Joy Division “Closer”

This is the only Joy Division record I owned, and I never listened to it much– I appreciated them, but wasn’t that into them (I kind of hate “Love Will Tear Us Apart”). But I decided to listen to it now, and see what I think.

(Though I also have a LATER, double album, called “Still”– released well after Ian Curtis was dead. “Still” as in “he’s still dead,” I guess. (That’s a Keith Busch style joke, for sure.) But this record is damaged beyond all playability.)

I like these Factory Records albums— extremely minimal presentation. “Closer” doesn’t even say which is side A or B– so I have to look at the pressing codes, scratched in the space on the inside of the grooves (it will always say A or B somewhere in there) –and in doing so, I notice that there is a strange little cartoon creature scratched in there, too. It’s a little cartoon bird, I guess– on each side of the record. A little different on each side. Who did that, I wonder? And what does it mean?

So I FINALLY figure out which is side A and put it on. I feel like I am TOTALLY familiar with Joy Division, but on the other hand– am I? My first observation is, “They took themselves a tad seriously, didn’t they?” Then I fell asleep!

It wasn’t until the next night that I actually listened to the whole record. Did I love it? Did I hate it? I’m going to wait until later to announce the verdict, so stay tuned!


2 Responses to “Joy Division “Closer””

  1. September 11, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Ok – I was pretty excited to see you getting to review this, because, I have to say, apart from maybe the Beatles, Joy Division is probably THE most important band in my life, as far as my own playing, my taste in music, and the influence on bands that I in turn have been a part of. I frequently tell people that I learned how to play bass by playing along to Joy Division records, and that is essentially true. Joy Division were the first band I ever heard where the bass was pretty much the lead instrument in the music, and I spent LOTS of time as a late teenager (I first heard them in the fall of 1980 when I was a senior in hi-skule) and young kollidge student playing Joy Division and Joy Divisionesque bass parts. They weren’t the ONLY band I liked, and I never really started a band with the intention of sounding like JD, but I was in at least one band, My Dad is Dead, which was frequently pointed out as a ‘Joy Division wannabe’ band; MDID was definitely influenced by Joy Division, but it was going that way long before I joined it.

    They actually were my favorite band for a while, before I discovered The Fall and became enamored with them for about 15 years, and I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I didn’t at least occasionally put on one or another of their albums, though really they only ever released two before “Cousin” Ian topped himself. (For ages all I had were their two albums, and “Still”, which you mention above, which collected unused and/or unfinished studio tracks, some of which were actually really great, together with a kind-of lame and weird-sounding live album.) Eventually I got a box set that was released, and found some bootleg live things, and pre-Joy Division demos and stuff like that, but really, those two albums, and parts of Still, are still really important records to me.

    I guess I should comment on your review rather than give my own history of liking them though..

    The little bird thing on the inner groove space — there was one LP mastering guy who went by the name of “Porky” who would frequently ‘sign’ his work on the inner grooves by writing “ANOTHER PORKY PRIME CUT” and/or other kinds of mysterious messages or engravings on those grooves. This is just another thing we’re missing out on with cds..

    I have to admit when I came to the end of this first part of your review, I was pretty much convinced that you were going to hate it, and was getting ready to be really defensive about it or something, though I could well understand why someone would not really be into it now. But since you don’t really say anything review-wise about the album in this part, I won’t comment that way here either. So stay tuned for more from me about this record too!

  2. 2 Kiki
    October 6, 2007 at 4:51 am

    Just thinking about Joy Division depresses me. And I had a few of their records – I can’t remember which ones because I always forget the titles of albums. There was one of a corpse with a veil on it. Maybe that was an EP? At any rate, the comment above mentions The Fall. Just thinking about them lifts my spirits. Why aren’t more people still into them instead of Joy Division?

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