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Joy Division

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Author Topic: Joy Division  (Read 697 times)
Jeannette Latoria
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« on: July 29, 2007, 01:09:37 am »



Left to right: Stephen Morris, Peter Hook, Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner
Background information
Origin Salford, Greater Manchester & Macclesfield, Cheshire, England
Genre(s) Post-punk
Years active 1976–1980
Label(s) Factory Records
Associated
acts New Order
Former members
Ian Curtis
Peter Hook
Stephen Morris
Bernard Sumner
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Jeannette Latoria
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2007, 01:11:01 am »


Joy Division were an English rock band that formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. With their dark, cavernous sound and use of guitars, throbbing bass, and electronics, they pioneered the post-punk sound of the late 1970s. In May 1980, after the suicide of its lead singer, Ian Curtis, the remaining members reformed as New Order and went on to achieve much critical and commercial success.

Though the group achieved only modest success during their career, and released only two official albums, they have since been acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential bands of their era. Thom Jurek writes, "They left just a small bit of music and an echo that still rings".
« Last Edit: July 29, 2007, 01:12:33 am by Jeannette Latoria » Report Spam   Logged

Jeannette Latoria
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2007, 01:15:46 am »





They emerged from the punk movement around 1976, and became in less than 3 years time, the ultimate new-wave group, even in the eye of fellow-bands like U2, Echo And The Bunnymen or The Cure.

Joy Division's music is at the same time, dark and limpid, oppressing and liberating, dramatic and stimulating, in a word, it is filled with life. In the beginning ot the 80's, new-wave bands were not
only trying to make money but to express what they lived and felt. In the Mancunian group - one
has just to see or listen to their gigs to be aware of it, there is a feeling of abolute emergency.
No cheating, no advertising (no musician name or picture on the records sleeves), no marketing
strategy. They are here because they have to, even if they do not feel like it. Absolute urgency,
as the need for your lover's eyes, the comfort of a friend or the smile of a child; urgency that pushes
you to the limits, and even further, whatever the cost.


www.enkiri.com/joy/joy_division.html
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Jeannette Latoria
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2007, 01:18:44 am »

The famous Sex Pistols show at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall on July 20, 1976 inspired Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook to form a band with their friend Terry Mason. Sumner bought a guitar, Hook a bass and Mason a drum kit. They placed an advertisement in a Manchester record store, Virgin Records, for a singer and recruited Ian Curtis. Curtis, who knew the others from previous gigs, had also attended the Sex Pistols concert, along with his wife, Deborah.

Just before their first gig on May 29, 1977 supporting The Buzzcocks and Penetration at the Electric Circus, the band renamed themselves Warsaw, even though they appeared on the bill as Stiff Kittens (suggested by Richard Boon and Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks). (The name change to Warsaw was purportedly inspired by the David Bowie track Warszawa, found on his 1977 album Low and not inspired by the Polish city of the same name). Five weeks and half a dozen gigs later, Warsaw replaced Mason with punk drummer Steve Brotherdale from another band called Panik. On July 18, 1977, they recorded five crude punk songs that became The Warsaw Demo. Having recorded the demo, the band fired Brotherdale. Driving home from the studio, they pulled over and asked Brotherdale to check on a "flat tyre". When he got out of the car, they sped off. Brotherdale later tried to get Curtis to join Panik, but Curtis declined. The band put out an advertisement in a music shop window for a replacement drummer and hired respondent Stephen Morris. The band chose Morris because Curtis recalled him from his school days. Morris had attended the same school two years below Curtis. Unlike the band's previous drummers, Morris clicked well with the other members. His metronome-like drumming owed more to krautrock than the aggressiveness of punk.

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Jeannette Latoria
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2007, 01:26:02 am »


Warsaw renamed themselves Joy Division in late 1977 in order to avoid confusion with the London punk band Warsaw Pakt, borrowing their new name from the prostitution wing of a concentration camp from the 1955 book The House of Dolls. "No Love Lost," an early Joy Division/Warsaw track, contains a lyrical reference to Yehiel De-Nur's book:

"...Through the wire screen, the eyes of those standing outside looked in at her as into the cage of some rare creature in a zoo.
In the hand of one of the assistants she saw the same instrument which they had that morning inserted deep into her body.
She shuddered instinctively.
No life at all in the house of dolls.
No love lost..."


