Joy Division | Artist
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Joy Division was an English rock band formed 1976 in Salford, Manchester by singer/songwriter Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris. Curtis died in 1980 and the trio carried on as New Order, with the addition of Gillian Gilbert. Sumner and Hook formed the band, initally called Warsaw, after attending a June 1976 Sex Pistols concert. The band placed an advertisement for a vocalist in the Manchester Virgin Records shop and Ian Curtis, who knew them from earlier gigs, responded and was hired without audition. Warsaw debuted on 29 May 1977 at the Electric Circus, supporting the Buzzcocks, Penetration and John Cooper Clarke. Tony Tabac played drums that night after joining the band two days earlier but he was soon replaced by new drummer Stephen Morris, who had attended the same school as Curtis. To avoid confusion with the London punk band Warsaw Pakt, the band renamed themselves Joy Division in early 1978, borrowing the name from the sexual slavery wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel House of Dolls. On 14 December, the group recorded their debut EP An Ideal For Living, at Pennine Sound Studio and played their final gig as Warsaw on New Year's Eve at the Swinging Apple in Liverpool. The band played their first gig as Joy Division on 25 January 1978 at Pip's Disco in Manchester. On 20 September, they made their television debut performing "Shadowplay" on So It Goes, with an introduction by Tony Wilson. In October, the band contributed two tracks recorded with producer Martin Hannett to the compilation double-7" EP A Factory Sample, the first release by Tony Wilson's new record label, Factory Records. In the NME review of the EP, Paul Morley praised the band as "the missing link" between Elvis Presley and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Joy Division joined Factory's roster, after buying themselves out of an earlier deal with RCA. While Joy Division's first recordings were heavily influenced by early punk, they soon developed a sparse sound and style that made them one of the pioneers of the post-punk movement. Joy Division's debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was recorded at Strawberry Studios, Stockport, in April 1979 with visionary producer Martin Hannett. The album cover was designed by Peter Saville, who went on to provide artwork for future Joy Division and New Order releases. Unknown Pleasures was released in June and sold through its initial pressing of 10,000 copies. Wilson said the success turned the indie label into a true business and a "revolutionary force" that operated outside of the major record label system. Reviewing the album for Melody Maker, Jon Savage described the album as an "opaque manifesto" and declared it "one of the best, white, English, debut LPs of the year." The band recorded their second album, Closer, with Hannett at London's Britannia Row Studios in March 1980. In June, the single "Love Will Tear us Apart" was released, which hit number thirteen on the UK Charts, and in July, Closer was released, and peaked at number six on the UK Albums Chart. NME reviewer Charles Shaar Murray wrote, "Closer is as magnificent a memorial for Joy Division as much as for Ian Curtis as any post-Presley popular musician could have." On the morning of 18 May 1980, a month before the release of Closer, and on the eve of the band's first major tour to the US, Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen and was found later that day by his wife Debbie. Although Joy Division only released two albums with Curtis, both are classics and the band's Post Punk/Industrial/Dance sound changed the course of music irrevocably. Outstanding releases include An Ideal For Living EP (1978), Unknown Pleasures (1979), Closer (1980), Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979 (2001) and the compilations Heart and Soul (1997), Substance (1998) and Singles 1978-1980 (2010).
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