Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures - Review
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critics' view

Arriving in the summertime of ’79 was the debut full-length from the Salfordian new sensations who lined up: Ian Curtis (22, lead vocals); Bernard Sumner (23, guitar & keyboards); Peter Hook (23, bass guitar) and Stephen Morris (21, drums). Gloriously moody, melodious and intense, these ten songs embody a new era. It’s an era numbed by Northern industrial town life, and these gritty and grey worldly depictions are the new glam; there have been people waiting a lifetime for this sort of record. “Unknown Pleasures” is fully passionate, yet as cold as ice; whilst it often sounds lethargic to the layman, it’s packed to the gunnels with a tense-energy which is omnipresent. It’s almost like they’ve taken Punk away from the crowd, kept the spirit, and made a punk record for the isolated, a feeling which is conveyed, chillingly, in the lyrics of the incredibly charismatic and believable non-smiling frontman. Martin Hannett’s production is genuinely amazing; like Kraftwerk, every band member gets the room to breathe, and there’s a palpable eeriness which comes oozing out of the speakers, left, right and centre. It’s pure theatre in fact – and one of the greatest albums ever made. “A special moment in time”, indeed.

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