Song Of The Day 10/15/2015: Joy Division – “She’s Lost Control”

You Pick the Artist IV – Waldo Jeffries gave me Joy Division. This is what Waldo said exactly: “You could be really heavy-handed and do Joy Division.” “I can,” I replied, “and I will.” I’ll confess: Joy Division was in that cabal of postpunk artists that everybody was much more into than I was. Other members include The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen*, the Sisters of Mercy, and to a certain extent the Jesus & Mary Chain. I wasn’t into them when I should have been, i.e. in high school, for much the same reason I wasn’t that much into heavy metal. Namely: I was a piano player, dirtied up with loose leaf pages from the Great American Songbook, and at the time required a more melodic and mannered form of musical composition. (In other words, New Order. And Queen.) This condition improved as I got older. I may have gained a softer view of Joy Division after I saw 24 Hour Party People, which is one of the greatest films about rock music ever made.

And right now I’m listening to my copy of Joy Division’s Heart & Soul box set, finding it perfectly enjoyable. I can’t recreate the proper environment in which to really appreciate Joy Division, i.e. smoke-filled, but it’s good. I have no idea how this would have affected my DNA when I was young enough to have a lasting and irreversible impression, but right now having Ian Curtis cry “When will it end? When will it end?” suits me just duckily.

At some point I picked up Unknown Pleasures as an import at Tower Records. I’m a fan of its praxis, which may not be the same as saying I like the music, but I like the tension. The crux between the wiltingly personal and nascent technology. The synthesizer bursts on “Insight”? I love those. My favorite JD track is “She’s Lost Control,” though, not exactly as obscure as my new favorites. But probably one of their more complete exercises in songwriting. A revelation at this late date. Say, any chance we could all go back and try 1982 again? I’ll book the bridal suite.

Thanks Waldo! If that’s your real name.

*AutoCorrect tried to change this to "Echo & the Funnymen."

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