Tuesday, April 19, 2005

350125 Go! (re-duxe)

Joy Division - In A Lonely Place (Detail)

This has to be one of the most haunting pieces of music ever written, whether it's because of the overall sound of it, the lyrical content or the fact that within a couple of weeks (Or maybe even days) of this been recorded Ian Curtis (Joy Divisions singer) had hung himself... But it's possibly a combination of all those reasons.

It's still quite hotly debated as to where this was recorded, some seem to think it was recorded at the prophetically named Graveyard Studios during their final ever recording session, others (including Peter Hook) seem to think it was recorded as a rehearsal tape... I tend to go for the later as this might explain the abrupt ending as the tape ran out and the fact it actually sounds like a rehearsal tape as opposed to a studio recording.
Either way the first time I heard this it just stopped me in my tracks... And when the song abruptly stopped I was considerably upset.... What can I say, It moved me.

Folklore says there is a full version of it out there but I don't think there is to be honest (unless someone can prove me wrong?), something as important as this would have surfaced by now I'd imagine.

After the Suicide of Ian the rest of the band decided to carry on and change their name to New Order, In a Lonely Place was recorded by the three piece before Gillian joined and was released as the B-Side of Ceremony (another of Joy Divisions final tunes)(Ceremony was later Re-Recorded with Gillian but In A Lonely Place wasn't)...

In A Lonely Place can nowadays be found on the excellent Heart & Soul Box Set that basically anyone vaguely interested in one of the most important bands of all time should own.

Squarepusher - Love Will Tear Us Apart

This version isn't to different from the original but adds a lovely kind of washed out feeling to it.
It's taken from the Covered Album released on Obsessive Recordings.
The album is a bit patchy but has a couple of gems on there, most notably Roots Manuva doing Yellow Submarine and The Slits with their brilliant version of Heard It Through The Grapevine.
Can I also recommend Squarepusher's Ultravisitor Lp to you... It's very good....

Visit - Squarepusher @ Warp

Psychic TV - I.C. Water (Full Version)

This is Psychic TV's tribute to Ian Curtis who was a friend of Genesis P. Orridge, it was recorded in 1990 and released on their own Temple Records.
Along with all the usual Psychic TV reprobates it also features a certain Mr. Dave Ball on key duties, once of the great Soft Cell (and again now).
I was once quite a big fan of Psychic TV (following on from Throbbing Gristle) and collected a number of their records, reading material, videos, t-shirts, haircuts....
I also seriously considered joining Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth which was kind of like their own little private cult thing (friendly one though), but to join you had to send them various bodily fluids which I just wasn't prepared to part with.
Looking at it now it all seems a bit strange, and nothing like I'd even contemplate doing nowadays... Guess I was just a little lost youth looking for something... anything. Close call eh?
Anyway back to the music...
This is one of the dare I say 'Poppier' moments in their catalogue, along with another tribute to a dead hero of theirs, "Godstar" a little ditty about Brian Jones (of some little virtually unheard of beat combo called The Rolling Stones apparently).
I.C. Water can be found on their best ov compilation Beauty from Thee Beast, which also features thee aforementioned Godstar along with their versions of Good Vibrations and Je T'Aime.

Visit - Genesis P.Orridge
Visit - Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth

Galaxie 500 - Ceremony

This is one of my favourite Joy Division covers, by one of my favourite bands.
It's just a sublime version that builds beautifully, and I love the way the low end bass doesn't make an appearance till nearly four minutes in accompanied by a tambourine.

Ceremony first appeared on the Blue Thunder 12" but can now be found as a bonus track on what is arguably (well I'll argue for it anyway!) their best album On Fire, which also includes the wonderful tracks Snowstorm, Blue Thunder, Another Day... to be honest they're all great songs... Buy it!
There's also a great live version of it on the fantastic Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste DVD...Erm.. Buy this too!.

Visit - Full of Wishes - An excellent site chocka full of all things Galaxie 500, Luna, Damon & Naomi and Dean & Britta stuff.

Xiu Xiu - Ceremony

This is a whole different kettle of fish...
Yes it's the same song, and yes it has some of the same notes (possibly) but it is a whole world away from the sublime Galaxie 500 version... but that doesn't mean it's rubbish... Oh no, far from it.
This clatters along in a wonderfully percussive way with all sorts of things thrown in, including a really cheap (sounds like it anyway) mad synth replacing the guitar line, a lovely chime part and features the deranged edgy vocals of Jamie Stewart.
But take away all the added gumph and it is surprisingly like the original...
Great stuff.
Xiu Xiu's version of Ceremony can be found on the wonderful Chapel of the Chimes EP.

