Joy Division's Closer: foreboding, painful, and still wreathed in shadow

Joy Division's Closer: as the NME commented with wry understatement: “[This album] cannot have been easy to record”

Joy Division - Closer
(Image: © Rhino)

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I was unable to listen to this album for 30 years, such was the impact this band’s life – and death – had on me. Joy Division’s second album, it was released on July 18, 1980, precisely two months after singer Ian Curtis’s suicide. 

Everything was wreathed in shadow, in smoke and pain and hidden accusations. The music was as foreboding and dark and unfinished as the circumstance was final. 

I knew all the songs. Were they definitive versions? Did it matter? As the NME stated at the time: “This is the only Joy Division second album we’re going to get, and we may as well make the most of it.” 

This reissue comes on heavyweight clear 180g vinyl. Three 12-inch non-album singles – Transmission, Atmosphere, Love Will Tear Us Apart – are being reissued in conjunction.

Everett True

Everett True started life as The Legend!, publishing the fanzine of that name and contributing to NME. Subsequently he wrote for some years for Melody Maker, for whom he wrote seminal pieces about Nirvana and others. He was the co-founder with photographer Steve Gullick of Careless Talk Costs Lives, a deliberately short-lived publication designed to be the antidote to the established UK music magazines.