Joy Division - Closer (Cover Artwork)

Joy Division

Joy Division: CloserCloser (1980)

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There's no way Joy Division could ever create an album superior to Unknown Pleasures, primarily because that album is literally perfect in every single way imaginable. Thankfully, Ian Curtis & Gang had absolutely no intention of following that masterpiece up with a copycat album. Instead, we get Clo.
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There's no way Joy Division could ever create an album superior to Unknown Pleasures, primarily because that album is literally perfect in every single way imaginable. Thankfully, Ian Curtis & Gang had absolutely no intention of following that masterpiece up with a copycat album. Instead, we get Closer, a record so mindbending, eclectic, soulful and, at times, chilling in its intensity that it manages to do what very few legendary bands ever could: EQUAL its predecessor.

Tracks like "Atrocity Exhibition" and "A Means to an End" create lavish and multi-layered soundscapes so mesmerizing it has to be heard to be believed. Ian is in perfect, haunting form throughout the entire record (which is made even more haunting considering that this album was his literal swan song). It's almost as if powerful tracks like "The Eternal" and "Twenty-Four Hours" seem to foreshadow some sort of impending tragic "end." The album ends with the magnificent "Decades", an extremely effective and somber closing track that pretty much sums up the amazing, yet tragic tale that was Joy Division.

Every track on this album is a gem in its own way, whether it be the playfully cold "Isolation" or the slightly funky "Heart & Soul," you really can't do wrong. It's not as focused as Unknown Pleasures, but thankfully that happens to be one of the album's greatest strengths.

A perfect, if not tragic, end to a perfect band with a perfect discography. This album, Unknown Pleasures, and Substance are all REQUIRED purchases for anyone who considers themselves a fan of music.


People who liked this also liked:
Joy Division - Unknown PleasuresAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandThe Clash - London CallingMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyHüsker Dü - Zen ArcadeBad Brains - Bad BrainsRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeBlack Flag - DamagedDag Nasty - Can I SayWu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
eatdogs (February 11, 2011)

haunting, elegant and inspirational. this album will always be in my top ten...

TheYoungInfluential (May 21, 2006)

Ian curtis lives!!!!

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

[isn't this the band that is all gay guys?

and they had that album "Bill and Ted's Homosexual Adventure"?]

Pansy Division.

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

That's Pansy Division.

Anonymous (October 20, 2005)

Ive been rocking this cassette for like 4 days in my car, it being the only tape I own.


Anonymous (October 18, 2005)

anyone who enjoys joy division should just buy the "heart and soul" box set. its wonderfully packaged with a very informative booklet and it has just about every song put out by the band. the third and fourth cds are worth the price alone.

JohnQ (October 18, 2005)

Important, innovative and unique. But I don't enjoy them.

GreenVandal (October 17, 2005)

So I went to sleep listening to this last night and I like it better now.

Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

do any of you guys have any live shows? they were a completely different creature live...totally raw and loud and crazy. god i wish i couldve seen them

Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

"How many of you were alive when this album first came out?..............
Sounds just as good now as it did then."

i was alive.
but i was only 2.
and they didn't make the record that would work on my Fisher Price "My First Boombox".


Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

isn't this the band that is all gay guys?

and they had that album "Bill and Ted's Homosexual Adventure"?

punkrocker4life (October 17, 2005)

How many of you were alive when this album first came out?..............
Sounds just as good now as it did then.

Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

i like this album better than 'unknown pleasures' even though i cant stand the opening track. the people that say they dont like joy division dont deserve to like them. go listen to panic at the disco and fallout boy, assholes.

Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

Cabin Boy is the best movie EVER!

Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

Hot Gigalo! Chewin' on your nipples and finger-bangin your butthole!

darkstarm (October 17, 2005)

oh come on man. come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. COMEEE ONNNNNNNN.

sickboi (October 17, 2005)

I can't stand Joy Division.

There, I said it.

BrandonSideleau (October 17, 2005)

barely listenable??? HAHAHAHAHA

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

Influential or not, this album is barely listenable. I think New Order is better.

