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Closer (Collector's Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

Released just months after singer Ian Curtis’ suicide, Closer is the second studio album by the groundbreaking band Joy Division. As if signaling the group's importance to the rest of the world, the English charts had the good sense to host Closer in the Top 10 for several months in 1980. It would take years for the band (and the aforementioned song, its most famous) to be recognized stateside by more than the most devoted underground music fans. As revelatory as their first LP, Unknown Pleasures, was, Closer colored the post-punk world in shockingly deep hues of black and gray, hitherto unseen: echoing and hollow bass lines, chilly and crystalline synths that stabbed like knives, and brittle, crackling snares suspended in rifts of open space were the order of the day. Guitars scrape and saw; funereal piano notes plod. Never before had gloom and despair sounded so bleakly beautiful. Curtis’ performance is gloriously dramatic, yet utterly honest and ungilded. Closer is a necessary companion LP for anyone who owns Unknown Pleasures, and this 2007 edition is accompanied by 12 tracks recorded live at the University of London in 1980. 

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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