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Unknown Pleasures (Collector's Edition)

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Joy Division’s 1979 debut is, at once, glistening and foreboding. Its atmospheric production and Ian Curtis’ dramatic croon—shot through with scything guitars, cutting synthlines, and booming bass—combine to create an eerie sense of disconnection and distance. The punchy and anxious “Shadowplay,” the echo-heavy “She’s Lost Control,” and the rifftastic “Interzone” are perfect, if not sinister, storms of punk and dance. Other tunes, like pop-brooder “New Dawn Fades” and the tribal-dirge of an album closer, “I Remember Nothing,” set the stage for the coming darkness that was goth rock.

Biography

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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