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Right, so it’s that time of year again.  Tomorrow is Record Store Day 2014 and music shops all across the world will be getting exclusive releases, selling regional special editions, hosting events, and generally having a fantastic time.  And, of course, if you’re anywhere near a record shop of any kind, you should get in on it as well!  Don’t know what to get?  No problem – read on!

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Can someone please explain to me why this was never made?

Can someone please explain to me why this was never made?

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U is for Unknown Pleasures
People have been eager to see more Joy Division, so here we are! Unknown Pleasures is the first studio LP the band recorded, funded by Tony Wilson’s entire life savings and produced by Martin Hannett.  It’s the album that gave Joy Division their signature sound, though at the time they were quite upset at having had their music made hollow and spacious rather than the punk sound they were expecting.  The album initially didn’t sell or chart well, despite critical acclaim and Tony’s faith in the band, but after subsequent single releases made Joy Division more popular, sales picked up.
Side note: the iconic cover was actually Barney Sumner’s idea, though the design was Peter Saville’s.  The album has no track listings, nor even a Side 1 and Side 2, featuring instead an “Inside” printed in white on black and an “Outside” in black on white.


The cover image is of radio wave pulses from a pulsar, a dying star.  This particular one is the first radio pulsar ever discovered, by a British astrophysicist who may well have spotted it for the first time in Manchester.
There, now that you’ve had educated commentary, can I just point out tiny stick-figure Barney’s curly arms? and tiny stick-figure Pete’s anatomically questionable bass grip? and the fact that tiny stick-figure Ian is about a foot taller than everyone else?  Oh, Pete.  You are many things, but not an artist.

fac-abc:

U is for Unknown Pleasures

People have been eager to see more Joy Division, so here we are! Unknown Pleasures is the first studio LP the band recorded, funded by Tony Wilson’s entire life savings and produced by Martin Hannett.  It’s the album that gave Joy Division their signature sound, though at the time they were quite upset at having had their music made hollow and spacious rather than the punk sound they were expecting.  The album initially didn’t sell or chart well, despite critical acclaim and Tony’s faith in the band, but after subsequent single releases made Joy Division more popular, sales picked up.

Side note: the iconic cover was actually Barney Sumner’s idea, though the design was Peter Saville’s.  The album has no track listings, nor even a Side 1 and Side 2, featuring instead an “Inside” printed in white on black and an “Outside” in black on white.

The cover image is of radio wave pulses from a pulsar, a dying star.  This particular one is the first radio pulsar ever discovered, by a British astrophysicist who may well have spotted it for the first time in Manchester.

There, now that you’ve had educated commentary, can I just point out tiny stick-figure Barney’s curly arms? and tiny stick-figure Pete’s anatomically questionable bass grip? and the fact that tiny stick-figure Ian is about a foot taller than everyone else?  Oh, Pete.  You are many things, but not an artist.

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Today is Pete Hook's birthday.  He is fantastic, absolutely top-class, or he was when I met him anyway.  If you ever get the chance to see him play with his current band, The Light, you should, because they do some extremely cool things with Joy Division and New Order material.  This is Peter Hook and The Light performing “Digital,” one of my favourite songs by Joy Division.

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I is for Ian Curtis
Lead singer of Joy Division, Ian was also the lyricist, occasional (reluctant) guitarist, and dancer of sorts.  He joined Warsaw in its formative stages, saw it through three or four different drummers, helped change the band’s name to Joy Division, and lent the band much of the image it still has today.  Often portrayed as deep and mysterious, Ian could also be as much of a lout as any of them, pulling pranks and tearing up stages and, according to Pete Hook, doing inappropriate things to people’s ashtrays.  After his death in 1980 and the band’s transition from Joy Division to New Order, two of his songs were recorded post-humously and released first as a single and then again on New Order’s first album, Movement.

That guitar is a Vox Phantom Special with all sorts of fascinating effects built in (see them up close here).  After Ian’s death, Barney Sumner inherited it and went on to use it in a number of live performances with New Order.

fac-abc:

I is for Ian Curtis

Lead singer of Joy Division, Ian was also the lyricist, occasional (reluctant) guitarist, and dancer of sorts.  He joined Warsaw in its formative stages, saw it through three or four different drummers, helped change the band’s name to Joy Division, and lent the band much of the image it still has today.  Often portrayed as deep and mysterious, Ian could also be as much of a lout as any of them, pulling pranks and tearing up stages and, according to Pete Hook, doing inappropriate things to people’s ashtrays.  After his death in 1980 and the band’s transition from Joy Division to New Order, two of his songs were recorded post-humously and released first as a single and then again on New Order’s first album, Movement.

That guitar is a Vox Phantom Special with all sorts of fascinating effects built in (see them up close here).  After Ian’s death, Barney Sumner inherited it and went on to use it in a number of live performances with New Order.

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I know you all follow me for my thoughtful, incisive commentary, so… seriously, guys, convince me that this is not a photograph of Barney Sumner and Pete Hook farting on Ian Curtis.

I know you all follow me for my thoughtful, incisive commentary, so… seriously, guys, convince me that this is not a photograph of Barney Sumner and Pete Hook farting on Ian Curtis.

Tags: Joy Division
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hey, you guys that live in the northeastern United States can I just tell you about a thing

because on January 29th, Pete Hook (bassist for Joy Division and New Order; frontman for Peter Hook and The Light) is going to be in New York doing a signing of his new Joy Division book

(he’s got a whole two-week tour of major American cities; check this out if you’re not near New York)

but then after that, on the same goddamned day

the Strummerville foundation (set up in memory of Joe Strummer to support music development around the world) are having a benefit show at the Bowery Electric, celebrating the life and music of Joe Strummer and The Clash

and the book signing is free and the gig is twenty dollars a person

and these are musicians that changed the face of the entire music world forever

and we are not going to talk about how absolutely gutted I am that I live less than three hours from New York and can’t get there how I have the most incredible boyfriend in the entire world ever and we are going to New York for the book signing and the concert because he can work miracles apparently

but we are, we are going to talk about how amazing these people are (you already know how I feel about Joe Strummer, and if you don’t yet know how I feel about Joy Division and The Clash, you, uh, may want to think twice about unleashing that avalanche)

and we are going to talk about the fact that this is kind of a mind-blowing opportunity and it’s never going to happen again and if there is any possible way that you can make it to New York for this stuff

you should go.

so, uh, this is a signal boost, I guess.

and if you do go, please tell me about it. but maybe not until afterward, because of that whole gutted thing you can say hi to me and Giles because we are going to be there

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There is music that just makes me die a little inside.

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I have a lot of feelings and sometimes Joy Division is all of them.