Joy Division has been in my near orbit for many many years.
If I’m honest, it was the Nine Inch Nails cover of “Dead Souls” on “The Crow Soundtrack” that led me to investigate who Joy Division was and what they were all about. When I discovered that the track was a cover, I had to hear the original.
Recently I bought the 40th Anniversary Edition of the “Unknown Pleasures” vinyl album and am as of this writing using the original album cover image as my sidebar on my site.
When I took that album down to the music room to put it away I was surprised by 2 things.
First, I already had a copy of the album. Of course I did. I don’t know how I didn’t remember saying to myself “I definitely need a copy of this” and ordering it, but I did. So now I have 2 copies, one black vinyl and one red vinyl. There are worse things I suppose.
Second, I had picked up almost 5 years ago on a trip to Nashville and a stop at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, a really random (considering the vast majority of material in the store) vinyl copy of “An Ideal For Living”. This was a Record Store Day version of their first release, an EP.
I thought it was just a single, only learning later that it was a full EP. I had no idea at the time the significance of this, just that it was the only name in the whole store that seemed to be rock and roll, and even that can be debated. I know it’s just a reissue, but I had forgotten I had this one too.
So, now that I have 2 of the only 3 releases that Joy Division had, don’t I need a copy of “Closer” their 3rd and final release? Answer: Yes, of course.
While all of this was swirling around, I came across a copy of this gem.
“Unknown Pleasures – Inside Joy Division” by Peter Hook
Peter Hook was the bass player for Joy Division. What incredible timing to stumble onto this at the used book store. I have not read more than a handful of “band” biographies, but I would love to know more about his band, so had to grab it.
I am only 2 chapters in but already have a new sense of the band. Will probably review it when I’m done reading it.
AND… I saw this!
If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. I got immediately got online and ordered “Closer”.
This album is a bit more polished in my opinion and the mixing seems a little more even, which makes Ian’s vocals even more agonizing and sad, but with such power. Is it possible to separate what happened to Curtis from the effect of the band on me? I don’t know frankly. It tinges everything with a sense of bittersweet and starkness that is hard to put aside. There are moments of true beauty here, drowning in sadness.
At any rate, I now have the entire collection of what the band released.
There are a lot of posthumously released live show releases and compilations to be had if you want to go down that rabbit hole.
There is plenty out there for a band that only had really 3 official releases.