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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Perfection
When i first listened to this album, i spent days with songs like Atrocity Exhibition and Heart And Soul playing on repeat. The music is so well crafted, the lyrics are unbelievable and ian curtis' delivers the whole thing off in a way that is impossible for you not to feel emotionally charged. The change from their early days is evident and i personally feel that it is a...
Published on 10 Sep 2001

versus
3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great album but don't buy this version
It's a wonderful album but I've had two copies of this version and neither played on the PC nor would they load to itunes. They would both play on a normal CD player so I'm guessing copy protection.

There are other versions that are probably better, even given the low price of this version.

If you're looking for an introduction to Joy Division,...
Published on 23 Jun 2010 by Hector Munro


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to Savour., 22 Sep 2000
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
I have never been moved to tears by music... but in writing this album, I came damn close. The eerieness of the tracks, most notably 'The Eternal', which is possibly the most powerful outpouring of emotion of all time, sets this album aside. I have had this for 15 years, and it still stuns me. Curtis was a genius.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WORK OF GENIUS - STILL YET TO BE BEAT !, 24 Aug 2002
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
Yes indeed my fellow Amazon friends - perhaps a bold statement to make given that the album in now well past 20 years since release and a lot has passed thro' the music industry in that time - how i wish the last 2 decades would have revealed another Joy Division - but then again , such was the unique item that is Joy Division nothing or no one else could have come close !
If you have read my all time top 20 list (1977-2002) you will see that this album is my no.1 choice - (Unknown Pleasures being no.2 !) - here we have a collection of songs that contain such lyrical genius it still remains doubtfull to me that we will never witness anything like it again - whilst the songs err on the side of darkness (some would say neo-depressive) it shows the bold statement Ian Curtis & the group were prepared to make about all things concerning life & death and possibly how we perceive are own immortality ?
" now that i've realised , how it's all gone wrong - gotta find some therapy , this treatment takes too long - deep in the heart of , where sympathy held sway - gotta find my destiny , before it gets too late "
final verse of "24 hours" - one of the many outstanding tracks on the album.
every track on this album will ring out a past , present or possible future time event that the listener can readily relate too , it's observations & the lyrical description thereof will haunt but by the same token pleasure you as you are carried thro' the swathe of emotions it delivers - tracks vary in musical accomplishment from the upbeat a rocky 24 hours & colony , to the pop sound of isolation , thro to the ethereal decades & the eternal - overall the album IMO is fitting testament to the best indie act that the UK has ever seen - there was only one Joy Division , i'm glad to say i seen them - all i have left are memories and 2 of the best albums ever made !
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy Division's Closer, 30 Nov 2002
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
“Closer” is terrifying. The opener Atrocity Exhibition stands as six minutes of ferocious tribal drum beat. Isolation, A Means to an End (post-punk’s very own Can’t Get You Out of my Head) and Heart and Soul are oddly danceable to, despite their myriad themes of infidelity (“Mistaking devotion and love”), betrayal (“Surrendered to self-preservation”) and self-dstruction. Passover continues the trend. It is a gorgeously delivered lament for the passing of innocence and the onset of self-doubt, centred around the idea that “it all falls apart at the first touch”. Colony returns to the vicious, jagged assault seen on “Unknown Pleasures”, before ending with Curtis wailing accusingly in the desert, ever the anti-prophet: “God in his wisdom took you by the hand. God in his wisdom made you understand.” Twenty Four Hours is schizophrenic musically - raging at some points, then cutting back to slow, exhausted sighs - but has a sad sense of lyrical purpose throughout: “So this is permanence - love shattered pride, What once was innocence, turned on its side.” The Eternal is like little else Joy Division ever produced. An impossibly resigned death-waltz, with a sparse haunting piano line providing the only musical accompaniment to Curtis, other than Morris’ unfurling drum beat. Decades concludes the album as a smash up between a military parade and a 19th century ballroom dance, played out on synthesisers. Over this nauseating mix Curtis tiredly mumbles “Weary inside, now our hearts lost forever. Can’t replace the fear or thrill of the chase.”
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This is the way, step inside.............", 19 May 2007
By 
Kevin Clarke "kevin17566" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
Joy Divison's best album opens with 'Atrocity Exhibition', which is damned uncomfortable listening wherever you sit. Brusque, rolling drums and shards of strangulated guitar punctuate Ian Curtis's grim scenario of degradation - "For entertainment they watch his body twitch/ Behind his eyes he says 'I still exist'"

