Joy Division, in their early days (as Warsaw), were an eclectic punk rock band, but by the time they’d fully established themselves, shortly after releasing their (self-released) EP, An Ideal for Living, the punk era was as good as over.
During the production of their first studio album, Unknown Pleasures, their Strawberry Studios producer, Martin Hannett, had them alter their sound, much to the band’s initial chagrin, thus creating an entirely new genre: post-punk – and no one has quite matched nor rivalled them in elegance or execution since.
They are a legend in their own right, second to none.
Although many of Curtis’ lyrics painted pictures of desolation and loneliness, his vocals, along with Sumner, Hook and Morris’ instrumentals, were so iconic and riveting that what was being sung almost didn’t matter. Every song is something anyone can get lost in and absorbed by, whether they related on an emotional level or not.
Little of their later material were songs that could easily be sung along to, what with Curtis’ unique voice, but were – and still are – instead intently listened to with closed eyes and open minds. Each track chosen for Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) has the uncanny ability to transport their listeners to, if you’ll pardon the pun, unknown but close planes of existence and pleasure.
Long live Ian Curtis.
Long live Joy Division.