hanging out at her house after school. I remember being very impressed with how heavy it was. And writing down the track listing on a scrap of paper.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:23 (nine months ago) Permalink

my JD origin story is that in the midst of a period in high school where my favorite bands were dave matthews band and ben folds five, i somehow ran across a magazine that talked about how joy division were legendary and awesome. so before my shift at long john silvers i stopped by the cd store to pick up Closer (all of this feels like several lifetimes ago). i remember being taken aback by curtis' voice - i had never heard anything like that in music, to that point, and i didn't find it bad so much as just confusing. i made the mistake of consulting with my closest friend who was into music - a britpop guy who would drive an hour and a half to the hometown of Rush Limbaugh and buy imported copies of Q. i asked him if he thought joy division was good. he looked confused for a second, himself, then said that they were awful. i moved on to listening to manic street preachers and kind of forgot about JD til i picked them back up in college with more experienced ears and thought they were amazing. it turns out that the JD-hating britpop friend was a real, actual pathological liar, the only one i've ever met. there was an early 2000s band called The Cansecos, and one night he claimed that it was made up of baseball's Jose and Ozzie Canseco. he refused to back down on this claim. he also said that he helped to produce Oasis' Standing on the Shoulder [sic] of Giants, and refused to back down on that either. not in a funny way, but in a very frightening way, week after week, even after getting into real fights about the obvious lie and losing friends over it. anyway, given the initial look of befuddlement when i asked him about joy division, i'm pretty sure he had never heard a note by them and couldn't remember if Q were fans or not, either.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

lol those are amazing lies!

new noise, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

A bit like the dude I met that insisted that Nick Lowe was the bass player for Mott the Hoople. In a broad Yorkshire accent.

Mark G, Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:10 (nine months ago) Permalink

I don't think he was a liar as such, I think he was beamed down from an alternative universe.

Mark G, Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

My first exposure to Joy Division was Paul Young's cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart, I must confess that as an 11 year old I loved it.

nate woolls, Monday, 15 January 2018 10:15 (nine months ago) Permalink

i think the first time i consciously heard a joy div song was the cover of "love will tear us apart" by swans in the early nineties which i still find better than the original.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 15 January 2018 12:43 (nine months ago) Permalink

My first exposure to Joy Division was Paul Young's cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart, I must confess that as an 11 year old I loved it.

Same here (though I was 12) - I still have the 7"! This was 1984, next I bought Substance when it came out and only then came the albums proper.

willem, Monday, 15 January 2018 12:57 (nine months ago) Permalink

I can't recall when exactly I heard JD for the first time but I distinctly remember the afternoon where my 13 y.o. self discovered that two of his very favorite bands, JD and NO, were connected. I carefully looked at both of my 'Substance' CDs dumbstruck, mouth agape.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 15 January 2018 14:17 (nine months ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

I love them so much

Trϵϵship, Sunday, 23 September 2018 00:30 (four weeks ago) Permalink


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