Sunday, May 4, 2014

Joy Division

Joy Division
9" x 12"
oil on canvas, 2014
Joy Division is a legendary cult band from Manchester. They only existed (with that name) for two years, from early 1978 until May 1980, when their singer Ian Curtis committed suicide. They took their name, which refers to a prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp, from a novel called House of Dolls . Before Joy Division they were called Warsaw (from May '77), and after Curtis died the remaining members continued as New Order. Their history starts in 1976, when founders Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook attended a Sex Pistols concert. Sumner recalled "(The Sex Pistols) destroyed the myth of being a pop star, of a musician being some kind of god that you had to worship". The band had a cult status since their very first gig, and to this date they remain to be this almost mythical band form the late seventies. I've had the pleasure to see the band Jam Division perform Joy Division covers on numeral occasions, I've seen exhibitions dedicated to their memory, and I've heard Joy Division mentioned as an impetus for more than a few distinguished careers in contemporary art. Hundreds of bands have covered their music and there are at least fifteen records produced, throughout the world, that are tribute albums. The top 100 now contains a track from one of these: Warszawa: Tribute to Joy Division with Joy Division covers by Polish bands. The track is She's Lost Control by the band Ścianka from the city of Sopot on the Baltic coast.

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