Joy Division Archive

The Monday Set: Joy Division – Leeds – 9/8/79

Joy Division
Queen’s Hall
Leeds, UK

TSOI is finally back! And to correspond with Peter Hook’s new release today we’re posting a vintage Joy Division show to hopefully cleanse the palate. This audience recording was originally released as the bootleg “All God’s Angels Beware” which combined this show with the July 27th, 1979 Blackpool gig.

1. I Remember Nothing
2. Wilderness
3. Transmission
4. Colony
5. Disorder
6. Insight
7. Shadowplay
8. She’s Lost Control
9. Atrocity Exhibition
10. Dead Souls

Download: Joy Division – Leeds – 9/8/79 – 259 MB

Sample: Colony (Live)
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Peter Hook: Atmosphere (Live)

Joy Division‘s eponymous debut album, Unknown Pleasures, came out in 1980 and therefore Peter Hook, bass player and I am beginning to assume primary song writer, decided to throw a 30 year anniversary tour to commemorate the album. This small Unknown Pleasures revisited tour featured a backing band whose members very likely weren’t born at the time of the album’s release with Hook taking the vocal duties long vacated by Ian Curtis. You heard me right, Peter Hook, Joy Division bassist, taking on the vocal duties. Needless to say, no other former member of Joy Division was involved. I suspect they thought exactly what you are likely thinking right now; “this sounds like a very bad idea”.

Even at the risk of missing Killing Joke playing the same night at a different venue, I decided last minute to see this potential cringe-fest. Here is my takeaway from the show:

I bet Peter, now well into his 50s, hatched this ideas just about the time that he thought it would be a good idea to buy a motorcycle, if you know what I mean. It seems that back in the late 70s when Joy Division was formed, a teenage Peter Hook was simply hoping to join a rawkus testosterone fueled punk rock band. The early Joy Division singles met that description but with the talents of producer Martin Hannett and vocalist Ian Cutis along with the other band members, Joy Division quickly evolved into an icy post-punk band whose success and brilliance swept up Peter Hook and thereby trumped his idea of joining a little punk band. Before he knew it, after the suicide of Ian Curtis, Peter and the remaining members were trying to move on and quickly found immediate and massive success in defining keyboard-based dance new wave with New Order – again his rock ‘jones’ would have to wait. My guess is, and this is pure unsubstantiated and utterly unresearched speculation, that 30 years on, after all of the dust of decades of involvement in successful and wildly transformative bands, he realized in his mid-life crisis that all he really wanted to do was grow a faux hawk, pump his fist in the air, and rock out with one foot on the monitor. And that is pretty much what he did for this show. In sum, I suspect what this particular tour was about reliving why he might have joined a band in the first place.

As far as I am aware, this is the first time I have heard Peter Hook take on vocals in any band, yet his voice is shredded as if he spent 30 years being a chain-smoking Johnny Rotten, not the bass player for two subdued New Wave bands. Did Peter Hook shred his voice over the past 30 years screaming in the shower the Joy Division and New Order songs as pub screamers as he always hoped and envisioned they would be?

Peter Hook made no effort (thankfully) of acting or sounding like Ian Curtis and reinterpreted the songs as loud guitar rock along with his thumping base lines taking lead and with synthesizers taking a conspicuous backseat. I can’t say to what an extent this undertaking was a success or not, but it made for an interesting night out.

Here is Peter Hook, doing as part of the encore Joy Division’s final released single “Atmosphere”.

Your thoughts? Inspired or Insipid?

Download: Peter Hook: Atmosphere (Live)

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Peter Murphy – Transmission (Live Joy Division Cover)/Cuts You Up (Live)

I attended the second New York show of Peter Murphy‘s current Retrospective tour. Peter Murphy seemed to be in good spirits and was uncharacteristically chatty with the audience – taking questions, riffing on Americans accents (with demonstrations – very funny), and when asked who he would vote for, even stumped a bit for Obama. His levity must have given him some legs because he played for two solid hours with highlights being Bauhaus tracks off of “Go Away White” and this cover of Joy Division‘s, “Transmission”. (I have posted several Joy Division covers on this site and am gladly keeping the string going.) Before playing “Transmission”, Peter Murphy gave a shout out to Peter Hook who was in the audience and performed the song with a good approximation of the Ian Curtis style right-angle-arm rag-doll dance. It ruled.

All in all a great, fun, good spirited show. During the show, I found myself coming to the conclusion that “Cascade” is right up there with “Deep” and “Holy Smoke” in dibs for best PM album. Sole honors would probably go to “Holy Smoke” if it weren’t for ‘Sweetest Drop’ – the only Peter Murphy song that will get me up out of a chair to hit skip.

On a side note, (if I recall correctly) he also played “She’s in Parties” and “Burning from the Inside” and was filming the show for a DVD. Keep your eyes open for that. Also I didn’t opt for the VIP ticket that included a “Meet and Greet”. Chime in if you went. I am a bit curious how that went.

Update: Check out more pics from this show at Lori Baily’s site here.