The band's signature style began to take shape in late 1977. Sessions recorded in December 1977 were a departure from the sound of The Warsaw Demo. The group played their first gig as Joy Division on January 25, 1978. Regular gigs in the north of England throughout early 1978 provided the band with enough material and experience to record a debut album. However, after the producer added synthesizers to several tracks, the band scrapped the record. The album leaked as a bootleg recording called Warsaw in 1982 and has been re-pressed and re-released several times[3] since then. Rob Gretton became the band's manager in May 1978. Over the next twenty years, he contributed much to Joy Division and to New Order.

In the summer of 1978, the band debuted on vinyl with one Warsaw track on a compilation album entitled Short Circuit - Live At The Electric Circus which was recorded live on October 2, 1977. The song was preceded by Bernard Sumner (not Curtis, contrary to some references) shouting "You all forget Rudolf Hess." In June 1978, Joy Division released their December 1977 sessions as a 7" EP under the title An Ideal for Living. They remastered and re-released An Ideal for Living as a 12" in late 1978. On September 20, 1978, they performed on the local TV news show Granada Reports; then in December 1978, they appeared on the compilation double 7" EP A Factory Sample, contributing two tracks recorded a few months earlier. This EP sold out within a couple of months and was the first release to document the haunting and atmospheric sound they had been developing since that past summer. Early 1979 saw the band gain more publicity. Curtis appeared on the front cover of the New Musical Express and they recorded a radio session in January (aired on BBC Radio 1 on February 14 by John Peel). On March 4, they supported The Cure at the Marquee Club, a major venue in London.

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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2007, 01:27:56 am »



In April 1979, the band began recording their debut album Unknown Pleasures. The record was bleaker and darker in tone than most of its contemporaries, featuring Hook's bass as the lead melodic instrument, drums treated with digital delay, Sumner's jagged guitar style and Curtis's baritone vocals that have been likened to Jim Morrison and Iggy Pop. Producer Martin Hannett contributed significantly to the final sound. (Coincidentally, a non-album track, "Digital" was the first song the band recorded with Hannett as producer as well as the last song the group performed live before Curtis' death). Whereas most punk rock bands had been extroverted and aggressive, Joy Division were more introverted and personal. Despite their insularity, however, their music could be very aggressive and chaotic. The album cover, designed by Peter Saville based on a graph of 100 consecutive pulses from the pulsar CP 1919, is regarded as a classic of minimalist design. The image represents the final life of a dying star.

Unknown Pleasures was released in June while Joy Division were recording five songs for Piccadilly Radio.

They performed on Granada TV again in July, made their only nationwide TV appearance in September on BBC2, supported The Buzzcocks in a 24-venue UK tour during October and November, and performed on Peel's show again in December. Despite the fact that Unknown Pleasures was selling well and receiving good reviews from the music press, all was not well. Diagnosed with epilepsy in January 1979, Curtis' illness worsened during 1979 and would often have tonic-clonic seizures on stage that resulted in convulsions, or absence seizures that would cause brief trance-like pauses.
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Jeannette Latoria
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2007, 01:29:08 am »



Joy Division's first album, Unknown Pleasures
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2007, 01:37:21 am »



In January 1980, Joy Division set out on a European tour. Several dates were canceled due to Curtis's deteriorating health. On February 28, the band played a gig at the Warehouse in Preston. The gig was plagued with sound problems. With Martin Hannett again producing, the band began recording their second album Closer at the end of the European tour in March. As with the early Warsaw/Joy Division track "No Love Lost" the band again featured a song with a literary reference: the opening track on Closer, "Atrocity Exhibition," shares its title with the novel The Atrocity Exhibition by J. G. Ballard. On April 8, Curtis was pulled out of hospital to play a gig at the Derby Hall in Bury. At the urging of Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, Joy Division's set began with Alan Hempstall of Crispy Ambulance and Simon Topping of A Certain Ratio filling in on vocals for Curtis who was initially too ill to perform. However, many members of the audience protested, turning the gig into a riot in which Hook, Gretton, and other crew members fought with angry onlookers. [4] Several April gigs were canceled due to the continuing ill health of Curtis. Following a one-off gig in Birmingham on May 2, the band took a two-week rest in anticipation of their scheduled American tour.

At the time, Curtis' relationship with his wife Deborah (the couple married in 1975 as teenagers) was collapsing. Contributing factors were his deteriorating ill health, her being mostly excluded from his life with the band, as well as his relationship with a young Belgian woman, Annik Honoré, whom Curtis met on European tour in late 1979.

