Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Best of Joy Division (2008)


In 2008, about 30 years too late, I finally got hip to Joy Division.  I came very, very late to this band, which is surprising since I enjoy New Order.  But at the time the band was in existence, I was a rural preteen enjoying a healthy dose of disco while the UK punk and post-punk scenes were unknown to me.  When (if) newscasts spoke of the death of Sid Vicious or the suicide of Ian Curtis, I wasn't listening.  But I saw the 2007 Ian Curtis Biopic, Control, which led me to read his wife's book, Touching From A Distance, which led me to watch the movie 24 Hour Party People and the 2007 documentary Joy Division, then I bought this compilation.  I recently finished reading Peter Hook's new memoir, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, so these songs were on my mind and I figured the time was right to give this a listen again.  In the 2007 documentary, someone (I can't remember who, maybe Tony Wilson) says it best when he suggests the revolutionary step the group made was to progress from the usual punk group's angry statement: "Fuck you." Joy Division were the first to say: "We're fucked."  Spot on.

Here's what I wrote about Joy Division last year on the blog: "This post-punk group could make the most upbeat tempo into a depressing song. I'm amazed the wife of Ian Curtis could listen to his music and not think her husband was suicidal."

My listening pleasure is greatly diminished by the fact that I knew of Curtis's suicide before I became familiar with these songs.  I simply can't separate the two and that makes this a difficult disc for me to listen to, so I try to focus on the music instead of the lyrics and vocals.  Should I have spent a little more cash and just purchased the band's two albums?  Perhaps, but since I can rarely listen to this music it really doesn't matter much.  I've read many reviews of this CD and most focus on the fact that the song selection is wrong and/or not enough music is included on the disc (14 songs, 56 minutes), but, again, that doesn't matter much to me. In the end, I'm going to have to group Joy Division along with Kraftwerk: I understand that they were influential, historic music pioneers, but I just don't listen to them that much.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks:  Regardless of what some critics might suggest, there's nothing worth skipping here.  Today, my favorites are Digital, Transmission, Dead Souls, She's Lost Control, Love Will Tear Us Apart, and Isolation.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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