In May 1980 post-punk outfit Joy Division split after the tragic suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis, in the bands short career they had produced two of the most influential albums in British rock music. Their debut album Unknown Pleasures was released in 1979 and is still considered to be one of the best records of all time, even 31 years on this album hasn’t aged a bit, a lot of this should be credited to producer Martin Hannett for creating a spacey, almost dub-step like atmosphere for the albums setting. But without the the distinctive high bass lines of Peter Hook, machine like drumming of Steven Morris, sparse guitar lines of Bernard Sumner or emotional vocals of Ian Curtis we wouldn’t have this masterpiece of an LP.
This almost revolutionary approach to guitar music was the complete opposite of their punk music peers that were riding high in the scene only a few years earlier. Embracing space and ambience, tracks most notable for epitomising the Joy Division sound are the opening track Disorder and She’s Lost Control, both built on a foundation of high bass lines and tight, almost electronic style percussion. These two epic songs utilise the spacey atmosphere created by Martin Hannett, even adding on swooshing like synth part with Disorder constantly building tension to a climax like end of “feeling, feeling, feeling.”
Unknown Pleasures was an incredibly feat which has not only struggled to be topped but influenced so many of the current generation of bands from the likes of Interpol, Editors to even more recently White Lies. After the death of Ian Curtis the remaining remembers of the band went onto form electronic group New Order, which seemed like the band’s natural progression but Unknown Pleasures timeless, inspirational music has ensured that the memory of Ian Curtis and Joy Division will live on forever.