Tuesday, 18 May 2010

'Dead Souls' - Joy Division (1981)

“Someone take these dreams away,
That point me to another day.”

Joy Division is the one band I wish I’d seen play live. But I was only 9 when Ian Curtis took his life on this night in 1980.

Like many folks my age, I discovered Joy Division through New Order. “You’re saying that Blue Monday band used to be that Love Will Tear Us Apart band? No way.” “Way. Sort of.” I also came to them backwards. So the first album I bought was (kind of) their last: 'Still' – a posthumous double album of unused tracks and live stuff. This means that although ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and ‘Closer’ are quite rightly regarded as classics, this one steals my affections. To this day, I refuse to buy it on CD as I love every crackle of the vinyl so much. And the simple, stamped sleeve. And just the sheer weight of it (reflecting the weight of the songs within?).

Over the years, I’ve had the chance to hear Hooky, Stephen Morris, Factory label boss Tony Wilson and sleeve designer Peter Saville talk of their Joy Division days. It’s as close as I’ll come to making that wish come true.

Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) RIP

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