Album #436 – Unknown Pleasures
The picture on the cover of Unknown Pleasures has become a widely worn T-Shirt for hipsters. But, I bet most of them have never listened to this album, let alone know the musical significance of Joy Division. The album helped create Goth Rock, one of the best alternative sub genres of the 1980s. The music on Unknown Pleasures is dark, gloomy and haunting.That could be because of the state of lead singer Ian Curtis, who committed suicide the following year. There is also a punk element to these songs which, are fast and filled with guitar, bass and drums yet have a dark, introspective theme. Unfortunately, there are no singles released from this album. Joy Division was known for releasing singles that never appeared on albums like their signature song, Love Will Tear Us Apart. What remains on Unknown Pleasures, much like Talking Heads’ Fear of Music, is the direction punk and alternative music was going. There would be two distinct worlds of music in the 80’s and beyond: upbeat, positive pop and dark alternative and metal. Music still remains somewhat in these two camps and, sometimes we will see crossover. It can also be argued that the dark music was more realistic than the former. Ian Curtis’ death did not slow the others down. The other three members would go on to form New Order after Curtis’ death and shape a new form of music: synth pop. Highlights include: Disorder, Day of the Lords, New Dawn Fades, She’s Lost Control, Shadowplay and Interzone. Overall, I give Unknown Pleasures, 4 out of 5.
Next: Risque by Chic