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Unknown Pleasures Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 13, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Out of print in the U.S. UK standard single disc pressing of the 1979 debut album from the moody Manchester quartet. 10 tracks including 'Shadowplay', 'She's Lost Control' and more. London Records.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: London Import
  • ASIN: B000042O1H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,637 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album didn't just spawn a bunch of groovy tee shirts. It was anthem for an entire generation. Every song is a masterpiece and captures the weltanschauung of a by-gone era: darkness, cynicism, romantic despair, addiction, sexual angst, all of it is dealt with in this seminal work from 1979. (I graduated from high school in 1980, just to put this into context.) The impact of this album/cd on the music of the Eighties (punk, goth, alternative) cannot be over-rated. If you are into that era, then you MUST own this collection
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know where to start on here, with such an album, which will take you places no other album I know of can possibly do, the way it sounds. It will tap into your darkness and POSSIBLY clarify it; Joy Division before this had made one superb album which was never released, the "Warsaw" LP; after this they would do the highly overrated Closer album; this is their pinnacle.

It's a shame that no lyrics come with this CD: "I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand" "there's no room for the weak...where will it end?" "I remember, when we were young" "I try to get to you, you treat me like this"

None of these lyrics, as great as they are, do justice on paper; they need to be heard when matched up with the incredible, atmospheric music and its absolutely superb production.

Ian Curtis' voice never sounded better to me than on Day Of The Lords, although his yearning forlorn voice on Insight is wonderful (not afraid anymore? he sounds very afraid)

This album is a trip into the darkness, of depression, of rejection, despair, and other feelings which may make more straight-forward rock-oriented fans of music dismiss it without even listening, but I am one of those mostly-rock fans primarily, and absolutely love this album; overall I do prefer side A to side B (which I think was labeled Inside and Outside on my old vinyl, hard to remember).

I recommend this highly as I can, and then would say get the MP3s of Warsaw, that's more straight-ahead "punk", sort of. (Some great songs on there are All Of This For You, They Walked In Line, and Ice Age; the version of Ice Age on Still cannnot even come close or compare)
Atmosphere and Dead Souls are two songs I need to get again, and probably will very soon!
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Format: Audio CD
I remember the first time I heard this album. A friend at school gave me the tape in 1979 and I played it that night. I have to admit that only a few songs grabbed me on the first listen. Some were too slow and dreary to excite me in the way that most of my favorite music did. However, repeat listens enabled me to see the beauty in this majestic music.

Most new bands at the end of the 70s were young and enthusiastic, and it was more about the style and delivery than the content. Joy Division did not fall into that category. If you have ever seen Anton Corbijn's movie, Control, you'll understand what Ian Curtis went through. He was a young man, in love with two women, trying to come to terms with epilepsy. Like most of my favorite vocalists, he had his limitations.

What separated Joy Division from the pack was the passion. Curtis lived and breathed those songs. His delivery was real in the true sense of the word. You'll never see a singer mean it like Curtis if you only watch American Idol or The Voice.

Joy Division were more than just one man though. The music had a depth to it, with each component a vital part of the sound. Peter Hook's bass was extremely prominent. Sumner's lead guitar dominated a few tracks, while the drums ranged from driving to sparse, with Morris adding to the desolation when appropriate. Insight, New Dawn Fades, and She's Lost Control formed the heart of the album. The ever-present bass added weight to the sound, and it's incredible how much beauty was present. Listen to the slow burn of New Dawn Fades and you'll begin to understand Joy Division. If I had to pick a favorite track, it would probably be Shadowplay.
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Format: Audio CD
I won't bother heaping more praise on one of the most influential, important and evocative albums of all time, there are plenty of good reviews here that have done it already. Nor will I review "songs"....one just need listen. My only criticism is, why, even among Joy Division fans, does there seem to be this continual argument of "Which is better"?....Closer or Unknown Pleasures. Why does one have to be "better" than the other? Or deserve more praise? If Closer was Ian Curtis's personal suicide note set to music, then Unknown Pleasures was his prologue of ideas and thoughts describing the hopelessness and despair of a post-industrial landscape, the inhumanities inherent in life itself ("She's Lost Control", purportedly written about a female patient with epileptic-type symptoms Curtis had worked with, and ironically, a disease that later he would suffer from himself), and undoubtedly his own personal demons which were just beginning to surface and become visible to others. Both albums are masterpieces in their own right.

I can't think of another "1st album" by any other band that transcended both music and art, and dared venture into the frightening world of honest self-introspection and emotional torment, the way Unknown Pleasures did. Brooding, dark, mechanical, full of emotion yet emotionless, spacious, and depressing, yes.....but also, in a strange sort of way....uplifting, and certainly beautiful. This is something that can't be described, or even probably understood, it can only be.....felt. Not all will. Unknown Pleasures has been one of my favorite albums for nearly 30 years. It was ahead of it's time then, and still is. Joy Division was one of those rare bands where the whole was greater then the sum of the parts.
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