Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bettsaj, Mar 22, 2019.
great article in the Guardian
‘Ian Curtis wanted to make extreme music, no half measures’
Allmusic song review:
One of the many reasons Unknown Pleasures is the landmark album it is, "New Dawn Fades" was the most overt turn by Joy Division on that record towards an epic rock moment, drawing on everything from Black Sabbath's anti-anthems to Krautrock's clean, steady drive. A strange, looped instrumental moan heralds the rhythm section's appearance, Peter Hook's bass as sepulchral as could be asked for, Bernard Sumner's guitar sounding like it's trying to slowly scale an impossible height, trying to rise above where it was. Ian Curtis's vocals reflect on personal connection and its tangled collapse, of trying to escape a poisonous entropy in search of feeling -- the initial slight echo and almost half-whispered singing eventually turns into a near howl, the melodramatic becoming obsessively personal and strong, "hoping for something more." Sumner's concluding riff makes for a moment of light in this otherwise astonishingly dark, powerful composition
- Ned Raggett
Album highlight for me, without a doubt.
This the one that mostly anticipates Closer.
It’s back to Black Sabbath-land for Bernard, who unleashes a riff that would make Tony Iommi blush.
That’s not meant as an insult, btw. It’s part of JD’s powerful brew. That sense of dynamics was something Sab never deployed as effectively, however great they were. There aren’t many bands who understand dynamics as well as JD did.
The hopelessness of the lyrics are carried perfectly by the band’s performance, especially when Bern goes ecstatic at the end.
Absolutelt brilliant song, my second favorite on the album after Day Of The Lords. It was actually my favorite for a while many years ago but then a very close friend of mine (who was also a huge JD fan and loved this song) killed himself. From that day on I could never hear it in the same way as before. It had come to represent something too personal, too close to my own life experience. I still love the song though.
Please don't misunderstand me here. I'm not at all implying that the song (or JD's music in general) pushed my friend to commit suicide. Not at all. He was an amazing and talented guy but his personal problems ran very deep. It just got to a point where he couldn't deal with life anymore. Neither JD's nor anyone else's music had anything to do with it.
Some say that the idea of the 'tortured artist' is just a myth, just an excuse for certain people to hurt the ones they love by taking what appears to be the easy way out. I disagree completely. In fact the exit door from life taken by people like Ian and my friend is actually the very hardest way out.
Great article, thanks!
I like how all people involved don’t hide behind drama or worshipping behaviour. Very honest and human accounts. A band with members living for their (and enjoying making) music together, because it bonds them and Ian’s wife also seems very down-to-earth. That wedding pic is exactly how I want to picture Ian in my mind.
Just want to say that I hope my previous post did not bring anyone down.
Joy Division is my all time favorite band and Closer is my all time favorite album. I'm not one of those who blindly worship Ian Curtis as if he were the messiah. I accept him exactly as he was, a very troubled artist who wrote some of the most beautiful and emotional songs ever. Songs I cherish.
I want to be a part of this conversation and share my thoughts when I can. But if I do get a bit too personal here just let me know. Thanks!
That's fine... it's all good. Glad for your input...
And Ian curtis wasn't the messiah, he was s very naughty boy
it's rather brilliant how their music touches other people profoundly, in some cases. Only the best music does that kind of stuff
For me, the best word I can think of to describe them is Catharsis.
The strange thing is, a lot of the people who I know that I've played Joy Division to either love them or hate them... normally the reason they hate them is due to Ian's voice. A lot of people I know just can't get on with his voice, I find that it's his voice that brings these songs to life. Without Ian's baritone voice they wouldn't have had the impact I feel
Ian's voice resonates with me on a deeper level than any other singer I've ever heard. I have no idea why. I can't explain it. But that doesn't matter.
His voice plus the band's music equals something very special to me. Something astonishing. I'd like to say thank you to Ian for sharing his talent, for sharing his thoughts and feelings with us. How I wish I could.
He’s exactly the right frontman.
A bit of Bowie, a bit of Iggy, a bit of Jimbo, but above all building up on that to create his own thing.
Given his love for punk music and krautrock I would’ve LOVED to discuss music with him over some cold ones!
New Dawn Fades - Great song, among their best. Top 5 on this part of poll for me. Thanks for the live Paradiso post, brilliant.
@Devin S your post didn’t bring me down. Once you’ve lost somebody close to you, certain songs become very hard to listen to. I would imagine even more so where that person has taken their own life. Fortunately mental health is talked about more now than ever, if some of today’s initiatives & resources were available in 1980, who knows if Ian would have still been alive now. Sorry to hear about your good friend
She's Lost Control
"She's Lost Control" is a song by British post-punk band Joy Division. Released on their 1979 debut album, Unknown Pleasures, "She's Lost Control" was first performed live by the band in June 1978 and draws primary lyrical inspiration from a young woman experiencing a violent epileptic seizure.
Two separate recordings of the song have been released: the version appearing on the band's debut album, and an extended, more electronic version was released in 1980 as a 12" single. This 12" single version contains an additional verse not present on the initial version of the song, and was recorded in March 1980 at Strawberry Studios, Stockport, making this song one of the last studio recordings recorded by the band prior to the May 1980 suicide of their lead singer, Ian Curtis. On the US release of the 12" single, "She's Lost Control" appeared as the A-side (with "Atmosphere" as the B-side), as opposed the UK version, where the song appeared as the B-side to "Atmosphere".
