Tuesday, June 28, 2011

J0y Divisi0n- Unkn0wn Ple@sures (1979) Collector's Edition (Bonus Disc) MP3 & FLAC

"Directionless so plain to see, a loaded gun won't set you free, so you say."

Joy Division is often touted as the point of origin for Post-Punk. While this may not be entirely accurate (there were many points of origin for this movement), there is no denying that Ian Curtis' emotionally harrowing lyrics and tense baritone croon effectively turned Punk's aesthetic of rage and aggression inward, deconstructing his own emotional, physical, and psychological struggles in a candid way completely unprecedented within the context of the Punk movement. However, Joy Division's live sound, especially at the time they recorded their debut, Unknown Pleasures, still clearly bore the imprint of their Punk roots, though Peter Hook's melodic bass-work, which would become a defining element of the band's mature sound, was already in evidence on a few songs. By all accounts, the groundbreaking sound of Joy Division's debut (which some members of the band were not entirely enamored with at the time of the album's release) owes much to the brilliant production work of Martin Hannett, who saw the sonic possibilities inherent in the band's sound and decided to push them beyond the aesthetic confines of Punk austerity. Hannett did nothing to temper the band's dark abrasiveness; however, he lent the album a sense of eerie spaciousness by insisting that every instrument be recorded in isolation to enhance the definition of the individual elements comprising the songs, an approach quite antithetical to what was generally found on Punk recordings of the time. Exemplary of this unprecedented sound is the brilliant "shadowplay," which fades in with Hook's bass setting up the basic melody in concert with Stephen Morris' shimmering cymbals. These serve to increase the song's tension until Bernard Sumner crashes in with a jagged guitar chord and Ian Curtis's bellowing vocals issue-forth sounding as if emanating from regions unknown, both of which threaten to push the song into more familiar Punk territory, except that the lyrics and sonic depth of the mix refuse to let it acquiesce to predictability. Even more stunning is "She's Lost Control," Curtis' chilling account of the physical and psychological struggles of a fellow epileptic. With its strange almost industrial disco beat and Hook's iconic descending bass melody, the song more than lives up to the album's title, as Joy Division have clearly moved into entirely new sonic territory here, a sound that both set the bar for the initial wave of Post-Punk bands and presaged the direction the band would take (as New Order) after Curtis' tragic suicide. Simply put, Unknown Pleasures is one of the most important and original albums of the rock era.

Unknown Pleasures (2007 Collector's Edition)

Disc I: Unknown Pleasures (2007 Remaster)

 1. Disorder  (3:33)
 2. Day of the Lords  (4:50)
 3. Candidate  (3:05)
 4. Insight  (4:29)
 5. New Dawn Fades  (4:49)
 6. She's Lost Control  (3:57)
 7. Shadowplay  (3:56)
 8. Wilderness  (2:39)
 9. Interzone  (2:16)
10. I Remember Nothing  (5:53)

Disc II: Live, The Factory, Manchester, July 13, 1979

 1. Dead Souls  (4:25)
 2. The Only Mistake  (4:12)
 3. Insight  (3:52)
 4. Candidate  (2:08)
 5. Wilderness  (2:32)
 6. She's Lost Control  (3:47)
 7. Shadowplay  (3:35)
 8. Disorder  (3:29)
 9. Interzone  (2:05)
10. Atrocity Exhibition  (6:14)
11. Novelty  (4:29)
12. Transmission  (3:50)


  1. Wow what a writeup! I have some later albums but not this one so thank you.

  2. What a coincidence! This morning a colleague of mine handed me unexpectedly a Joy Division's pocket calendar as a present!

    What a great album, I always listen to it late at night, I think it's the best time to really enjoy Unknown Pleasures.

  3. Awesome. I own this and closer on vinyl and I've been looking for lossless versions of them for a while now. Thanks!

  4. Great post. :-)
    I don't find this version on discogs, can someone help me?

  5. Another essential album... I have this on original UK Factory vinyl for this Closer and Still.

  6. Thanks much! Kurt

  7. scurfie, thank you. I wanted to try to do justice to this peerless album

  8. Dave, maybe there's symmetry in the universe after all ;)

  9. feastofnoise, I posted the collector's edition of "Closer" a while back

  10. Anon., here's a link:

  11. IMHO their finest and darkest recording. My favorite one. But to be fair all JD stuff is excellent. They were a music catalyst for me. It was 1980 as I can remember and after I listened 2-3 songs in a radio show, asked for this one. Only imported they told me. I said ok even it cost a fortune for a young schoolboy. But never regretted. But the point for this edition is the bonus disk. Thanks Voixautre.

  12. frankroo, great story and I agree. There's nothing like this one (unless it's "Closer"). Enjoy the bonus disc!


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