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Mark Funnell "markfunnell"
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Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979
Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw Power, 13 Dec. 2013
Part of the legend of Joy Division rested on their live performances. After Ian Curtis' death the release of a fairly average gig, their last, on the second disc of Still meant that it was unclear whether the legend was mere myth. In the meantime, bootlegs proliferated and fans spoke in hushed tones of the talismanic performances of Curtis. Since the Heart & Soul box- set included a disc of audience recordings, a flood of releases has followed, though some, like this, are difficult to obtain now.

Don't let that prevent you from investing in this, the best single document of Joy Division live. It captures aspects of the band not well represented on the studio recordings, dominated as they are by Martin Hannett's distinctive production techniques. Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook have complained bitterly that Hannett buried their guitars on Unknown Pleasures; here they get full reign and attack the material with relish. The big rock songs (e.g., Transmission, These Days) are rendered immense here, veritable guitar assaults. Then there are those that display the band's subtle grasp of dynamics; Dead Souls, with its abrupt surges and plateaus; New Dawn Fades, with its stately progression, and Shadowplay's abrasive choppiness are astonishing here. Atrocity Exhibition is a different beast to its sparse studio partner, raw and savage, while Autosuggestion is a surprising highlight, a year- old out- take given a fiery new lease of life. Through all this Curtis is the shamanic vocalist of legend, passionate and committed while precise and exacting.

The material on this CD consists of 9 songs from the Paris venue of the title in December 1979 and some selections from two Dutch performances in January 1980. It's not all perfect: their more nuanced material was harder to get right live, and adding anything to the, often definitive, studio versions was tricky. Atmosphere is impressive for being performed at all, but tells us nothing we didn't already know. Other synthesiser led songs, like Love Will Tear Us Apart, are similarly merely decent. Insight is marred by a pingy synthesiser effect and Disorder is, as it often was live, taken too fast. There are other great performances from the Dutch gigs omitted, especially a brutal version of Colony from Eindhoven previously used on the Here Are The Young Men video and the semi- legal Let The Movie Begin, and greater care could have been taken in track selection.

My suggestion is to program this selection, in this order, to experience the full thrust of Joy Division live;

Dead Souls / Twenty Four Hours / Day Of The Lords / Shadowplay / Autosuggestion / Atrocity Exhibition / These Days / Transmission / New Dawn Fades

Released as the second (vinyl) disc of Still in 1981 (with a natural break between sides between Autosuggestion and Atrocity Exhibition) this would have reaffirmed the Joy Division legend, an almost unbearably intense and powerful assault on some of the greatest songs of their era that captures, thrillingly, the band a mile away from their, often restrained, studio sound. Heard today it retains that raw power, and reminds us of a time, post- punk, when rock music seemed to be about more than sales, image and fame, when rock music seemed to, in a single word, matter.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2015 4:32 PM BST


Personality: What makes you the way you are
Personality: What makes you the way you are
by Daniel Nettle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understand the new science of personality, 7 July 2008
I've been trying to find a book on personality that does justice to the emerging consensus around the Big 5 factors (extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to experience)... and here it is. Nettle writes clearly and lucidly for the general reader while persuasively arguing for his own interpretations of contentious issues.

Most impressively, for each of the 5 factors he;
(i) describes them in greater detail than other authors bother to do
(ii) links extreme scores to heightened risk of developing particular disorders
(iii) relates each factor to a particular psychological mechanism
(iv) links these to structures in the brain
(v) explains why variation continues to exist for each factor

There's also a clear explanation of the evidence on the causes of personality differences and the shortest Big 5 personality test ever.

One of those books that makes you feel smart for understanding it.


The Jam Collection
The Jam Collection

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great companion to Compact Snap, 17 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Jam Collection (Audio CD)
Given the price and content, if you're after a cheap introduction to The Jam just get this and 'Compact Snap' (rather than 'Greatest Hits', as suggested above). 'Compact Snap' covers all the A sides and a few other bits and pieces while this is a generous selection of less famous material. There's no cross- over in track- listings and between them they cover the essentials, including all the great b- sides. The tracks here are very well- chosen, with the tough but melodic material given emphasis. I would have included 'Tonight at Noon' from 'This is the Modern World', but that's the only gripe.


Purveyors of Taste
Purveyors of Taste
Price: £7.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy indie compilation, 9 May 2006
This review is from: Purveyors of Taste (Audio CD)
At the start of 1985 Creation records put out a string of decent singles, and this collects some of the best. Most notably, it's just about the only place you can get hold of Primal Scream's lost classic 'Velocity Girl'. At current prices, this is a bargain.


Gravelands
Gravelands
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead, 16 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Gravelands (Audio CD)
Just to note; all the original performers of these songs are dead! Nice to see that the King keeps his concepts straight.


Their Organic Majesty's Request
Their Organic Majesty's Request

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gonzoid pre- punk noise, 10 April 2001
The Electric Eels came out of the same Cleveland milieu as Pere Ubu during the early / mid 70s. Specialising in a mutated, gonzoid pre- punk noise they were too abrasive and ahead of their time to make any commercial progress. Indeed, they never even saw the inside of a recording studio; all these cuts were made in the band's rehearsal room. Their few live dates usually ended in fights and members regularly quit after intra- band violence. All this would be irrelevant if the Eels were not capable of quite startling music. Armed only with a few chords, a love of free jazz and a hatred of just about everything else they made a vicious, spiteful noise leavened with a dark sense of humour. This is the sound of adolescence writ large, and none the worse for it. Hugely influential on the likes of Pussy Galore, if you need a comparison point, this CD is essential for anyone interested in the pre- history of punk, the detritus of consumer society or hearing the voluntarily dispossessed rail against the world. Best cuts;'Agitated' 'Cyclotron' and 'Giganto'. Best title; 'You're Full of Shit'.


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