Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Joy Division: Closer (1980)

I've always read the title of this record as an adjective, for something nearby or the opposite of distant. Baseball players, baseball fans, and some salespeople know this word as a noun that means either a relief pitcher or someone who can bring things to a close. Given that this was the last real Joy Division album, the latter might be the better interpretation. And, it's a damn fine closer. It's difficult to believe that Joy Division could have written an album to equal Unknown Pleasures, but they did it, somehow. In fact, this LP might even be better than the debut record.

So this is permanence, love's shattered pride.
What once was innocence, turned on its side.
A cloud hangs over me, marks every move,
Deep in the memory, of what once was love.

Oh how I realised how I wanted time,
Put into perspective, tried so hard to find,
Just for one moment, thought I'd found my way.
Destiny unfolded, I watched it slip away.

Excessive flashpoints, beyond all reach,
Solitary demands for all I'd like to keep.
Let's take a ride out, see what we can find,
A valueless collection of hopes and past desires.

I never realised the lengths I'd have to go,
All the darkest corners of a sense I didn't know.
Just for one moment, I heard somebody call,
Looked beyond the day in hand, there's nothing there at all.

Now that I've realised how it's all gone wrong,
Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long.
Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway,
Gotta find my destiny, before it gets too late.

These are chilling lyrics, in light of Ian's suicide. The album commences with one of my favourite JD tracks, Atrocity Exhibition. One always wonders what Joy Division would have done next, and there are clues on Still, especially the track Ceremony. It's too bad we never got to experience it.

As with Unknown Pleasures, this is a truly beautiful album design. I have an original Canadian pressing.

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