Rarely does genius strike twice.
Joy Division, Manchester’s heavyweights of musical expressionism, articulate the world from the perspective of the marginalised, the invisible or forgotten, those left behind beneath the underdog. Four young fellas who could seemingly voyage at will to inner worlds to bring back sound sculptures and songs from other realms. The seismic shift which is Unknown Pleasures & it’s ground-breaking follow up, Closer, are two long players who's impact on the culture is difficult to truly grasp.
Joy Division's Ian Curtis
Joy Division’s music pulses deep inside feelings on the outskirts of the psyche where emotions have no anchor and are at times haunting. Music which is also life-affirming; the power that resides within the songs leaves a legacy with which to channel the darkness towards the light.
Despite losing Ian Curtis, their singer, wordsmith and conduit, they somehow still found rebirth as New Order, redefining the notion of what is possible in post-punk music.
That New Order continued to make music as powerful, perfect and groundbreaking is incredible; rarely does genius strike twice.
Movement, 1981’s courageous claustrophobic debut, reveals a band in transition seeking to establish new sounds and ways of expression. The next four records remain their best work, from 1983’s Power Corruption & Lies, Lowlife (85) Brotherhood (86) to 1989’s Technique. Records which laid down the New Order blue-print and remain unsurpassed in terms of the fusion of electronic music and guitars.
Chapter and Verse - New Order, Joy Division and Me by Barney Summer is as good a book as your likely to read about the history of both bands. It’s from the horse’s mouth as it were, revealing a humility and humour often overlooked when either band is discussed. I was luckily enough to see a brilliant New Order gig at Reading in 1989, a show at which Barney asked a gathering of Goths why they were head to toe dressed in black in the baking sunshine, as flares and bucket hats announced Manchester had arrived. The band were amazing as they show-cased tracks from their superb Technique album. This was the same year that Barney referred to U2’s singer as “that Bongo guy” whilst interviewed on Snub TV. The self-appointed Rock Messiah certainly needed his peg lowered and this is a classic interview that captures the spirit of the band.
Colour Is Sound are proud to present forthcoming new Joy Division & New Order T-shirt designs, as part of our ‘Northern Lights’ Collection, to be released on the 30th of January 2017, twenty-seven years to the day that New Order released their glorious Technique album.