75 Essential Albums – Day #12 Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

Here goes with day 12 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection.  They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released.  You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions.  Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).

Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

Released in 1979 by factory records at the tail end of the punk rock revolution Unknown Pleasures is quite simply a masterpiece,  It was a dark, threatening, disturbing angry masterpiece.  I suspect that if Ian Curtis had not hanged himself in 1980 we would now be looking back on a vast cannon of work by one of the best bands ever to emerge in the UK.  As it is Joy Divisions reputation has reached legendary status.  I was lucky enough to catch Peter Hook and the Light earlier this year in a set consisting almost entirely of Joy Division songs.  Whilst the exquisite torture of Ian Curtis’s vocal could never be replicated the gig was one of the highlights of my band watching career.

Unknown Pleasures is an intoxicating mixture of musical triumph and personal tragedy that just sweeps you away with its power and intensity.  Hooks have thumping basslines, Sumners shrieking guitar and Curtis’s tortured vocals combine to create and atmosphere quite unlike anything I have experienced before or since.  Whilst I was in the Navy I served in the South Atlantic and it is no exaggeration to say that losing myself in Joy Divisions Music saved my sanity.

The album’s raw power is still gripping, most notably on the haunting ‘Day Of The Lords’ and ‘She’s Lost Control’, which Curtis, who was epileptic, wrote in sympathy after hearing that a girl he knew with the same condition had died.  Even the more upbeat moments on the album make you feel every pained thought in Curtis’s tortured mind.

This album really broke the mould.  40 minutes of pain filled torturous brilliance.  I doubt we will ever see its like again.

Oops just realised I accidentally included a pingback to the daily post by accident.  Sorry I was trying to do too many things at once.

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3 thoughts on “75 Essential Albums – Day #12 Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Out of Breath | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  2. loupmojo

    Ooh, I noticed you have Inxs on that list, definitely a favourite, although I never understood the hype about Joy Division. They were good, but nothing that stood out above anyone else, for me anyway. Would be a very boring world if we all liked the same thing 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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