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Jeannette Latoria
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2007, 01:40:07 am »


On May 18, 1980, the evening before Joy Division were to embark on their first American tour, Curtis returned to his home and convinced his wife, Deborah, to spend the evening at her parents' house (his wife had filed for divorce in April) . Curtis watched the Werner Herzog film Stroszek on television, then listened to the Iggy Pop album The Idiot and wrote a letter to his estranged wife. He then hanged himself in the kitchen. Deborah found him the following morning. The members of Joy Division had made a pact that, should any member leave the group the remaining members would abandon the name "Joy Division" and all material associated with it. The remaining members held true to this commitment, and Joy Division was officially disbanded.

In the summer of 1980, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" hit number 13 on the British singles chart, their biggest commercial success to date. In July 1980, Closer was finally released to overwhelmingly positive reviews; it also charted, peaking at number 6 on the British album chart. Sales of Unknown Pleasures were also robust. In June 1980, Hook, Morris and Sumner entered Graveyard Studios with fellow Factory act Kevin Hewick for a session, produced by Martin Hannett. The track was called 'Haystack'. It was not released as a single by Factory, but was later released on a Kevin Hewick compilation. Factory Records head Tony Wilson reportedly suggested to the band that Hewick replace Curtis as vocalist in the group.  Eventually renaming themselves New Order, the band was reborn as a three piece, later recruiting Morris' girlfriend Gillian Gilbert to round out the group on keyboards. Initially, the band was mum as to whether the name referred to the 'new order' of the band, or if it was a reference to Nazi Germany as was the name Joy Division. Alternating between guitar-drum-bass and electronic styles, the band's music reached and inspired a variety of listeners. New Order is often cited as one of the leading synthpop and dance music groups of their era, yet their use of traditional rock instruments such as guitars and live drums has reached a level of influence comparable with their landmark electronic works.
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2007, 01:44:58 am »

The band, and especially Ian Curtis, has been an inspiration for a number of bands and musicians that include U2, The Smashing Pumpkins, Manic Street Preachers, Interpol, Trent Reznor (who, as Nine Inch Nails, covered "Dead Souls" for the soundtrack of the movie The Crow), Robert Smith of The Cure, and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante. The continuing importance of Joy Division was shown at the turn of the millennium when John Peel asked his listeners to vote for the all-time Festive 50. At number one was the haunting "Atmosphere," while "Love Will Tear Us Apart" sat at number three. Three more songs from the band sat on the list. The ending solo from "New Dawn Fades," as performed by Moby, was featured in the 1995 film Heat as Al Pacino chases down Robert De Niro. In 1999, a New Jersey band named Thursday recorded a song called "Ian Curtis" that included Joy Division song titles, such as Isolation, Heart & Soul and Twenty Four Hours, as lyrics. In 2005, Joy Division were inducted along with New Order into the UK Music Hall of Fame.

Much of the history of Joy Division was portrayed in the 2002 MGM/United Artists released film 24 Hour Party People which presented a somewhat fictionalized account of the rise and fall of the Factory Records, with whom both Joy Division and New Order were signed.

In 2007 a new film Control, directed by Anton Corbijn was released. The film depicts Curtis' life and uses the Deborah Curtis biography as a basis, although the plot has been broadened to cover areas of Ian's life that Deborah was not privy. Other people close to Ian were consulted for the film, including Tony Wilson, and of course the band, who scored the film using the Joy Division name. Control had its international premiere on the first night of Director's Fortnight at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival (May 17, 2007; the twenty-seventh anniversary of Ian Curtis' final night alive). Curtis is played by 24 Hour Party People star Sam Riley, who played Mark E. Smith, while his wife Deborah is portrayed by Samantha Morton, and Alexandria Maria Lara plays Annik Honoré. The members of New Order attended the premiere. In 2007 the Belgian indie magazine Side-Line published an interview online with Annik Honoré originally made in 2005 in which she tells for the first time about her view on the upcoming film
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2007, 01:47:42 am »


Joy Division often experimented with different sounds, especially once in collaboration with Martin Hannett. Within the band, it is said that Sumner was the driving force behind new instrumental ideas and usage. He, for instance, instigated the use of synthesizers in Joy Division's music. Ironically the band had been unhappy with the 1978 scrapped RCA album recordings because the producer had used synthesizers. Synthesizers were used the latter part of the band's career, featuring prominently in songs such as "Isolation," "Decades" and "The Eternal" from the Closer album as well as "Atmosphere" and "Something Must Break." Interestingly, an outtake from the Closer sessions, "As You Said" (sometimes called "Incubation 2") subsequently released on the FAC28 flexi-disk and on the CD box set Heart And Soul, is entirely electronic in its sound, and is one of only two Joy Division songs that doesn't include any vocals (the other track being "Incubation", which features dual guitar work from Curtis and Sumner).