Update 2: After getting a bunch of requests, here’s another track from the show:
[audio:|titles=Cuts You Up (Live)|artists=Peter Murphy]
Cuts You Up (Live)
[audio:|titles=Transmission (Live)|artists=Peter Murphy]
Download: Peter Murphy – Transmission (Live Joy Division Cover)

Xiu Xiu – Ceremony (Live Joy Division Cover)

Xiu Xiu is a band I have been meaning to check out for quite awhile. After a Mary Timony induced nap, I was in much better spirits and was greeted by one of the high points of CMJ 2007. They are a guitar/keyboard/drum driven three piece with strange strangled emotive vocals. If there was one band outside of Dean and Britta to safely cover a Joy Division song, it would be Xiu Xiu and just that they did.

There are bands out there that seem to be ready made to be covered with no detriment to either party involved with Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan coming to mind. Then there are those bands that for whatever reason, if covered, you are opening up your self wide for heavy ridicule or at least being booed off the stage. Prince, The Fall, and Joy Division come immediately to mind as cover material you best keep your paws out of.

Thankfully, I have seen very few bands foolish enough to attempt Joy Division covers. I can remember two instances. The first was Nine Inch Nails covering “Dead Souls”, which is a bit rote but decent enough. I had a chance to talk to Trent Reznor after a show and asked him why he decided to cover “Lost Souls”, and he replied, “It was probably the only Joy Division song we thought we wouldn’t screw up.” From his response, clearly Trent was aware that he was dabbling in areas that one shouldn’t go a’ messin’ and smartly treaded lightly. The other example of witnessing a Joy Division cover was seeing Nouvelle Vague doing “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. After blithely butchering the first 2/3rds of the song they had the gall in making the final chorus into an audience participation sing-along replete with mics turned to the appalled audience. I, for one, pulled the collar over my nose and puked into my own shirt. To think of it makes me ill to this day.

Xiu Xiu and Dean and Britta, on the other hand, are one of the very few bands that can successfully pull off, maybe not impossible, but nonetheless very difficult: a decent Joy Division cover. They both did it in the same week at CMJ and oddly, they both covered “Ceremony”. I am quite sure it is coincidence that they both covered the same song, but I wonder why that one?
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Download: Xiu Xiu – Ceremony (Live Joy Division Cover)

Joy Division – From Safety to Where…? (Martin Hannett’s Personal Mix)

The new Joy Division biopic “Control” which follows the life and death of Ian Curtis is getting a limited release starting today. I won’t be able to make it tonight, but I’ll be going tomorrow. On a related note, there’s a new Joy Division unauthorized release that has been floating around. It is Martin Hannett’s personal mixes from the Earcom 2 and Closer sessions that someone apparently got from a relative of his. The mixes have subtle differences but it’s worth checking out to hear some of the stuff that didn’t make it into the final tracks.
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Download: Joy Division – From Safety to Where…? (Martin Hannett’s Personal Mix)

Factory All Stars – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Live Video)

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Factory All Stars – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Manchester, UK

This was broadcast on Channel 4’s “The Tube” live from The Hacienda. The “Factory All Stars” included members of New Order, Quando Quango, The Wake, A Certain Ratio, 52nd Street, and more doing Factory hit songs.

Download: Factory All Stars – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Live Video)

Joy Division – Atrocity Exhibition (Radio Session)

This song was recorded June 4th 1979 at Pennine Sound Studios in Oldham. The other four tracks from this session were released on the “Heart and Soul” box set, but for some reason this track was omitted. It’s a fairly different sounding version of this song that was eventually released on “Closer.”
[audio:|titles=Atrocity Exhibition (Radio Session)|artists=Joy Division]
Download: Joy Division – Atrocity Exhibition (Radio Session)

Siglo XX – Day Of The Lords (Live Joy Division Cover)

I’ve written about Siglo XX before and how they have been constantly compared to Joy Division. I recently came across this 1983 show recorded at Melkweg in Amsterdamn which I was pretty surprised to find. The most interesting part of the recording was this Joy Division cover. Ironically, their version of “Day Of The Lords” sounds a lot less like Joy Division than some of their original songs.
[audio:|titles=Day Of The Lords (Live)|artists=Siglo XX]
Download: Siglo XX – Day Of The Lords (Live Joy Division Cover)

Clockhammer – Shadowplay (Joy Division Cover)

The only reason I’ve kept this EP is because of this Joy Division cover. It’s not particularly outstanding, but the Joy Division completist in me has to have it. A quick All Music Guide search tells me that they were from Nashville, TN and put out a couple of full-lengths in the early nineties and were never heard from again. This song is from the “Carrot” EP which was released on the First Warning label.
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Download: Clockhammer – Shadowplay (Joy Division Cover)

Joy Division – She’s Lost Control (Live Video)

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Joy Division – She’s Lost Control
Bowden Vale Youth Club
Altrincham, UK

I finally converted my VHS copy of “Substance” to DVD. It sounds like there’s been quite a bit of Joy Division video footage that has been unearthed but not circulated. Hopefully some day…

Download: Joy Division – She’s Lost Control (Live Video)