Curtis primarily drew the lyrical inspiration for "She's Lost Control" from a young woman with whom he had become acquainted through his employment as an Assistant Disablement Resettlement Officer at a Macclesfield occupational rehabilitation centre between 1978 and 1979. The woman had epilepsy and had been desperate to find employment, yet she suffered seizures whenever she came to the exchange, which would greatly disturb Curtis. At one stage, this young woman ceased attending her appointments at the occupational rehabilitation centre. Initially, Curtis assumed she had found a job, but he would later discover she had died of an epileptic seizure.
Her unexpected death and Curtis's subsequent awareness and experiences of the stigma endured by individuals suffering from neurological impairments formed the lyrical inspiration for the song. (Wikipedia)
This is another song that had to grow on me. I actually bought the 12" version of this before I bought Unknown Pleasures (I was about 12 months late coming to Joy Division) So bought all the material just after Curtis died. I found the 12 " version more accessible than the album version, likely due to the production. When I bought Unknown Pleasures I would generally skip this song. Eventually it did grow on my and once I learned about the backstory around the girl that Curtis had known who'd died it became all the more relevant.
What I like about this song is the bass and the guitar at the end playing the same chord sequence but alternating between themselves.... very clever.
AllMusic song review:
Released as both an album cut and, in a hint of where New Order would eventually find itself, a 12" dance remix, "She's Lost Control" drew inspiration from Ian Curtis's encounter with an epilepsy victim and her attendant lack of control over her own body. It was something Curtis also suffered from, and the chilling sense of desperation and fear shot through the lyrics draws on more than a dramatic gift. The deep echoes on the album version of his vocals make that version more of a disturbing listen, but on both the music is excellent, the steady death disco punch of the arrangement as much a harbinger for early-'80s experiments all over the world as anything. Peter Hook's memorable, softly descending bass line gets a rougher counterpart in Bernard Sumner's clipped, chugging riff, and the whole sounds like a disturbing vision into a world many would never know otherwise -- even while being Released as both an album cut and, in a hint of where New Order would eventually find itself, a 12" dance remix, "She's Lost Control" drew inspiration from Ian Curtis's encounter with an epilepsy victim and her attendant lack of control over her own body. It was something Curtis also suffered from, and the chilling sense of desperation and fear shot through the lyrics draws on more than a dramatic gift. The deep echoes on the album version of his vocals make that version more of a disturbing listen, but on both the music is excellent, the steady death disco punch of the arrangement as much a harbinger for early-'80s experiments all over the world as anything. Peter Hook's memorable, softly descending bass line gets a rougher counterpart in Bernard Sumner's clipped, chugging riff, and the whole sounds like a disturbing vision into a world many would never know otherwise -- even while being danceable..
- Ned Raggett
Ned Raggett has repeated himself here.......
The 12" version I wouldn't have called a "dance remix", It was a total re-recording!
This particular 12 inch is important, both cuts given room to breathe (and breathe they do, and how!) The power of the drums in Atmosphere is totally lost on every other pressing I've ever heard, including cd versions.
She's Lost Control is so different from everything it's hard to categorize.
I also admit to liking how Hooky handles this these days, that version from Russia in 2012 seriously rocks.
Totally agree.... Atmosphere on the Sordide Sentimental 7" doesn't sound anywhere near as good a the 12", same for Transmission, and most definitely An Ideal For Living was like a totally different record when it was eventually released on 12". Historically and famously the first pressing of AIFL are awful, muffled and quiet... For completists only. Is it worthy of a £1500 price tag?...... Nope!
I've just taken delivery of a 2015 "Vinyl Collector" pressing of Unknown Pleasures, and I so want to compare it to an original first pressing (I do have a needle drop of a first pressing, but i want to compare apples with apples).... I really regret selling my original.... I must have been mad! Some of these repressings have been good in all fairness, but not having anything to compare them to is just frustrating.
As an aside, I have also just blown my budget on an original 1st Pressing of New Orders Movement. The vinyl looks new, with little to no surface noise, virtually no dust etc.... For all intents and purposes it looks unplayed. The sleeve, is virtually NM+, with very little in the way of marks etc. The sound of this pressing (Townhouse A2/B2) is phenominal, rich bass, brilliant sounding. This has just piqued my interest in sourcing original pressings of Unknown Pleasures and Closer. I already have an original 1st Pressing of Atmosphere and again the sound on that is brilliant......
I don't know if you are aware of this, but the In Memorium box set of UP, Closer and Still all use the plates for the original first pressings.
I didn't know that........ Is that boxset the one where the covers are blank?
yes, covers and labels are blank but all dead wax info is correct to the very first original pressings.
Blimey.... didn't know that.... expensive?
Edit: just checked... around 160 quid for a good condition one
As a matter of interest my hessian cover reissue of still has the same dead wax info as the original, but I was of the opinion it was mastered from the 2007 digital masters... I could be wrong of course
I managed to snag one on ebay for $95, patience might get you in that ball park..it was opened but unused.
the cover for UP is textured, though blank record labels are the factory square but no printing. Still has the beautiful heavy duty packaging with ribbon.
I'd say it's well worth it if you can find it used like new, new copies people sell in the near $300 range.
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