THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

 |   |  1 min read

Joy Division: New Dawn Fades
THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

Joy Division's debut album, for the sound of Martin Hannett's production alone, changed the way people thought about music in the post-punk era. Here was glacially smooth and dark music with theatrical intent and a poetic sensibility.

It sounded astonishingly gloomy (lines like "where will it end" and "she's lost control again" leap out at you) but Hannett's spacious production also allowed massive bass lines and mechanistic drumming to create a sonic landscape in which Ian Curtis' vocals sound like they have been beamed in from a distance, both physical and emotional.

A track like Candidate for example would be almost a disjointed art statement if Curtis' vocals were removed.

But it is his delivery and poetry which is the compelling feature: Curtis sings as a man feeling removed from or uncomfortable in the world, he drew on experiences in his job as a social worker confronting the grim misery of his clients (She's Lost Control) but became a kind of Mancunian Sylvia Plath where there are images of white sheets and silent cars beside the road, blood on fingers and "I've seen the nights filled with blood sports and pain".

Curtis is there in every lyric: the observer or participant.

Unknown Pleasures was never an easy listen and some only heard its dark and gloomy qualities, not it's poetry. When people joked that Leonard Cohen was a one-man Joy Division, they didn't realise quite how that was more true than just a superficial reading.JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

One of the great albums of rock era which should be in any collection, it is now less than $10 from JB H-Fi stores (here).

And that is a Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Cilla (DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Cilla (DVD)

When Cilla Black died unexpectedly in August -- she was 72 but somehow seemed at least a decade younger -- the many obituaries focused predominately on her early years as a pop star (essentially... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Linda Ronstadt: Original Album Series (Warners)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Linda Ronstadt: Original Album Series (Warners)

With the recent sad announcement that Linda Ronstadt will sing no more because of the debilitating effects of Parkinson Disease, it is timely to turn the clock back to when she was a superstar... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Clash; Hits Back (Sony)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Clash; Hits Back (Sony)

Okay, this isn't exactly a reissue (although everything here has been readily available) and it also isn't a hits collection despite the suggestion of the title because the Clash didn't have enough... > Read more

Little Richard: Here's Little Richard (1957)

Little Richard: Here's Little Richard (1957)

Among John Lennon's distinctive and funny drawings is a cartoon panel from '79 of him out walking with his son Sean. They encounter a character on the street who tells him "I've been getting... > Read more