Russe11 (October 16, 2005)

Haha superdude, you rule.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

It's official: BYO Records have the WORST international mail order service ever. I ordered some stuff from them in July, and I've yet to receive it. I e-mailed them about it 9 days ago, and they still haven't responded.


Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

Funny you should mention Something About Mary...

I was having a Chris Elliot Fest last night... It ended with that movie... Well, the parts where he's in it (the only funny parts).

Remember the Get a Life where his stalker holds him hostage and the show ends with him being shot by his ex-cop neighbor? That was comedy gold.

If Americans were smart at all, they would demand more Get a Life. DAMN I HATE THIS PLACE.


darkstarm (October 16, 2005)

"And she will be mine...oh yes...She will."

I thought we were in this together. Last time I cry over There's Something about Mary with YOU.

superdude (October 16, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. Who do you think is going to win the Joy Division Conference title this year?

2. I've got my money on the...okay, I don't know anything about this sport.

3. More about whatever sport this is.

4. The cover is from my 8th grade play on the birth of baby Jesus. Are we credited?

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

I'm stupid and haven't actually heard Joy Division, although I've meant to for a long time. Anyone know a good place to check them out online?

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

Is this review really necessary? Couldn't they just type in the code for the five stars and leave it at that?


GreenVandal (October 16, 2005)

I dont really like this that much....

BrandonSideleau (October 16, 2005)

Hating a band because your girlfriend's stalker likes them is (besides being incredibly stupid) a sign of insecurity.

Dante3000 (October 16, 2005)

My girlfriend's stalker loves this band. I, therefore, hate him and this band.
FUCK YOU! Joy Division rocks!
And she will be mine...oh yes...She will.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

this is that band that does all those interpol covers....

Anchors (October 16, 2005)

"I don't see how you guys can't get into JD"

That's a stupid fucking thing to say. Sorry, but it is. Why not just be blunt with it?

"I can't understand why not everyone in the world doesn't like the same things as me."

Look dude, I love Joy Division, but if you can't see why people don't dig them at first, you're kidding yourself. At first listen, Ian Curtis has a really monotone vibe. It sounds like he's not even singing. The more you listen, the more you see that isn't true in the slightest, but it's a dumb thing to say regardless.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

ouch, this band sucks with teeth.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

I've done my best to get into "Closer" and "Unknown Pleasures" and failed. Again, one of those "I don't like this album as much as I should". I'm more of a pop kid, so the singles collection "Substance", with its punk B-Sides, is what really does it for me. "Failures" is one great punk song from their early years.


Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

classic. i like it better than unknown pleasures, which i feel is not perfect due to the presence of wilderness and interzone, which sound subpar compared to the rest of the album.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

What really blows my mind is how much they progressed in such a short amount of time. With only two albums and a handful of singles they changed music.

BrandonSideleau (October 16, 2005)

I don't see how you guys can't get into JD......it's gotta be some of the best music out there. 'Unknown Pleasures' is a joy no matter how many times you listen to it. Joy Division created some of the best albums of all-time.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

It's been my experience that "Substance" is the best way to get into the band and used to their sound. It's their singles collection and has more of the accessible songs like Transmission, Love WIll Tear Us Apart, Dead Souls, etc. Also, it basically traces their evolution from a standard late 70s punk band into something completely unique. I had to get into "Substance" before UP or closer did much for me.

the_other_scott (October 16, 2005)

lets say, for example, that i bought unknown pleasures about 6 years ago, i've listened to it about 5 times, and i've enjoyed it about 2 times

would closer be a good next step?

RondoMondo (October 16, 2005)

My girlfriend's stalker loves this band. I, therefore, hate him and this band.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

Check this out:

http://media.neworderonline.com/video/qt/NewOrderWarsaw20 051012.mov

New Order playing Warsaw at the John Peel tribute show recently. simply amazing.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

Transmission, LWTUA, and Atmosphere weren't B-sides. They were singles. JD didn't put singles on albums. They recognized that albums should be a cohesive whole and singles are songs that stand on their own. Not to say that songs from JD albums couldn't stand on their own, but songs like LWTUA definitely wouldnt have fit in with the mood of UP or closer.

many, many bands try to imitate JD's sound and they all get it horribly wrong. this band could have only existed in the time period it did with the specific people involved. no one will play their instruments quite like these 4 did or write in the same manner.

