Joy Division – Closer (1980)


“If Unknown Pleasures was Joy Division at their most obsessively, carefully focused, ten songs yet of a piece, Closer was the sprawl, the chaotic explosion that went every direction at once. Who knows what the next path would have been had Ian Curtis not chosen his end? But steer away from the rereading of his every lyric after that date; treat Closer as what everyone else thought it was at first — simply the next album — and Joy Division‘s power just seems to have grown. Martin Hannett was still producing, but seems to have taken as many chances as the band itself throughout — differing mixes, differing atmospheres, new twists and turns define the entirety of Closer, songs suddenly returned in chopped-up, crumpled form, ending on hiss and random notes. Opener ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ was arguably the most fractured thing the band had yet recorded, Bernard Sumner‘s teeth-grinding guitar and Stephen MorrisCan-on-speed drumming making for one heck of a strange start. Keyboards also took the fore more so than ever — the drowned pianos underpinning Curtis‘ shadowy moan on ‘The Eternal,’ the squirrelly lead synth on the energetic but scared-out-of-its-wits ‘Isolation,’ and above all else ‘Decades,’ the album ender of album enders. A long slow crawl down and out, Curtis‘ portrait of lost youth inevitably applied to himself soon after, its sepulchral string-synths are practically a requiem. Songs like ‘Heart and Soul’ and especially the jaw-dropping, wrenching ‘Twenty Four Hours,’ as perfect a demonstration of the tension/release or soft/loud approach as will ever be heard, simply intensify the experience. Joy Division were at the height of their powers on Closer, equaling and arguably bettering the astonishing Unknown Pleasures, that’s how accomplished the four members were. Rock, however defined, rarely seems and sounds so important, so vital, and so impossible to resist or ignore as here.  …”
allmusic
Guardian – My favourite album: Closer by Joy Division
W – Closer
YouTube: Closer (Full Album) 9 videos

Joy Division – The Peel Sessions (Full Album)


“Full sessions, I believed sourced from ‘The Complete BBC Recordings’ CD. Sourced from FLAC but converted to WAV to publish. 1st Peel Session – January 31, 1979 1. Exercise One 0:00 2. Insight 2:33 3. Transmission 6:29 4. She’s Lost Control 10:26 2nd Peel Session – November 26, 1979 5. Love Will Tear Us Apart 14:40 6. Colony 18:05 7. Twenty-Four Hours 22:12 8. The Sound of Music 26:23 Joy Division were really picking up steam by the beginning of 1979; all the key relationships between Tony Wilson, Martin Hannett, and The Factory had been made and ‘A Factory Sample’ was on its way to release. At the same time, John Peel was frequently playing the new 12″ version of ‘An Ideal for Living’ over the airwaves. He invited Joy Division into the studio for their first session. The songs are mostly live, with just a few overdubs (you can pick apart some, like the extra guitar riff at the end of ‘Transmission’ and the end of ‘The Sound of Music’). These sessions were extremely requested, popular, and bootlegged before their official release as two EP’s in 1986 and 1987. Even then, they’re still all over the place. For good reason. You’re not a true collector, let alone a true fan, until you’ve bought these sessions….”
YouTube: The Peel Sessions (Full Album)
W – The Peel Sessions (Joy Division)

Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division (1979)


“The music of Joy Division – an art-minded English postpunk band that initially struck reviewers as a tuneful version of PiL – sets forth an even more indelible vision of gloom. In fact, it’s a vision so steeped in deathly fixations that it proved fatal: on May 18th, 1980, the group’s lead singer and lyricist, Ian Curtis – a shy, reticent man who’d written some of the most powerfully authentic accounts of dissolution and despair since Lou Reed – hung himself at his home in Macclesfield, England, at the age of twenty-three. According to journalistic accounts, he’d been depressed over failed love. According to his songs, he’d looked upon the horror of mortal futility and understood the gravity of what he saw: ‘Heart and soul – one will burn.’ In the U.K., Curtis’ suicide conferred Joy Division with mythical status. The band’s second and last album, Closer (recorded just prior to Curtis’ death and released shortly afterward by Factory), became one of the fastest-selling independent-label LPs in British New Wave history. By year’s end, it had topped several critics’ and readers’ polls as best album. More significant, an entire legion of Joy Division emulators – most notably Section Twenty-Five, Crispy Ambulance, Mass, Sort Sol and the Names – has since cropped up around England, each professing the same icy passion for sepulchral rhythms, minor-mode melodies and mordant truths. …”
Rolling Stone
W – Unknown Pleasures
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Disorder (Live)
YouTube: Unknown Pleasures (Master-Tape, Full Album)

An Ideal for Living – Joy Division (EP 1978)


“‘Warsaw’ is the opening song by Joy Division on their An Ideal for Living EP. It was slated for release on the album that became Warsaw, which was originally scrapped by the band and not released until 1994. The song is available on a number of compilations, including Substance. The song appears to be a somewhat fantastical biography of Rudolf Hess, a Nazi and Hitler‘s Deputy Führer, who flew to Great Britain in 1941 in an attempt to negotiate a peace between Germany and the UK, supposedly because of his disillusionment with Nazi ideology. At a performance of the song ‘At a Later Date’ at the Electric Circus in Manchester, Guitarist Bernard Sumner shouts ‘You all forgot Rudolph Hess’ before the song begins. It starts with the mock-countoff ‘3 5 0 1 2 5 Go!’; ’31G-350125′ was Hess’s prisoner of war serial number when he was captured after flying to Eaglesham, Scotland during World War II. The first verse describes Hess’s involvement with Hitler in the Beer Hall Putsch and his infatuation with the Nazi Party. The second verse discusses his supposed disillusionment with it, and the last verse portrays his life in prison after being convicted at the Nuremberg Trials. The chorus is a simple repetition of ’31G’, the first three characters of his serial number. ’31’ signifies the European theatre of war and ‘G’ German, the nationality of the prisoner. …”
W – “Warsaw”
W – An Ideal for Living
40 Years of Joy Division’s “An Ideal For Living”
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: An Ideal For Living (EP)