14 June 2013

14th June - Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures

Artist – Album: Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Released:  14th June 1979            
Sounds Like: That anti-Friday feeling

Well, it’s been a long (looong) slog of a week, but it’s finally the weekend. A bit of a special weekend at that, for I, Joseph Francis Douglas, celebrate my 25th anniversary of birth on Sunday. It’s also Father’s Day on the 16th so I get to spend some time in the pub with my Dad, and tomorrow some sort of loose gathering will occur. Tonight I’m getting treated to a meal and drinks on the Manchester’s world famous curry mile. It’s almost too much for my limited vocabulary to express, and so I’ll leave it to the loquacious Rebecca Black to describe exactly how it goes:

“Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today
Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after...wards
I don’t want this weekend to end”

If Miss Black is at one end of the respective spectrums of excitement, talent and cool, Joy Division are way off on the distant opposite pole. Not for them partyin’ partyin’; instead they serve up for today one of the most melancholic and despairing albums of all time. The robotic percussion and hypnotic bass is one thing, the sparseness of the production and the ominous atmosphere another, but it’s Ian Curtis’ low moan and desperate, simple lyrics that takes the group to another level of bleakness.

Now I know none of you are thinking that you’d rather listen to “Friday” right now, but I feel I may have to reassure you that it's good. Yes, it can be hard work, but with songs like the post-punk disco of ‘Disorder’ and ‘She’s Lost Control’ or the brittle and brooding ‘Shadowplay’ on display, the album remains captivating and awesome. It’s well worth giving a listen. Just maybe not on a Friday.

Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       Disorder – 3:32
2.       Day of the Lords – 4:49
3.       Candidate – 3:05
4.       Insight – 4:29
5.       New Dawn Fades – 4:47
6.       She’s Lost Control – 3:57
7.       Shadowplay – 3:55
8.       Wilderness – 2:38
9.       Interzone – 2:16

10.   I Remember Nothing – 5:53

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