Next up is 'Isolation', built around a futuristic metal dance beat, this is the track that most anticipates the direction New Order would take after Curtis's death. As it spirals to a close, we find the first of the album's introspective explorations of self, 'Passover' - "This is a crisis I knew had to come/ Destroying the balance I'd kept." 'Colony' is not in this class, its fractured, staccato beat making it an arduous listen.

'Means To An End' is a different matter. With its stomping drum beat and descending bassline, it's almost catchy. Catchy, that is, until Curtis's accusatory tone of voice chills you to the bone - "I put my trust in you" he declares, leaving no doubt that that trust has been betrayed.

'Heart And Soul' is underpinned by clipped, brisk drumming and a subdued, repetitive bassline. Silvery synthesisers wash in and out of the mix, and the heavy echo on the vocals compounds the sense of eerie dislocation.

'Twenty Four Hours' is 'Closer's centrepiece, its most poignant, anguished moment. The song features a beautifully melodic Peter Hook bassline and the song is superbly structured, alternating between aggressive highs and quieter lows. "A cloud hangs over me, marks every move/Deep in the memory of what once was love" laments Curtis, utterly alone in his despair.

'The Eternal' is a funereal dirge with mournful piano playing and a snails-paced bass. Some critics think this is the best song on the album: I find it just TOO grim and verging on self-parody.

The album concludes with 'Decades', second only to 'Twenty Four Hours' in my opinion. Listening to the lyrics, I always imagined Ian Curtis was writing from the point of view of some scarred, shellshocked, First World War survivors - "Watch from the wings as the scenes were replaying/ We saw ourselves now as we never had seen." The song ends majestically, gathering pace before fading out with crashing cymbals and a haunting synth refrain.

Shame, guilt, despair, loneliness, betrayal. Joy Divison didn't shy away from difficult subjects. Perhaps their ultimate 'crime' was to take their music utterly seriously. But now, 27 years after its release, in our jaded, cynical, postmodern times, we can appreciate 'Closer' for its stark, unalloyed beauty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'diectionless so plain to see', 16 Oct 2009
By 
Deven Gadula (san francisco, ca, united states) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
The music of Joy Division was so different from any other music played back in 1979 and 1980 that it required a name. A few names were given; gothic, new wave, dark wave, cold wave. The most appropriate would probably be post punk rock but it was way too early for the name to exist. Most of us outside of England got to know their music after the summer of 1980 when Joy Division no longer existed. I would dare to suggest that no other band has ever influenced rock music as much after such short existence. Closer is the second one of the 2 excellent albums released by Joy Division. Their final songs are on it. Their music in general is fairly hard to break through during your first exposure to it and they don't make it any easier for novices by starting this album the way they did. You may want to start with Heart And Soul and Twenty Four Hours, Eternal or Decades. These last 4 songs seem quieter and more peaceful; the last 3 are my favorite songs here. To me Joy Division is one of the strongest acts in rock music. I sometimes think of what would have been had Ian Curtis not committed his death on the eve of their American tour. These songs were getting better and better. Joy Division became a monument to so many musicians who came after them. If you do love them and are looking for similarities try The Sound and access it through their album From The Lyon's Mouth.
Another proof of the greatness of Joy Division is the quality of music created by their diehard followers. Whenever I do these...band studies... I listen not only to every single song of their music as well the members' solo acts, but also to all cover songs of their music done as tribute by other bands. I have to say honestly that that is hardly ever a joyous task and very often most of these songs take about 15 seconds to evaluate. That experience was completely different in case of Joy Division and a tribute album A Means To An End is by far the best tribute album I have ever listened to. To me covers should be different from and better than the originals. You should listen to Transmission, New Dawn Fades, Day Of The Lords and Heart And Soul off that tribute album. Those covers are spectacular.
My favorite songs off Unknown Pleasures are: New Dawn Fades, Insight, Day Of The Lords, Shadowplay, and besides the songs off these 2 albums In A Lonely Place and Atmosphere.

