A box set comprising pretty much everything Joy Division ever recorded, including the entire contents of their three studio albums (Closer,Unknown Pleasures and Still) as well as a host of live and session tracks? If you haven't managed to collect their back catalogue of individual albums and other releases, hen this would seem to be the one to go for. The only track that's missing, I think, is their live rendition of Sister Ray (captured on "Still"). And for all that, it fits onto only four CD's. Compare that with Pink Floyd's 16 disc box set Discovery or The Rolling Stones 14 disc "Remastered". The material that Joy Division created and recorded is fleeting, heartbreakingly sparse, but all the more powerful for that.
What can you say about a band like Joy Division, a group that, burned so brightly but so briefly? There is more passion, fear, darkness, light and originality in the opening chords of any one track that they produced than you will find in any of the souless, tasteless, talentless pap that is excreted in the name of profit (sorry, "music") today. Transmission is frantic, Isolation is painful, Atmosphere wistful, She's Lost Control is outraged and Dead Souls never fails to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Each track is exquisite in its emotional depth, its fragility or it's power. Each track leaves me awestruck, destroyed, breathless and wanting more and IT'S ALL HERE! Four CD's of utter, relentless genius, the like of which we will never hear again. This is the soundtrack to my teenage years and I am emptied merely thinking about what I have lost in the intervening decades (god! is it really thirty years?). Heart and Soul can restore at least some of what has gone.
RIP Ian Curtis, 1956 - 1980.
Mother I tried please believe me, I'm doing the best that I can. I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through, I'm ashamed of the person I am.