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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Odes To Joy

As the 40th anniversary of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures approaches, Peter Hook tells Jonathan Wright about the “wonderful out-of-control excitement” of making one of the best debut albums ever committed to vinyl

Over the course of their brief career, Joy Division made just a single appearance on national television. In September 1979, the band performed Transmission and She’s Lost Control on a BBC2 proto-yoof show, Something Else. All of the elements that made Joy Division so compelling are in place: skittish drum patterns, the swapping of lead lines between guitar and bass, and a collective demeanour pitched somewhere between nerdy and belligerent. And then there’s Ian Curtis, first twitching as he gets lost in the music before dancing like a man possessed, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings.

Th e contrast between the band’s first regional TV appearance, a performance of Shadowplay introduced by Tony Wilson for Granada Reports a year previously, is slight yet telling, a matter of more confidence, more experience, better clothes even. Th e Joy Division of autumn 1978 are reaching, rich in promise, but by 1979 they’re the finished article, scarily good. As the 40th anniversary of the release of Unknown Pleasures approaches, it seems an apposite moment to ask, what alchemy made this possible?

Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty
Joy Division were always a powerful live outfit, an aspect of the band that wasn’t reflected in the band’s masterful debut
Martin O’Neill/Redferns/Getty
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About Long Live Vinyl

1969 was the year that changed everything for David Bowie, and in our exclusive cover feature we speak to his former girlfriend Hermione Farthingale, plus bandmates John 'Hutch' Hutchinson and George Underwood to get the inside story. With three new Bowie boxsets out this year, you won't want to miss these rare interviews with the people who knew Bowie best – and our stunning collector's cover. Elsewhere this issue, we meet the ever-engaging Richard Hawley for a pint and a chat about his new album, Further, while Calexico and Iron & Wine tell us about their collaboration LP, Years To Burn. On the 40th anniversary of Joy Division's stellar debut Unknown Pleasures, Peter Hook takes us inside the making of the album, and we look back at another classic, Talk Talk's The Colour Of Spring. We also pay tribute to US indie label Merge on their 30th birthday and hear from James Lavelle about working with DJ Shadow, Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft and Danny Boyle. If all that's not enough, we bring you 40 essential vinyl samplers and meet Super Furry Animals artwork designer Pete Fowler. Plus you'll find the widest range of new album, reissue and hi-fi gear reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today…