Ian Curtis' lyrics are in the class of their own, so powerful, so revealing, so real, and I would strongly recommend listening to Joy Division in complete isolation with his words next to you the first couple of times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars closer to the heart of Ian Curtis, 19 April 2005
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
closer must have one of the best opening track ever "atrocity exhibition" is a dark moody infectious song with drums and bass that pound away with ian singing in his unique drone that doesn't make you turn the CD off it interreges. "isolation" is another one of my favorites you can feel the pain in most of these songs Ian puts his heart and soul into this album. all i would say is that it will take you a few listen to get used to his singing but once you do. you won't stop listening and it will be one of your favorites like me and i have over 700 cd's
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MORE THAN A STEP CLOSER, 14 Jan 2003
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
If Joy Division weren't so highly regarded it'd be easy to write them off as a bad pre-goth group. But listening to this album you just can't, they're far more than that.Most bands around today take two or three albums to alter their sound significantly, but back in the early 1980s when groups had to produce an album a year, things changed faster. And Joy Division certainly changed, in the space of just a few months. If you listen to this album after "Unknown Pleasures" the change in sound is obvious. The flat drums are gone, and the basic sound is far more electronic. Standouts include "Isolation", "Heart & Soul", "The Eternal" and "Decades". "Closer" is definately a much stronger album than the first and encorporates much more style and depth to the music. "The Eternal" paints pictures of a wet country garden at night with it's icey piano and narrative lyrics. "Decades" hints on a new band altogether with synths taking over the atmosphere and completely mezmerising you. My advice would be to listen to this record very loudly through headphones late at night feeling rather than listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say?, 22 Oct 2007
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This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
Its hard to explain the immense weight of this composition, especially in the light of the multitude of adoring fans who have seen fit to quite rightly accord this piece 5 stars.
Objectively as a piece of music this work is definitive and masterful. It is painfully revealing and oozes the desperation of a tortured and confused soul who went on to engineer his own infamy in a carefully planned suicide. Whilst the album uncomfortably states the state of mind of the composer, the work of Messers Hook and Sumner are phenomenal. The greater allocation of auditory time to both bass and drums has allowed both Morris and Hook to blossom and never have I heard such an integrated perfection of those two instruments put down on tape. This is a powerful, solemn piece of work which hints at genius, especially with the likes of Isolation, Means To An End and my personal favourite, Decades. It is interesting to note that this album does not listen well split up, but is infinitely better listened to from beginnning to end. Just remember to take a happy pill after.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joy Division's greatest, 2 Aug 2007
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
This and the first album, Unknown Pleasures, are the only complete original albums released by the band, as singer Ian Curtis had committed suicide two months before its release. Closer, Joy Division's greatest achievement, was produced again with sonic purity by Martin Hannett together with the band. The recordings, made over an intensive 13-day period in March 1980 at the Pink Floyd's Britannia Studios in Islington, showed the band at a creative and artistic peak, creating an atmosphere of gothic gloom and decayed, dark romanticism.

Ian Curtis's claustrophobic and introspective lyrics were profoundly influenced by his readings of JG Ballard, Joseph Conrad and accounts of the shudderingly terrible histories of the Third Reich; and there is no denying that with Decades, The Eternal, Isolation and, of course, Twenty-Four Hours (all of which featured in the John Peel Festive Fifty of listeners' votes in the early eighties) they had created true works of art that influenced the music of generations to come
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album of all time..., 25 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Closer (Audio CD)
I was born in 1980, when this was released. I am now nearly 20 and I have to say that this album is the best (and almost the oldest) that I own. It is a testament to this fabulous band that the first time I listened to it, It felt like magic - nothing I have ever heard before or since has matched it. The 1981 album 'Still' is also a must, hand-in-hand purchase as the two are peerless.
An absolute classic.
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Closer by Joy Division (Audio CD - 1999)
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