BrandonSideleau (October 16, 2005)

I don't see what all the "scene" and shitty bands influenced by JD is all about. There are NO bands that sound anything at all like Joy Division........sure there are alot of shitty bands that have tried. But JD never had anything to do with any "scene" (except the early Manchester scene, which they were even at times alienated from).....not to mention Ian took his own life YEARS before any of their songs got ANY considerable airplay. Every one of those shitty supposed "Joy Division" influenced bands NEVER saw Joy Division play, nor did they (obviously) understand the lyrics/musical direction. Joy Division created their own style.....it has NOTHING to do with goth.....none them wore shitty trend setting clothes or make-up. Like Black Flag, Bad Brains, Fugazi, etc. Joy Division was PURELY about the music, not an image, all great bands are. So this shit-head a few posts below even putting those other bands in the same category as JD deserves to get a serious beating. That's like saying that the mighty Black Sabbath (pre-80's) is in the same category as some garbage like Disturbed or some other numetal crap.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

I like Closer more than Unknown Pleasures as well. Plus, on UP, the production cuts through the guitar a bit too much. But like the kid before me said, they had alot of B-sides that were absolutely great. Transmission, Love Will Tear Us Apart, and Atmosphere (John Peel's song played as a requiem for Ian).
They're such ana amazing band, but, like all other groups that are championed as seminal bands for indie iconography, there's alot lost in translation for people who don't try to give them their fair dues... as well as people who just praise them without really understanding the music.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

words don't do this record justice
joy division/new order are one of the most innovative, inspirational and consistently brilliant bands to ever exist.

i didn't get the greatness at first. they're not a band that strikes you right away. you have to let them get under your skin, get into your head, appreciate the way every band member plays their instrument in a way that they're clearly not supposed to and that it couldn't be any other way.

they're perfect. just perfect.

SoupIsGoodFood (October 16, 2005)

Greatest album of all time.

ncarlber (October 16, 2005)

Joy Division is one of those bands that kids who wear white belts pretend to like because they think they should. As if it improves their scene points or something.

Typically whenever you see any band who lists JD as an influence, or ESPECIALLY if a guy in the band is wearing a really tight and faded JD shirt...run the other way, because odds are that what you're going to hear is going to suck.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

I think Closer is better than Unknown Pleasures. Nonetheless, their best song, "Digital," is on Substance.

BrandonSideleau (October 16, 2005)

oh yeah...and *the gang....damn i was zoned out when i wrote this

BrandonSideleau (October 16, 2005)

*EVER create.....please fix that typo for me guys

cdogg (October 16, 2005)

I love "Unknown Pleasures." This album, although good, can never compare to that masterpiece in my book. It's still good to see a Joy Division review on this site though.

BlaquacadetZstyles (October 16, 2005)

There's something this band and Fugazi that I just don't get...I can't figure out what's so genius about it. I thought the same thing about The Arcade Fire for awhile too though...

Anchors (October 16, 2005)

The first time I heard this, I absolutely hated the vocals.

How wrong I was.

LevitateMe (October 16, 2005)

One of my all-time favorites.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

PiL and this band were the third and fourth punk bands that I really got into, after the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks (though, strangely enough, the second CD I ever bought was "the Feeding of the 5000" by Crass!).

Brilliant. I loved them even more before I knew about the whole Ian Curtis mythology. Their music and his lyrics are just one of those original and perfect combinations that will never be replicated.

It's too bad people make them out to be a "goth" band... They weren't at all.


PS- Their "Warsaw" album (songs written mostly when they were called Warsaw and recorded shortly after the name change) is great.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

Joy Division = Better than sex


Benjasauruss (October 16, 2005)

The only song I've ever heard by this band is "LOOOOVE! LOOOVE WILL TEAR US APPAAAAAARTTT AGAIIIN!" and it's a good song.

it's on the donnie darko soundtrack.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

i've read countless reviews of this band but still don't know what they sound like.

gladimnotemo (October 16, 2005)

Uh, I need this; I only have "Unknown Pleasures."

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