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Joy Division – Permanent

This review may potentially meet with disagreement from fans, as the internet seems full of people who swear these guys are great. So I’ll say off the top that I give all deference to your tastes, and fair play to you. This is just my experience, posted on my (and James’) site. Thanks for reading.

I just never understood the appeal of this band, for myself. I mean, I get why other folks liked it – it was a fine enough example of 80s post-punk. And some people like it because the singer, Ian Curtis, was a bit of a poet of “desolation, emptiness, and alienation.” (Wiki) Even his 1980 death by suicide (he suffered from both epilepsy and depression) seems to have added a sheen to the myth and legend of the band for some people, which I find morbid and weird.

With me, though, it never really caught on. Not at the time, and not now in 2018, either. I dunno, it just isn’t my brand of sound. So why did I even bother to buy this compilation? Because I feel as though I ought to like it, somehow, and not just because many other people seem to. It has an edge to it that makes his odd vocals and the content of his lyrics a fascinating subject of study, when (potentially) seen in a different light. So I gave it a whirl. And… nope, it just doesn’t click. Not something I would choose to play often, anyway.

Love Will Tear us Apart is the most recognizeable, of course, and there are two versions here. It has actually taken me several days to get all the way through this CD, because I could only do two or three tracks at a time, and I needed to play other things in between to balance it all out. That says something right there, too, honestly.

Maybe I oughta add Joy Division to my Every Five Years project with My Bloody Valentine. I try them out, try to ‘get it,’ then wait five years before trying again. Might do, we’ll see.

Anyway, this compilation contains the following:

1 Love Will Tear Us Apart (Pennine version)^
2 Transmission
3 She’s Lost Control
4 Shadowplay
5 Day of the Lords
6 Isolation
7 Passover
8 Heart and Soul
9 Twenty Four Hours
10 These Days
11 Novelty
12 Dead Souls
13 The Only Mistake
14 Something Must Break
15 Atmosphere
16 Love Will Tear Us Apart (Permanent Mix)

^ Not listed as being alternate version at all

Tracks 1 and 10 first released on the Love Will Tear Us Apart single in 1980.
Tracks 2 and 11 first released on the Transmission single in 1979.
Tracks 3 to 5 first released on the Unknown Pleasures album in 1979.
Tracks 6 to 9 first released on the Closer album in 1980.
Track 12 and 15 first released on the Licht und Blindheit single in 1980.
Tracks 13 and 14 first released on the Still album in 1981.
Track 16 previously unreleased.

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