Synthesizers at the time were notoriously prone to overheating and going out of tune - Joy Division's ARP String Machine and Powertran Transcendent were no exceptions, as the synthesizer on the live version of "Decades" featured on "Still" testifies. Another problem with using a synthesizer live was that Sumner, the group's lead guitarist, was not able to play both synthesizer and guitar at the same time. For this reason, Ian Curtis took over basic guitar duties on some live tracks. "I Remember Nothing," "Heart and Soul," "Atmosphere," "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and "Incubation" all featured Curtis playing the electric guitar live, although it is unlikely that Curtis played guitar on studio recordings (though remains a possibility, with no official word ever coming from the band). The increasing use of the synthesizer towards the latter part of Joy Division's existence supports a possible theory that Joy Division may well have taken the electronic based direction that New Order were to take had Curtis not died. In a 2005 Q magazine article, the members of New Order claimed this was the case, and that if Curtis had still been alive they would have charted the same path, French disco diversions and all. Footage exists of Curtis playing Sumner's Shergold Custom Masquerader and also VOX Phantom VI Special guitar (often mistakenly attributed as being a Teardrop, Guitar Organ or ordinary Phantom), which were apparently cheap at the time. Although a competent but not a skilled guitarist, Curtis' playing enhanced the band's sound at live gigs. Sumner, as previously mentioned, was the group's lead guitarist and used two or more different models with Joy Division; the mentioned Shergold Custom Masquerader and a Gibson SG Standard were two he is definitely known to have used. During the Warsaw days Sumner used a cheap SG copy, later upgrading to a genuine Gibson after Unknown Pleasures had started to sell.

Peter Hook chose to play his bass guitar more like a lead guitar on many tracks. Hook started to use a Shergold Marathon six stringed bass guitar on the Closer album, which allowed for a scale of higher notes to be played. He continued to use the Marathon with New Order, as well as a conventional Yamaha BB1200 four-stringed bass. His original bass, a Hondo Rickenbacker copy, was damaged after an altercation during a gig in Manchester in September 1979 (NB: some reports state that this bass was destroyed during this altercation, but the bass survived enough at least to be used on the band's January 1980 European Tour). Hook also performed backing vocals for the group and was the 'other voice' on the song "Interzone." On the tracks "Atrocity Exhibition" and "Sound of Music," Hook and Sumner swapped instruments so that Hook was playing electric guitar and Sumner bass guitar. The melodica was another instrument used by Joy Division during a select few recording sessions: briefly on "Decades" and quite predominantly on "In a Lonely Place," which only exists as a rehearsal recording (this recording can be heard in the "Heart and Soul" box set). New Order used the melodica a number of times and were said to have "inherited" it from Curtis, who purchased one after hearing it used by dub-reggae artist Augustus Pablo.

Morris used an extensive drum kit to allow a great range of rolls, rhythm shifts and beats. Morris was an active drummer, especially on tracks such as "She's Lost Control" and "Transmission" where the insistent beat fueled Curtis' gyrations. Morris also used Simmonds and Synare electronic drumpads and a BOSS DR-55 drum machine on some songs ("Insight," "She's Lost Control," "Isolation," "Decades") in combination with conventional drums to broaden the tonal palette.
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2007, 01:50:29 am »


The usual scene at a Joy Division gig was Curtis in the middle at the front, with Sumner to his right and Hook to left, and Morris and his drum kit behind him. After experimenting with strobe lighting, later the band played under white lights, without variations in their low light levels, due to Curtis's epilepsy. Curtis usually held onto the microphone stand for most of a song, only leaving it to dance. When Curtis danced, it was with a unique style that involved rotating his arms very quickly back and forth in front of him as though fighting with a large wheel or attempting to swim. He sometimes walked off stage after he had finished his vocals, leaving the rest of the band to finish the song without him. Also, Curtis very rarely spoke to the audience at gigs apart from the occasional "thank you" at the end of a song. At the Preston Warehouse gig in 1980, Curtis was unusually talkative (in order to keep the audience informed of the equipment failure the band suffered partway through the set). This gig has since been issued on a CD which culminates in a particularly intense version of "She's Lost Control" despite the equipment failures.
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2007, 01:53:08 am »

