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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive early Joy Division recordings, 12 Mar 2007
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This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
If you didn't already know, Warsaw is the name that Joy Division went under before they had a 'proper' record deal with factory records. This effort was recorded in Germany, and is well worth a listen for seeing what Joy Division were like in their earliest stages.

I disagree with most of the reviewers here regarding quality; the stripped-down nature of these recordings is where their charm lies. Many of them actually sound like demos, and it is when listening to the demos of a band that one can truly gauge a band's potential.

And believe me, even at these earliest stages, this band had HUGE potential. In fact, many of the songs here are actually a vast improvement on the versions which made it onto the final 'polished' albums. Case in point: 'No Love Lost'. The version on this album is absolutely staggering, about five minutes long, and boasting one of the best introductions to a song I have ever heard. This version also captures the rawness and exciting Joie De Vivre of Joy Division like nothing on the albums. It is feral and enthralling. One can only imagine how good this band were to see live...

'The Drawback' is also exciting and lively, whilst 'Leaders Of Men', 'Failures' and 'Novelty' capture a zeal and enthusiasm which is only evident when a band first begin recording. The latter also features the amusingly rudimentary lyric: "I don't want to act uncool, like all the other sods", which would later change. But this unfinshed, rudimentary quality is exactly what makes this recording so vital - this is Joy Division history!

'Living In The Ice Age' (longer title) also sounds superior to what would eventually replace it, as is 'Warsaw', which is frankly mind-blowing in it's urgency. The band at this stage in their career sound vibrant and keen enough to set the world on fire. 'Shadowplay' is yet another highlight, featuring that notorious Sumner riff which deserves to take it's place in music history, whilst 'As You Said' hints at some of the thetrical sounding electronic music which would be so prevalent during the 'Closer' era.

There are also three or four extremely rare tracks including 'Gutz' and 'At a Later date', the latter of which is probably the most impressive of these four apparent demos. They're not fantastic, but all of the songs which were carried on as part of the Joy Division legacy are utterly vital.

This album is not just for Joy Division purists, in fact, I would strongly reccomend this album to all new Joy Division fans as a footnote to their entire body of work. Simply spellbinding.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Like Joy Division, 8 Dec 2010
This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
There is a lot of mystique surrounding Joy Division, which is slightly exasperating if like me, you were too young to experience them first hand. This is an opportunity to hear them during their developmental stages, which is a good enough reason to buy this CD.

Musically, Warsaw were not as polished as they later became but it is surprising to hear how close the 1978 tracks are to the final sound of Unknown Pleasures. When you watch films like 24 hour party people, you get the impression that producer Martin Hannett more or less invented their sound single handedly. This album predates his involvement, so clearly, this is not true. However, the sleeve notes do suggest that Warsaw were not happy with the synths on this record - the main reason for it not being released at the time. To my ears, the synths (along with the other instruments) are an integral part of the JD sound. Perhaps Mr Hannett was just good at persuading the band of their benefits and could better anticipate the future direction of pop music. The other striking development is the tone of Ian Curtis vocals, which you can hear dramatically improving on later recordings. As for the bonus tracks - it was early days - thank god they developed past Sham 69 but it shows where you can get to from small beginnings!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars early joy division still showed their brillance, 16 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
This is the album that may have escaped some joy division fans, the album was not released until recently, because the band were not happy with the changes the producer made. While it may not have the cold dark atmospherics of Still or especially Closer it does show off Joy Division's punk roots, which is not a bad thing at all.
The album contains some fantastic tracks, such as the hyper Transmission, or the anti war track "they walked in line" and my personal favourite, "shadow play". This is the perfect album for any one who found the latter half of Closer too sombre, and a must for any hardcore fan of the band. An excellent album, but what else would you expect from one of the most orginal bands of the last few decades.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Their Only Mistake....having criminal demos from '76!!!, 15 Oct 2003
By 
Mr. S. O'kane "snagii" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
If you want to understand how Warsaw became Joy Division then this is the CD you want. However, to really get an idea of the transformation then programme the CD to have the 'BONUS TRACKS' first - 'Guts' 'You're No Good For Me' etc - followed by the rest (excluding 'As You Said' which seems to be the same as the Factory version and anyway it's a bit out of time & context here). Listening to the appalling & laughable proto-Oi! sound of these very early tracks ('76?) makes you wonder how on earth they developed such mastery of post-punk doom & gloom with 'Unknown Pleasures' just 2 years later.
Once they're over, you will be relieved that you purchased the right item as the entire unreleased RCA album from '77 rolls out ahead of you in its glory. It's not in anyway as bad as some have told you. It's rough in style but there are plenty of glimmers of the future sound and vision to come. Classics songs like 'Transmission'& 'Ice Age' are given their recording debut here and sound unpolished but still good. The sound quality is excellent as the tapes seem to have been remixed for this CD. This would have been a good debut album for JD if it was released but then again UP wouldn't have had the same impact as it did one year later. Swings & Roundabouts, eh?
The packaging is a little tacky and does scream 'SEMI-LEGAL OFFSHORE RELEASE' but JD fans should seek this out despite that. The bonus tracks will put off those who have just digged all of JD's albums as they DEFINITELY are only for die-hards who want everything [A better idea would have been to licence the 1st EP 'Warsaw' (w/'Incubation') a small number of these demos & then the RCA album. It would have served nicely as a new album called 'The Pre-Factory Years: 76-77'].
Overall a 4 is about right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warsaw, 6 Jun 2011
This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
For lack of a better word this album is pretty much perfect! Everything that punk should be with the added bonus of Ian Curtis's voice and Joy Division's musical talent. Definitely not just for Joy Division fans!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't help thinking there is something missing..., 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
Whilst the recordings here certainly capture the fledgling Joy Division, the extras really should be at the beginning, the sleeve note on the cover refers to a booklet...of which there is non. It does look and suggest that this is in fact a semi-legal (in some territories) bootleg. A good insight into early JD if you can get passed the dreadful sleeve, which to be honest actually put me off getting this earlier...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not their best, but so damn good!, 29 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
Well worth hearing, the early demos of Joy Division. As has already been stated, the "bonus tracks" on offer here are a bit poor, but when they back such a fascinating document of JD's early work, you can't really complain.
A must for every JD fan, though perhaps not the best album to start with, despite its chronological primacy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early days for a major talent, 18 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
A collection of early Joy Division classics, pre Martin Hannett, combined with their earliest recorded material. Hannett's absence is obvious, Joy Division's sound having as much to do with his production as their own abilities, but these earlier 'alternate' versions are well worth hearing all the same, if only for comparison with their later incarnations. The very early recordings are Joy Division in full punk mode; technically awful but full of raw energy.

A must for anyone who wants a glimpse into Joy Division's early days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before Joy Division there was Only Warsaw, 20 Feb 2014
By 
Greg Bull "Greg" (Blisworth, Northampton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
If you want to hear Joy Division songs played with guts, raw punk power, energy, under produced, and want to find out what difference Martin Hannett made [good or bad] then you have to listen to and absorb this album. It ISNT Joy Division its Warsaw. Great great album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting - some really good tracks, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Warsaw (Audio CD)
I love finding these early recordings of bands when they were still in their development stages, experimenting with different sounds and techniques. This has some great tracks on and is well worth a listen.
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