Retro-Week IV: Joy Division

March 27, 2010

by Gibson Hummingbird

Ok, let’s finish our retro week with one of the best bands ever – JOY DIVISION. Growing up in the 90s I had no clue who Joy Division was up until a few years ago when I listened to “love will tear us apart”. I immediately fell in love with the song and I really hope that after you read this and listen to some of Joy Division’s music you will too.

Formed in Manchester in 1976 the band’s success started to grow with each year and tragically ended in May 1980. Ian Curtis hanged himself, at the age of 23, just before the band was to embark on its first US tour. There are a lot of speculations why this happened – depressions or personal difficulties like Ian’s diagnosis with epilepsy or his unhappy marriage. I think that Curtis was a lonely soul and just felt overwhelmed by everything and everyone.  (The remaining band members changed the name of the group to New Order.)

It speaks for itself that a band who has only released two albums “unknown pleasures” and “closer” has not been forgotten. Joy Division’s music was dark and limpid and filled with life at the same time. They were and still are very influential to lot of bands including The Killers and Franz Ferdinand.

What I really like is their song’s lyrics which are truly beautiful -no matter how dark they are.

lose control “… I could live a little better with the myths and the lies,
When the darkness broke in, I just broke down and cried.
I could live a little in a wider line,
When the change is gone, when the urge is gone,
To lose control. When here we come…”

By the way I can only recommend the movie “Control”. It gives you an insight of the band’s career and Ian’s broken soul.

Sam Riley has done a really great job!


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