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Punk / New Wave - Released July 24, 2015 | Rhino

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Punk / New Wave - Released September 10, 2007 | London Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
It even looks like something classic, beyond its time or place of origin even as it was a clear product of both -- one of Peter Saville's earliest and best designs, a transcription of a signal showing a star going nova, on a black embossed sleeve. If that were all Unknown Pleasures was, it wouldn't be discussed so much, but the ten songs inside, quite simply, are stone-cold landmarks, the whole album a monument to passion, energy, and cathartic despair. The quantum leap from the earliest thrashy singles to Unknown Pleasures can be heard through every note, with Martin Hannett's deservedly famous production -- emphasizing space in the most revelatory way since the dawn of dub -- as much a hallmark as the music itself. Songs fade in behind furtive noises of motion and activity, glass breaks with the force and clarity of doom, and minimal keyboard lines add to an air of looming disaster -- something, somehow, seems to wait or lurk beyond the edge of hearing. But even though this is Hannett's album as much as anyone's, the songs and performances are the true key. Bernard Sumner redefined heavy metal sludge as chilling feedback fear and explosive energy, Peter Hook's instantly recognizable bass work was at once warm and forbidding, and Stephen Morris' drumming smacked through the speakers above all else. Ian Curtis synthesizes and purifies every last impulse, his voice shot through with the desire first and foremost to connect, only connect -- as "Candidate" plaintively states, "I tried to get to you/You treat me like this." Pick any song: the nervous death dance of "She's Lost Control"; the harrowing call for release "New Dawn Fades," all four members in perfect sync; the romance in hell of "Shadowplay"; "Insight" and its nervous drive toward some sort of apocalypse. All visceral, all emotional, all theatrical, all perfect -- one of the best albums ever. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2007 | London Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When Closer was released on July 18th, 1980 Ian Curtis had already been six feet under for two months. At just 23 years old, the singer of Joy Division – who committed suicide – would never get a share of the laurels that this second and last studio album was about to receive for the years and decades to come… In such grim circumstances, this opus was of course bound to become a sort of testament. With Closer, rock music (that in this case doesn’t roll so much) got the most beautiful soundtrack to its angst. As always with Joy Division, the groove is viscerally martial, guitars are excessively shrill, the vocals are wrapped up in a straightjacket, rhythmic patterns smell sweetly of cataclysm, while the lyrics evoke claustrophobia: no doubt about it, post punk now has its Tables of Law. A rulebook and lifestyle directly inherited from early Velvet Underground, Bowie in his Berlin days, the Doors and German Krautrock. With Closer, Ian Curtis still remains here among us. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Punk / New Wave - Released June 15, 1979 | Rhino

It even looks like something classic, beyond its time or place of origin even as it was a clear product of both -- one of Peter Saville's earliest and best designs, a transcription of a signal showing a star going nova, on a black embossed sleeve. If that were all Unknown Pleasures was, it wouldn't be discussed so much, but the ten songs inside, quite simply, are stone-cold landmarks, the whole album a monument to passion, energy, and cathartic despair. The quantum leap from the earliest thrashy singles to Unknown Pleasures can be heard through every note, with Martin Hannett's deservedly famous production -- emphasizing space in the most revelatory way since the dawn of dub -- as much a hallmark as the music itself. Songs fade in behind furtive noises of motion and activity, glass breaks with the force and clarity of doom, and minimal keyboard lines add to an air of looming disaster -- something, somehow, seems to wait or lurk beyond the edge of hearing. But even though this is Hannett's album as much as anyone's, the songs and performances are the true key. Bernard Sumner redefined heavy metal sludge as chilling feedback fear and explosive energy, Peter Hook's instantly recognizable bass work was at once warm and forbidding, and Stephen Morris' drumming smacked through the speakers above all else. Ian Curtis synthesizes and purifies every last impulse, his voice shot through with the desire first and foremost to connect, only connect -- as "Candidate" plaintively states, "I tried to get to you/You treat me like this." Pick any song: the nervous death dance of "She's Lost Control"; the harrowing call for release "New Dawn Fades," all four members in perfect sync; the romance in hell of "Shadowplay"; "Insight" and its nervous drive toward some sort of apocalypse. All visceral, all emotional, all theatrical, all perfect -- one of the best albums ever. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released July 18, 1980 | WM UK

When Closer was released on July 18th, 1980 Ian Curtis had already been six feet under for two months. At just 23 years old, the singer of Joy Division – who committed suicide – would never get a share of the laurels that this second and last studio album was about to receive for the years and decades to come… In such grim circumstances, this opus was of course bound to become a sort of testament. With Closer, rock music (that in this case doesn’t roll so much) got the most beautiful soundtrack to its angst. As always with Joy Division, the groove is viscerally martial, guitars are excessively shrill, the vocals are wrapped up in a straightjacket, rhythmic patterns smell sweetly of cataclysm, while the lyrics evoke claustrophobia: no doubt about it, post punk now has its Tables of Law. A rulebook and lifestyle directly inherited from early Velvet Underground, Bowie in his Berlin days, the Doors and German Krautrock. With Closer, Ian Curtis still remains here among us. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Punk / New Wave - Released March 20, 2008 | London Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 25, 2008 | London Records

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Punk / New Wave - Released July 24, 2015 | Rhino

After New Order released their own Substance compilation in 1987, it was perhaps inevitable that a similar and long-overdue collection would apply to Joy Division, especially given the out-of-print status of many of the band's singles. The end result turned up in 1988, and as a listen easily demonstrated that the same sheer sweep and energy that applied to the band over a full-length album similarly worked, even more so, with the focus of a 7" or 12" release. Though the earliest tracks like "Warsaw" and "Leaders of Men" were a strange sort of art punk, there was already something distinct about the group, and by the time of "Digital" and "Autosuggestion," it was perfectly apparent. The former centered around Curtis' circular declarations of repetition and angst, while "Autosuggestion" builds up slowly, carefully, before an invigorating final rush. After that, "Transmission," a cold blue laser light of power, sneaking on an echo of synth and Hook's commanding bass before Morris, recorded brilliantly by Hannett, simply takes control. And from there, up and up, the whole band reaching a peak with Curtis' anguished scream "And we could dance!" As gripping as that is, by the time of its final singles, Joy Division outstripped even that -- "Atmosphere" and "Dead Souls" arguably make some of the best singles ever, the former a haunting, minimal call, the latter an ever more wired and explosive portrait of demand on a soul, from some inescapable outside force. Then, of course, "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Joy Division's eternal calling card, the inadvertent final bow, the blueprint for endless cover versions, a portrait of love and connection endlessly turning in on itself to destruction, set to a beautiful melody and one of the band's warmest performances ever. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released June 1, 1980 | WM UK

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Pop - Released May 31, 2019 | Dust records

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Punk / New Wave - Released March 18, 1980 | WM UK

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Punk / New Wave - Released October 17, 2017 | Resurfaced Records

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World - Released March 28, 2001 | Hammer Musik

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Punk / New Wave - Released September 10, 2007 | Rhino

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Punk / New Wave - Released June 1, 2021 | Cult Legends

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 1, 2011 | Cleopatra Records

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Punk / New Wave - Released October 7, 1979 | WM UK

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Rock - Released September 25, 2019 | Wild Waters

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Rock - Released December 7, 1990 | Hammer Musik

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Rock - Released April 23, 2020 | FNM