January 7, 2011

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Joy Division - iconic perhaps more for tragic circumstances than groundbreaking.


I was reminded what a rich vein of music had been discovered lurking around outside the mainstream in the late 1970's. Music that was very much under the radar (certainly in the U.S.), but was making serious inroads with audiences plugged into the underground (the place where all innovative movements start, IMHO) throughout the UK and Europe in what became known as the Post-Punk period.

Joy Division were one of those bands. Sadly, they never really achieved the level of recognition they deserved, mostly because their music was overshadowed by tragic circumstances surrounding founding member Ian Curtis, whose suicide became a point of focus and interest, rather than the new musical terrain they were exploring.

They have certainly gone on to become major influences for many bands coming up in the 80's and later and will probably continue as more musicians discover their legacy. In spite of the tragedy, the remaining members resurfaced as New Order and went to achieve great success throughout the 1980's.

Tonight though, it's a track off their debut album Unknown Pleasures, released in 1979. I Remember Nothing closes the album.

If you've never heard them before or only heard about them, this is a good place to start.

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