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Unknown Pleasures (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews


Honest. Sad. And without a doubt one of the most original albums ever recorded.

The blueprint for contemporary post-punk rock.

When I was introduced to Joy Division, I was already familiar with their contemporaries: The Cure, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, and Nine Inch Nails.

With a name inspired by a mythical Nazi-sexworker group and with despair-filled, indifferent lyrics, this album is the perfect snapshot of where music was heading in the late 1970s -- post-fascist, post-optimisim, post-punk, post-everything.

But I'm not a music historian or an older fan. I'm just a 90s-2000s kid who discovered an amazing band that is responsible more most bands I ever loved. That's how good of a picture this album paints for me.

This band was the catalyst and this album was the blueprint.

Even without all that context, it's still a great listen. Forget all the pretension and the hype and the rave reviews on iTunes, Pitchfork, or wherever.

Just give it a chance.




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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