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Joy Division-Transmission-Circa 1978

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By chrisliv - Posted on 15 February 2010


For those under 50 and not around for the Punk Rock Era during the late 70s and early 80s, this band and song may be unfamiliar to you. But, Joy Division is still one of my favorites from that time. Of course, those familiar will know some of the tragic back-story of the vocalist, Ian Curtis, and how he was both bi-polar and epileptic. You can almost detect as much in the jerky dance that he does, which, to me, is pretty courageous and honest.

The two songs many people can probably identify by Joy Division are Shadowplay and Love Will Tear Us Apart, which are both masterpieces lyrically and sonically. But I like Transmission especially well, as it is both hard driving and upbeat. Most of the Joy Division lyrics written by Ian Curtis are pretty cryptic, but there is stuff at the surface that is obvious criticism which Punk Rock is famous for, without just saying F.U.; stuff like "Imperialistic house of prayer, Conquistadors who took their share" (from another classic Joy Division song, Dead Souls), etc.

Some here may even know that three of the four remaining members of Joy Division went on to form the band New Order, which has been critically and commercially successful as an Alternative-Synth band for over 20 years now.

Anyway, Joy Division formed as a prototypical Punk band, called Warsaw, right after seeing a Sex Pistols gig in 1976, and is probably now regarded as the earliest Goth music to come out of the Punk and New Wave scene.

Peace be with you all,
C. Livingstone

PS: I swapped the video link. This newer one has the same stage performance of Transmission, but has a clip of an interview (about apparent UK-State censorship of She's Lost Control), then goes on to play She's Lost Control, which is about an epileptic girl who died of a fit, during the time when Ian Curtis was a Civil Service Disabilities Benefit Caseworker, I think.

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