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Somebody Likes It Ep 102: Joy Division – “Closer”

At this point, it can be difficult to separate the legend of Joy Division from an honest account of either of their (intentional) releases, but here is what we know: on the eve of their first American tour with The Buzzcocks, frontman Ian Curtis hung himself in his kitchen. Technically, that’s where Joy Division ends.

The rest of the band, in the intervening years since, have gone on to great fame as New Order, but that hasn’t extinguished the fervor over the band they were — the twitchy, angular, frenetic gyrations of Curtis, set to increasingly haunted lyrics, and seasoned with the jaunty bass lines of Peter Hook, the buzzing syncopated guitar riffs of Bernard Sumner, the precise beats of drummer Stephen Morris. Their ascent from kids at a Manchester show, blown away by the first Sex Pistols gig — to seasoned, genre defining post-punk outfit, is well documented.

Of the two records, the final one, Closer, foretold looming clouds on the horizon. But how does it hold up, beyond the Manchester scene, the kid with HATE spelled out on his coat, and a bass guitar for 40 quid? Sit a spell and find out…

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