Debut album by Salford post-punkers Joy Division. Recorded in April 1979, Martin Hannet's unique production techniques and Ian Curtis's doomed lyrics and monotone vocal lend the album a downbeat greatness that has been often emulated yet rarely surpassed. One of only two albums recorded by the band before Curtis's tragic suicide in 1980.
4 reviews. Add your own review.
10/10 Robert Jones Customer review, 4th August 2016
I read Max Bell's NME review of "Unknown Pleasures" in the Spring of 1979, and immediately bought the album a week later. It exceeded all my expectations with its' dark images, and enigmatic brilliance. Ian Curtis was clearly influenced by Iggy Pop, especially on "Interzone". However they formed their own unique sound, thanks to Martin Hannett's eerie use of space when he produced the band. Ig's "The Idiot" had a very domineering effect on the band especially the epic "Mass Production", and they turned that atmosphere of dread to their best advantage superbly on "Day Of The Lords","Insight" and "She's Lost Control".
In thirty nine short minutes, JD had forever mapped out the future direction of alternative music, and the effects are still being felt today. I saw Joy Division play at London University on Friday February 8th 1980, and yes, they were utterly fantastic. Ian looked very frail however he was a great, great performer. Even so, nobody could have foreseen the heartbreaking events of May 18th 1980.....
Thirty seven years has done nothing to diminish the austere beauty of this album. Truly the best of British....
9/10 Bryan Parsons Customer review, 23rd August 2015
Having waited 20 years to replace this vinyl it was everything I expected. From the first notes of vinyl to the first sounds of Peter Hook's bass he leads the bands post punk sound of the time. With the tight sound of the drums & lead guitar & keyboards the Joy Division sound is completed by the vocals of Ian Curtis. Its hard to believe the band only had two records but they are remembered as having made an influential contribution to this post punk period.
I would highly recommend this record to those interested in this period of post punk.
10/10 Jack Customer review, 17th January 2015
Of all the stellar records released during the post-Punk revolution of 1979, "Unknown Pleasures" remains the best remembered. Maybe it's that album art, stark but wavering, or the way Ian Curtis pleads and begs and croons and roars through song after song in the unaffected voice of one truly damaged. Most likely it's the apparent (albeit hard-to-explain) expertise of each and every one of the record's contributors, despite their overwhelming lack of experience. The influences are prominent, but are limited and startlingly varied, leading to a variety of fascinating concoctions. Sabbath sludge is vaulted over Can atmospherics (courtesy of the incredible Martin Hannett's production), Kraftwerkian rhythms, and hauntingly funky bass grooves.
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