Joy Division - Closer
NME.COM feature on Joy Division - Closer album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 25 October 1990
Tracklisting click track to read more
- Atrocity Exhibition
- A Means to an End
- Heart and Soul
- Twenty Four Hours
- The Eternal
- Sep 19, 2007
History on its shoulders, this ephemera weighs heavy indeed.
- Aug 21, 2000
Back in the days before PlayStations, superclubs, hydroponic skunk and snowboarder chic, a subset of British youth suffered from a primitive neurological condition known as 'alienation'....
- May 1, 1999
The game is called 'Will Love Tear Us Apart?' and it's available to play online for free now
Bassist says he was surprised when he first heard the lyrics to the track
Former New Order bassist lines up dates in October
Joy Division - Closer: Wikipedia Album Entry
CLOSER is the second and final album by Joy Division, arguably the most influential U.K. band of their generation. Arriving just months after lead singer Ian Curtis' suicide, it stands as a fragile document of one man's despair, as much as a definitive statement by a band at the height of their powers. While Joy Division's much-lauded debut, UNKNOWN PLEASURES, demonstrated their transformation from shambolic punks into a tight, highly focused quartet, CLOSER cemented their status as musicians at the vanguard of modern rock. Introducing a more vibrant and expansive sound palette--adding mournful pianos and funereal strings--the album is a sprawling, poignant last chapter of a band that seemed, at the time, to have unlimited potential for greatness.
Whereas UNKNOWN PLEASURES' interplay of light and shadow was daubed in contrasting layers of chiaroscuro, CLOSER is saturated with the harsh industrial glow of fluorescent light. Adding modernizing touches in the form of synthesizers--whether chirping like cicadas or forming elliptical, stuttering arpeggios--their efforts presaged later attempts at the marriage of rock and electronics by synth-pop and new romantic groups. But the band has never sounded as brutal or savaging as on the art-damaged opener "Atrocity Exhibition"--a grinding blitzkrieg of guitar shrapnel exploding in all directions, furious tribal rhythms, and Curtis intoning, "this is the way, step inside." Plumbing the depths of alienation, the steely-cool precision of "Isolation" reflects Curtis's growing detachment from a life that's spinning further from his control. Which all leads up to the closer, the epic drama of "Decades"--a slow-boil funereal dirge that builds to a stunning conclusion, it will leave no doubt about the enduring power of one of the most vital groups of the'70s.
Joy Division: Ian Curtis (vocals); Bernard Sumner (guitar, keyboards); Peter Hook (bass); Stephen Morris (drums).
Photographer: Bernard Pierre Wolfe.
Rolling Stone - Ranked #56 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Albums Of The 80s" survey. (November 1989)
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.134) - Ranked #157 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time"
Q (1/03, p.64) - Included in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums Ever"
Q (9/93, p.97) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...CLOSER [is] less clattering and disturbingly more haunted....Martin Hannett's delicate production prized every last shivering nuance. On one level it's a terrifying last testament. But Peter Hook's becoming a great bassist..."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/01, p.86) - "...A work of genius..."
NME (Magazine) (8/12/00, p.28) - Ranked #2 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums".
NME (Magazine) (9/25/93, p.19) - Ranked #8 in NME's list of The 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s - "...`Sad,' `depressing,' and `really, really depressing,' [CLOSER] is one man's eloquently articulated angst set to a spine-tingling, soft-focus soundtrack..."
NME (Magazine) (7/3/93, p.36) - 10 - Classic - "...a benchmark against which, if nothing else, all those early Cure albums sound a bit silly...."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #20 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
Blender (Magazine) (p.157) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Prickly synths and lurching grooves suggest an ascetic version of disco, and Curtis sings as if he's hanging on by a thread..."
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A legacy so far removed
One day will be improved
Eternal rights we left behind
We were the better kind
Asylums with doors open wide
Where people had paid to see inside
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, "I still exist"
A cry for help, a hint of anesthesia
The sound from broken homes
We used to always meet here
As he lays asleep, she takes him in her arms
Here are the young men, the weight on their shoulders
Here are the young men, well where have they been?
We knocked on the doors of hell's darker chamber
Pushed to the limit, we dragged ourselves in
Instants that can still betray us
A journey that leads to the sun
Soulless and bent on destruction
Struggle between right and wrong
In fear every day, every evening
He calls her aloud from above
Carefully watched for a reason
Painstaking devotion and love
This is a crisis, I knew had to come
Destroying the balance I'd kept
Doubting, unsettling and turning around
Wondering what will come next
Procession moves on, the shouting is over
Praise to the glory of loved ones now gone
Talking aloud as they sit round their tables
Scattering flowers washed down by the rain
So this is permanence, love's shattered pride
What once was innocence, turned on its side
Grey cloud hangs over me, marks every move
Deep in the memory, what once was love