Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Joy Division: An Ideal for Living (1978)

I can't think of too many bands that live up to the billing of 'legendary', but Joy Division is one of them, even though they released only two proper records. Joy Division had a short but influential tenure, ending with the suicide of Ian Curtis at age 23. After his death came the birth of the subsequent incarnation of the band, the improbable New Order. Some Joy Division compilation records also followed. On some days, I might be inclined to argue that Joy Division was the best rock band ever, but I think there is one other band that might take that title, like The Smiths. It depends when you ask me.

Allmusic calls Joy Division "the definitive post-punk group." That's probably accurate, even though I have an issue with the term post-punk. Isn't that just a fancy term for new wave? And, JD in no way qualifies as new wave, so I will have to allow the use of the post-punk label. To me, the band owed more to the punk movement than to the new wave movement.

I used to have a counterfeit copy of this Anonymous Records release of Joy Division's debut EP, An Ideal for Living, but I let it go, during my period of misguided CD love. On RSD in 2014, Warner released an official limited edition pressing of this EP, and I opted to buy a copy. The four tracks are:

No Love Lost
Leaders of Man

A couple of months back, I saw a copy of the Anon bootleg for $25. I prefer to stick with the RSD version, as it was made from a new master, and who knows the source of the bootleg?

This is a great intro to JD and it's indispensable for any serious Joy Division fan. It's a long way from the smooth groove of Love will Tear us Apart.

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