ISBN 13: 978-1786751164
PB - 255 x 217mm
200 full-colour illustrations
Rights sold: UK Commonwealth
Market: Music, Popular Culture
Joy Division + New Order
by John Aizlewood
It’s a tale of death, destroyed friendships and bungled finances, but the story of Joy Division and New Order is also the saga of two bands who made extraordinary music which defined their times and overturned the musical landscape.
First, there was Joy Division. Their music reflected both the barren urban landscape of their native Manchester in the late 1970s and singer Ian Curtis’s heart of darkness. They remain forever defined by both the suicide of their extraordinary and extraordinarily volatile singer and two albums as close to perfection as music can come.
From the ashes of Joy Division came New Order, who recruited a keyboardist because of – rather than in spite of – the fact she couldn’t play. At the height of the dance music boom, they invested in The Hacienda, a club in their native Manchester. The queues were around the block, but the debts could have sunk a country.
If Joy Division were sublime musical darkness, New Order were bathed in sunlight and their globally popular music bridged the chasm between indie and dance and inspired a generation. Having conquered the world and maintained their credibility, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and imploded in a tsunami of recrimination, while still making fabulous music. You couldn’t make it up: there’s no need to.
John Aizelwood writes for Mojo, Q and Classic Rock. During a 25-year career, he has written about music for the Guardian, Blender, The Observer, Melody Maker, Sounds, FHM, The Sunday Times and a host of others. His books include Love Is The Drug and Playing At Home; he is a critic on the widely acclaimed Rock Icons series and lives near London.