Visit - Xiu Xiu

Joy Division - New Dawn Fades (Live - Amsterdam 11.01.1980)

Possibly my favourite song of theirs, this features one of the darkest lyrics ever written in "Directionless, so plain to see, a loaded gun won't set you free.... so you say..."
On a happier note this has one of Hooky's best ever bass lines, so simple but so so effective.
This version can be found on the Les Bains Douches Live CD

Bis - Love Will Tear Us Apart

A change of speed a change of style... indeed.
Love Will Tear Us Apart is one of Joy Division's most covered songs by artists such as The Cure, 10,000 Maniacs, Swans, Frank Sidebottom (I Thank You!), Nouvelle Vague and bloody Paul Bloody Young amongst many others, all of which I could have posted (apart from Paul Bloody Young obviously), but I thought I'd treat you to a little bit of Electrotastic Vocoder Action...
This version stands out from most of the other ones for me purely for the fact that it doesn't sound anything even vaguely like Joy Division.
Anyway, this is great.

Visit - Bis

Low - Transmission

Low, what can I say apart from I love them...
This was my introduction to the wonders of Low, and I first heard it on the A Means to an End: The Music of Joy Division compilation, which also features great versions by The Smashing Pumpkins (along in a sec.), Tortoise and Codeine.
I really don't have the words to describe how gorgeous this track is, so just sit back and wallow in it's beauty.
If by any chance you don't own any Low records (fool), you really can't find a better starting place than A Lifetime Of Temporary Relief 4 disc box set thingy.

Visit - Low

The Smashing Pumpkins - Isolation

This was recorded under the pseudonym "Starchildren" for the aforementioned A Means to an End: The Music of Joy Division compilation..
If you're expecting loads of heavy guitar action you'll be sorely disappointed I'm afraid, as this is pretty much an electronic version of the song, kind of a precursor to the Adore album recorded a few years later by them.
I like it though, and I also like the Smashing Pumpkins a lot... Drown and Starla being a couple of absolute belters by them.

Visit - Matts Smashing Pumpkins Page - About a million Pumpkins links.

Boy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart

Clatter, clatter, clatter... Fist made of ham.... Clatter, clatter, clatter...
Love Will Tear Us Apart... Clatter, clatter, clatter... The End.
Boy Division hail from Germany and are possibly the greatest cover band in the world... other great versions include US 80'/90's, Wonderwall, Ace of Spades, Losing My Religion... Ah what the hell, they're all good... if you like a little noisy fun that is. (Some of which can be downloaded from their site).
Your best bet I think for buying any of their records is possibly ebay...
Well worth hunting them down though.

Visit - Boy Division (in German)

Joy Division - Insight (Demo)

"Guess your dreams always end.
They don't rise up, just descend,
But I don't care anymore,
I've lost the will to want more,
I'm not afraid not at all,
I watch them all as they fall,
But I remember when we were young.

Those with habits of waste,
Their sense of style and good taste,
Of making sure you were right,
Hey don't you know you were right?
I'm not afraid anymore,
I keep my eyes on the door,
But I remember....

Tears of sadness for you,
More upheaval for you,
Reflects a moment in time,
A special moment in time,
Yeah we wasted our time,
We didn't really have time,
But we remember when we were young.

And all God's angels beware,
And all you judges beware,
Sons of chance, take good care,
For all the people not there,
I'm not afraid anymore,
I'm not afraid anymore,
I'm not afraid anymore,
Oh, I'm not afraid anymore."

I've had a real problem picking a track to finish on here, there's just so many truly great tracks to pick from... and this is good but I'm not sure if it's what I would play to someone who I was trying to introduce Joy Division to...
lyrically It's not the best, musically It's not the best, performance wise It's not the best....
But for some reason I picked it....
Maybe it has something to do with the line "We Remember when we were young"...
I've been doing a lot of that lately,
Memories of a time when everything was wide open, there was no past only the future... Not sure!
A lot of people think that Joy Division made sad and depressing music for sad and depressed people, but nowadays they just seem to take me back to a time when I was young and I had my whole life ahead of me, and I was happy.
But there again I always did find Joy Division uplifting not depressing...
Blah Blah Blah!!!
This is available on the excellent Heart & Soul box set.... Please buy it.

Ian Curtis hung himself at the age of 23....

Please Buy And Read - Touching From A Distance By Ian's widow Deborah... You'll have to trust me on this... It's Essential.
Visit - Shadowplay
Visit - Joy Division Central


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