Joy Division

Post-Punk

Years active: 1976–1980

Website: http://joydivisionofficial.com/

 

In January 1980, Joy Division set out on a European tour. While the tour schedule was difficult, Curtis experienced only two grand mal seizures in the tour’s final two months. With Martin Hannett again producing, the band recorded their second album, Closer, that March at London’s Britannia Row Studios. March also saw the release of the “Licht und Blindheit” single (featuring the songs “Atmosphere” (A-side) and “Dead Souls” (B-side)) on the small French label Sordide Sentimental.

Lack of sleep and long hours destabilized Curtis’s epilepsy and his seizures became almost uncontrollable. Curtis would often have seizures during shows, which left him feeling ashamed and depressed. As the band worried about their singer, some audience members thought his behavior was part of the show. On 7 April, Curtis attempted suicide by overdosing on his anti-seizure medication; phenobarbitone. The next evening, Joy Division were set to play a gig at the Derby Hall in Bury. With Curtis recovering, it was decided that the band would play a combined set with Alan Hempsall of Crispy Ambulance and Simon Topping of A Certain Ratio filling in on vocals for the first few songs. Curtis came onstage to perform for part of the set. When Topping came back out to finish the set for Curtis, some in the audience began throwing bottles at the stage. Gretton leaped into the crowd and a riot ensued. Several April gigs were canceled due to the continuing ill health of Curtis. The band played what would be their final show at the University of Birmingham’s High Hall on 2 May; the show included Joy Division’s first and only performance of “Ceremony”, which would later be recorded by New Order and released as their first single.

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Joy Division – Disorder

   

Joy Division – Isolation

   
 

Unknown Pleasures

 

Closer

 


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