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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their finest hour
It's quite simple: if you want to listen to Joy Division's finest hour, then look no further than this, their first album.

Like many fantastic albums, this is not 'immediate', nor is it particularly accessible or masses friendly, nor should it be. Most life-affirming albums grow on people. I estimate that most people will have to listen to this album roughly...
Published on 14 Mar 2007 by Elizabeth Gershwin

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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Poor quality
Published 23 days ago by Mr W.


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasures and wayward distractions..., 1 Jan 2007
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
Awesome. Contrast the tiny amount of 'reviews' slagging this masterpiece and those who know its true magic. Bit of a 20-1 ratio isn't it? That speaks volumes and so does the music on Joy Division's debut album.

It's difficult to assess just how seismic this album was when it was released in '79: punk was on its final innings, its anger disipated through as its three-chord-three-minute ethos became threadbare. With little else in the sonic or musical palette, punk was hard on the rocks and sinking with all hands. Joy Division "hoped a little more" and could see that something new was coming. Punk had become a blunt instrument (sic) and Unknown Pleasures pointed the way towards something different.

The musical and lyrical depth here cannot be underestimated: listen to Disorder, She's Lost Control or the truly magnificent Insight. Curtis looks back over the wreakage of what has gone before: "But I don't care anymore/I've lost the will to want more/I'm not afraid, not at all/I keep my eyes on the door but I remember when we were young".

UP is arguably one of the finest albums Martin Hannett ever produced. Both band and producer were setting out to make a point and they certainly made it. For the full story, buy either this and Closer or the Heart & Soul boxset (which is very comprehensive, featuring previously rare and unheard material). Either way, buy this album and know its pleasure...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What music was meant to do, 11 May 2013
By 
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
Imagine what it must be like to live in a world awash with puerile, facile, meaningless music? Imagine what it must be like to listen to hundreds of tracks which sound like they were written by nightclub owners, inexperienced teenagers, all feeding an industry bereft of heart, soul or passion that spits it back out through every possible channel or outlet? It must be hell.

Imagine a writer and a band that somehow from the most unlikely place on earth concoct music that washes away the pollution and speaks a truthful lyric? If singing what you feel no matter how painful, unpalatable with the era you live in, unbearable to your friends is the price you pay, then Joy Division paid that price for those of us willing to listen.

That Martin Hannet went down a soundscape that was the total opposite of what every other producer was doing when he helped make this album should not possible. That Peter, Bernard and Steven , 3 unlikely lads from Manchester made a deeply disturbing sound of rocknroll, and that we were lucky enough to hear the words of a man who brought his fears and wishes to life is for me a personal miracle.

Even in a quantum world which says everything is possible, this artefact is completely impossible. I love it and will always listen to it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Joy, 23 Aug 2011
Although being french (sorry), I'm very interested in all quality records from England and elsewhere. Joy Division is without any doubt one of the few legends that helped to define and enhance modern music in its boldest, deepest and most innovative aspects, touching as much the musical as the sociological, psychological etc, not to mention pure teenage angst. This record is of very good quality in itself, and the liner notes are well written and to the point.

I hope to rediscover such "unknown" gems in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of genre, 12 Nov 2001
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
I was 14 when I first heard this record. To this day, once started, I cannot turn it off. Dense, bleak, painful, but hypnotically beautiful music. An incredible talent at his peak, this album serves as poignant memorial.
Look for the original pressing on vinyl. Vinyl sounds better.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare example of the hype being matched by the album, 10 Oct 2001
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
I can't add anything to the other reviewers' comments except this; I have had the album since 1980, and I still play it a dozen times a year. However everyone must understand that the order of the tracks is paramount to full enjoyment of the album. She's Lost Control is the chaotic 1st track, and the despairing New Dawn Fades - much loved by the Poles after the post-Solidarnosc crackdowns in 1981 - was always meant to be the final track. If the CD has the tracks in reverse order to the LP, it is wrong. Listen to this - the zenith of all post-punk indie music - and reflect that all the bands that have come onto the scene since have only ever come close. But not Closer. Enjoy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dancing in the dark, 4 Aug 2006
By 
Tim Parsons (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
This was the first album I bought on the strength of music press reviews alone. In these more cynical days, I'd worry about the possibility of a reviewer not being entirely objective, but at the tender age of 17, and awash with my own teen angst, what I read in the 5 star reviews in both Sounds and NME told me that I had to own it.

