MySpace | Getty Lol Tolhurst, former drummer/keyboardist of the Cure and one…
- Posted on Sep 20th 2011 3:30PM by Ciaran Thompson
- 'Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album' by Matthew Robertson
- 'Who Killed Martin Hannett: The Story of Factory Records' Musical Magician' by Colin Sharp
- 'Touching From a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division' by Deborah Curtis
- 'Epilepsy and Seizures: Everything You Need to Know (Your Personal Health)' by Donald Weaver, M.D.
- 'Control' - a film by Anton Corbijn, 2007
Themes, Motifs & Symbols
- The album is centered around the theme of angst, and was one of the first post-punk records to rely on moodiness rather than anger.
- Producer Martin Hannett's focus on space is incorporated into the songs by using ordinary sounds such as windows crashing and by recording some parts of the record outside of the studio.
- Coldness and winter are used symbolically, with tracks often giving the listener a chilly feeling.
- Throughout the album's entirety, the artist is constantly struggling with feelings of loneliness and the battle against a mental disorder.
- Suicide is also brought up at several points with the artist looking for an escape from the torment.
- 'Day of the Lords' has often been interpreted as being about the horrors of war because of the band's name. It also references the manipulation of people during such times with the protagonist asking in the chorus, "Where will it end?"
- The line "a loaded gun won't set you free, so you say" reveals the subject of 'New Dawn Fades' is contemplating suicide. Others, interpret the song as being about two people who, by discover they're actually the same person.
- 'She's Lost Control' is about epilepsy taking hold of one's life. The person suffering loses control and has to rely on other people for help. Although Curtis writes about a woman, many believe the song demonstrates his own feelings about his condition.
- The track 'Shadowplay' can be viewed as documenting Curtis' life from childhood to the eventual loneliness he suffered despite being the frontman of a popular band. The only place the song's protagonist finds solace is when he's alone in his bedroom.
- 'Insight' shows the writer is fed up with the mediocrity of their life and is tired of feeling insignificant. They claim to be unafraid of the eventual outcome, which, given how Curtis ended his own life, is probably suicide.
- Joy Division's debut album was released on Factory Records in 1979.
- The band formed two years prior to the release, calling themselves Warsaw.
- Factory Records boss Tony Wilson contributed his life savings towards producing the initial copies.
- Lead singer-songwriter Ian Curtis struggled with epilepsy throughout the band's career.
- Producer Martin Hannett added the sound of breaking glass, footsteps and shutting doors into the songs.
Study Questions & Essay Topics
- Joy Division have been viewed as nothing like anything that has come before them, explain.
- Martin Hannett's production focused on creating space and using everyday sounds in the tracks, cite specific examples and explain how they contributed to the album's groundbreaking nature.
- Define what it means to be classified as post-punk.
- Ian Curtis' lyrics were both moody and nihilistic, how much of his outlook was coloured by illness?