The band's name, along with Sumner reverting to his father's surname Albrecht, and the imagery used on early releases, garnered the band criticism for their perceived insensitivity. Accusations of neo-Nazism, a charge the group denied, dogged them for the remainder of the band's career. These accusations resurfaced after Joy Division ended and reformed as New Order, a name sometimes interpreted as a reference to Adolf Hitler's speeches promising "the new order of the Third Reich". The band later stated they got the name from a newspaper article on the new society the Khmer Rouge had envisaged for Cambodia and that a variety of other names had been considered, some more frivilous than others. Gillian Gilbert said in a television interview she simply considered it to mean the new order within the band as they moved on from Joy Division. It is worth noting that there is nothing in any of Joy Division's lyrics that could be considered as promoting far right wing philosophy.
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2007, 01:55:07 am »


At Cannes, A Biopic Of Joy Division Star
British Unknown Makes Big Impression At Cannes Film Festival In Biopic Of Joy Division Star
 


 
CANNES, France, May. 17, 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 (AP)
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(AP) A small film about a short-lived rock star is making a big splash at Cannes.

"Control" _ the story of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, who committed suicide at 23 _ marks the feature-film directing debut of rock photographer Anton Corbijn and features a star-making performance from British unknown Sam Riley.

The ingredients are familiar _ a soupcon of sex, a dash of drugs, a blast of rock 'n' roll. But "Control," which opened the film festival's Directors' Fortnight on Thursday, is far from a standard showbiz biopic.

Shot in stark black-and-white and set in gritty, unglamorous 1970s England, it re-creates the life of a singer who died unhappy and almost unknown but has secured a place in rock mythology.

The part came out of the blue for Riley, 27, who had abandoned an acting career to take an unsuccessful shot at fame with his band 10,000 Things.

"I don't think we ever troubled the charts," he said drily.

When Riley heard about auditions for the film, "I was working in a warehouse in Leeds, folding shirts."

If the enthusiastic reception in Cannes is any indication, Riley can give up the day job. He is riveting as Curtis, an intense, charismatic performer who often appeared remote offstage.

Netherlands-born Corbijn, who turns 52 on Sunday, photographed Joy Division for British music magazines and went on to design album covers for Depeche Mode and U2. He said he knew as soon as he met Riley that he was perfect for the part.

When he moved to Britain in 1979, Corbijn said he was shocked by the country's austerity and poverty.

"A lot of bands I met, including Joy Division, were kind of underdressed _ a thin coat on, smoking and shivering in the cold," he said. "When I met Sam it was also in the winter and he was totally the same."

Pale and big-eyed, Riley resembles Curtis _ but more importantly, said Corbijn, he "had an innocence and a freshness that I was hoping for but never thought I would find."

Fans of music from the English city of Manchester, especially those who have seen Michael Winterbottom's "24 Hour Party People," will recognize the film's milieu. It is set in northern England in the late 1970s, a place of gray skies and grim prospects that produced a slew of original and innovative bands, from the Buzzcocks to The Fall.

One of the most original was Joy Division, which melded guitars and electronica with Curtis's baritone voice to create striking songs like "Transmission" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart." They never hit the big time. Curtis, troubled by a failing marriage and worsening epilepsy, killed himself in 1980, on the eve of the band's first U.S. tour.

Since then, Joy Division has been cited as an influence by Nine Inch Nails and U2, among others. The surviving band members went on to found '80s hitmakers New Order.

Adapted from a memoir by Curtis' widow Deborah _ played in the film by Samantha Morton _ "Control" is an intense but far from grim experience. Shot through with down-to-earth northern English humor, it features a soundtrack that runs from David Bowie and Roxy Music to the Sex Pistols. Joy Division's songs were convincingly re-created for the film by the actors, who all played their own instruments.

The other film flying the flag for rock 'n' roll at Cannes is the multicolored opposite of "Control." The rockumentary "U2 3D," which premieres Saturday, promises to let audiences see Bono, The Edge and bandmates, not only in color, but in eye-popping 3D.

Corbijn _ who captured U2 in black and white for the "Joshua Tree" album cover _ said he never considered shooting his Joy Division film in color.

"My whole memory of that period is black and white," he said. "There is basically no color photography of that band around. So it felt very proper to the project."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 
http://www.showbuzz.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/17/ap/entertainment/main2822940.shtml
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2007, 01:56:02 am »

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