Wednesday, April 15, 2009

this is the way, step inside: Joy Division part I

Not a lot to say about this legendary band Joy Division. Simply one of the greatest bands of all time, what these self-described oiks from Manchester/Salford/Macclesfield were able to do within the framework of their time (1977-1980) is nothing less than astounding.

Chicago Tribune
chief music writer Greg Kot once referred to their two studio records UNKNOWN PLEASURES (1979, Factory FACT 10) and CLOSER (1980, Factory FACT 25), in an email to your humble blogger, as "postpunk's holy-grail albums". Obviously I concur.

I suppose this post would be more apropos closer to the 28th anniversary of Ian Curtis' death, but as it were, we find ourselves just days short of the 28th anniversary of the band's second-to-last-ever gig, at Derby's Ajanta Cinema 19 April 1980.

While this band has been duly anthologized via the four-disc HEART AND SOUL box set, a proper - in your humble blogger's opinion - one or two CD "Best Of" has yet to be compiled. One man's best is another man's scrap heap, or something. There have been two separate "best of"-type compilations released, 1995's PERMANENT (odd song choices, and really terrible mastering), and 2008's THE BEST OF JOY DIVISION (again, song choice is a bit wacky).

So allow me to present The PoIT's DIGITAL: Joy Division 1977-1980, in two parts.

Part 1 - this week - is my version of a best-of, featuring tracks pulled from their various studio sessions. I was intending this to be a single disc's worth of tracks, but as usual I wasn't able to restrain myself. So it'll take two. And even beyond these 34 tracks, honestly, is there such thing as a duff Joy Division track? I'll leave that conversation to the peanut gallery to discuss.

Part 2 - next week - will feature my favorite live Joy Division tracks, from a variety of live gigs.


01 Exercise One
02 Disorder
03 Insight
04 Digital
05 Atrocity Exhibition (Closer version)
06 Colony
07 Autosuggestion
08 Candidate (Piccadilly version)
09 New Dawn Fades
10 Heart And Soul
11 Dead Souls ("Sordide Sentimental" version)
12 Incubation
13 Komakino
14 Transmission (rejected single version)
15 Chance (Atmosphere)
16 Love Will Tear Us Apart (A-side version)
17 I Remember Nothing

4 / Cargo Studios, Rochdale 10/78 (Factory Sample FAC2)
3 / BBC Studios, Maida Vale, London 1/79 (John Peel session 1)
1, 2, 7, 9, 17 / Strawberry Studios, Stockport 4/79 (Unknown Pleasures sessions / FACT 10)
8, 15 / Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham 6/79 (Piccadilly Radio session)
14 / Central Sound Studios, Manchester 7/79 ("Transmission" session 1, unreleased)
11 / Cargo Studios, Rochdale 10/79 ("Sordide Sentimental" sessions)
16 / Strawberry Studios, Stockport 3/80 ("Love Will Tear Us Apart" sessions / FAC 23)
5, 6, 10, 12, 13 / Brittania Row Studios, Islington, London 3/80 (Closer sessions / FACT 25)


01 The Sound Of Music
02 Isolation
03 Transmission (single version)
04 These Days (Piccadilly version)
05 Shadowplay
06 The Kill
07 Dead Souls (original attempt)
08 From Safety To Where...?
09 She's Lost Control (12" version)
10 Twenty Four Hours
11 The Eternal
12 Decades
13 Ceremony (rehearsal version)
14 Atrocity Exhibition (Piccadilly version)
15 Atmosphere
16 Love Will Tear Us Apart (B-side version)
17 As You Said

5, 6, 8 / Strawberry Studios, Stockport 4/79 (Unknown Pleasures sessions / FACT 10)
4, 14 / Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham 6/79 (Piccadilly Radio session)
7 / Central Sound Studios, Manchester 7/79 ("Transmission" session 1)
3 / Strawberry Studios, Stockport 7/79 (final "Transmission" session, FAC 13)
15 / Cargo Studios, Rochdale 10/79
("Sordide Sentimental" sessions)
1, 16 / Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham 1/80 ("Love Will Tear Us Apart" session 1)
09 / Strawberry Studios, Stockport 1/80 - 3/80 (FACTUS 2)
2, 10, 11, 12, 17 / Brittania Row Studios, Islington, London 3/80
(Closer sessions / FACT 25)
13 / Rehearsal rooms, Manchester 5/80 (Peter Hook cassette)

as usual , multiple RAR files, you need to grab them all to extract the set....

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV



  1. I'm shocked there's nothing from the Peel Sessions, those versions are simply awe-inspiring...but so are these, so I'm not too upset.

  2. Erm, almost nothing...missed the inclusion of 'Insight'...

  3. Alas, no Novelty.
    Still I hope I'm not the only one who saw this as a tune with one foot firmy entrenched in the soil of rock and the other dangling darkly over the abyss of whatever was going to happen next.....
    cheers, johnC

  4. Hello, just wanted to thank you for the great Joy Division best of post! Was wondering if you still planned on posting the live best of you mentioned awhile back? Thanks again.

  5. Chalk me up as another one who has greatly enjoyed (and shared) your JD posts. Thank you so much.

    Also chalk me up as one who hopes you get around to upping your live best-of comp.

  6. Would it be possible to re-up part 4?

  7. Part 4 seems to be down. Could you please re-post it?

  8. Please could you re-up Part 4. Would be very much appreciated. Thanks!