Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Although somewhat dismissed by audiophiles for the uneven sound across the unreleased studio recordings, previously available tracks and live recordings (some very lo-fi), this Joy Division collection released after singer Ian Curtis' death – now available again on double vinyl – is actually as compelling in places as their studio recordings with producer Martin Hannett (also credited on Still).
Not the least because it includes the recording of their final concert (at Birmingham University) just weeks before Curtis' suicide on the eve of their first American tour.
It also includes their version of Velvet Underground's Sister Ray and the only live recording of Ceremony with thrilling and brittle guitar sheen and which was to become a New Order track.
But it is the sheer desperation in Curtis' voice in places, notably on the live versions of Disorder and Transmission from Birmingham where (as we have noted previously) where he sounds like a man at the end of his rope – as he soon would be – and he lacerates himself in lyrics of isolation and impending death.
Still has been reissued on double vinyl through JB Hi-Fi stores here and although it is priced a bit higher than our previous recommendations at $39 it is a double album . . . and the sound of man for whom love – and lack of it – was tearing him apart again and again.
You can also buy direct online from here