It blew me away. It still does. No description can do it justice. Polished, but emotionally raw. Dark but uplifting. Music to experience, to really LISTEN to, not background music while you do other things. And fractured dance music of the first order.

My first copy was, naturally enough, on vinyl. It got copied to cassette tape, of course, and eventually bought again on CD. And then again, when the Heart and Soul retrospective came out in 1997 (?), because it's all on there too.

Paul Morley was perhaps a little over the top when he claimed that "Ian Curtis died for you." But we all felt that way, at the time, and this amazing album is why.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential album for troubled individuals, 22 Jun 2007
By 
M. R. Holman (Chislehurst, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
Along with some other angst-ridden albums I could name:

The The - Soul Mining

Joy Division - Closer

The Smiths - Hatful of Hollow

...and so on, Unknown Pleasures remains a deep and disturbing album, that is as far-removed from background muzac as you could get this side of Metallica. If you are already feeling slightly depressed (preferably manically), and / or angry, or have violent tendencies, Unknown Pleasures will enhance your mood to the extent of your wallowing in self pity, torturing small animals, or strapping on your size ten steelies and looking for some mindless thugs to accost. All good, clean fun. Best appreciated in a darkened room after slightly too much to drink.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest album of all time., 29 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
Forget Nirvana. Forget the Beatles. Forget Radiohead. This album is probably the greatest ever made. 4 young men in a punk band called Warsaw change their name and sound & hire a fantastic producer and produce one of the cornerstones of rock music.
The album begins brilliantly with Disorder and its familiar intro before plunging into darker territory on Day of the Lords, with its despairing lyrics & primitive guitars. Candidate and Insight, the 2 weakest tracks on the album, follow, and then comes the incredible New Dawn Fades, followed by the taught, jerky yet haunting She's Lost Control
and the explosive Shadowplay. The dark Wilderness and punky Interzone follow and the whole album is brought to a close by the slow, oppressive I Remember Nothing, with its smashed glass and falling steel samples.
The whole album just washes over you and overpowers you, especially in the vocal and guitar departments. The lyrics are some of the darkest ever written. This is rock stripped of all American elements and made into a much more sinister, expressive and frightening thing. Listen with the lights out & the volume up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, 22 Feb 2001
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
The one thing that strikes you when you listen to this record is the coldness. Underproduced and minimalistic, it is an urgent and thrilling masterpiece that really should be played with the lights out. The best thing about Joy Division is that they were totally unique and original : no one has sounded like them before and no one will again. Timeless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight into the wilderness, 13 Dec 2013
By 
Ken Raus "Ken Raus" (Lugdunum) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Unknown Pleasures (Audio CD)
This classic album by the incomparable Joy Division begins with one of the best rock songs ever written,Disorder and continues through some songs of variable conventionality through some that transcend even the popular music category altogether and which are just classic songs like Candidate,Insight and the wild Wilderness.

Interzone is a little punky throwbacky song,a bit Stiff Kitteny that perhaps refers to Burroughs who might or might not've snubbed Curtis at a gig an age ago and one or two longer songs are a tad dreary but the gems are there like odd,glittery diamonds in coal or like sleek,bleak piebald pearls studding the steel mesh of the album.

Curtis' wordplay is,what else,lyrical and I'd say he might've been a Doors fanatic or was a poet...he was a luckless genius,though and the players are amazing,all of them,the famous bassist of high register,the choppy and spare guitarwork,the powerhouse drummer;all you do miss with any record is Ian's choreography because Joy Division were very danceable and that was joyous...their name was right,however brief the bands lifespan who in hindsight look like a forerunner of the inevitable New Order of the eighties.

Shadowplay and She's lost control are better known than the songs I list for praise but original as these are they are not so melodic as the others although Wilderness is virtually prog punk with its wild bass figures-a classic album in whatever format because the format is or should be wholly relative to the content,so,I recommend it in any that suits.
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Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division (Audio CD - 2000)
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