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Unknown Pleasures (Collector's Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

Both in its previous incarnation as Warsaw and its earliest days as Joy Division, this seminal British band used the raw edge of ‘70s punk as a launching pad. Yet by the time of its first studio album, the quartet had taken a daring turn and embraced both open space and the reviled synthesizer as key tools. That the band and Unknown Pleasures are inarguably two of the most important events in the timeline of modern pop/rock music speaks to the “success” of those changes. Stripped down, brutal, and brooding, the music made by the late Ian Curtis and his cohorts was unlike anything that had come before, breathing a new kind of aggression into the still-young punk scene with tunes like the bruising “Interzone” and the unsettling “Disorder” and “She’s Lost Control." They presaged industrial music with the bleak “I Remember Nothing” and goth with the gloom-laden “Day of the Lords” and “Candidate.” Unknown Pleasures stands as a stunning masterpiece, a vivid snapshot in time and a sad reminder of Curtis' talent and genius. (This collection features no fewer than a dozen live tracks from a 1979 show at The Factory in Manchester.)


Formed: 1977 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Formed in the wake of the punk explosion in England, Joy Division became the first band in the post-punk movement by later emphasizing not anger and energy but mood and expression, pointing ahead to the rise of melancholy alternative music in the '80s. Though the group's raw initial sides fit the bill for any punk band, Joy Division later incorporated synthesizers (taboo in the low-tech world of '70s punk) and more haunting melodies, emphasized by the isolated, tortured lyrics of its lead vocalist,...
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