July 21 2020
40 years Anniversary, reissues by Joy Division:
Unknown Pleasures, Closer, Atmosphere, Transmission, Love Will Tear Us Apart
illustrations courtesy of the website https://store.neworder.com
The contrast to 1979 can’t be bigger. Anno 2020 no one looks glassy when mentioning their name. When releasing the debut album Unknown Pleasures in June ’79, Joy Division had just a limited crowd of fans who were aware of their impressive repertoire and overwhelming performances. Despite the fact the record received very good reviews in both English and Dutch music papers, the band only played a role in the margins of the music world. Thanks to the invitation by placeholder Buzzcocks, as support act on their big tour in the UK in 1979, the group became more widely known than before and offered them a great stage to promote their album. John Peel was the only dj who often played their records on his evening broadcast on BBC 1 and invited them twice to record for his famous ‘Peel sessions’.
That 1st album proved paradoxical in several respects. First there was this rather unknown band, that succeeded in delivering a masterpiece on a, at that moment completely unknown record label Factory Records. In addition, the album was designed by the, still unknown designer Peter Saville, housed in a sleeve on which every single information about the band and the music was missing. Not unimportant to say is that the album was given a catalogue number, Fact 10.
The modest but stylish sleeve was in sharp contrast to the showy, colorful and blatant typographic wrappings that other bands of the ‘New Wave’ at that time were releasing. Furthermore he selected a luxurious structured black cardboard, that gave it an extra dimension. In the center on the cover, just a whimsical pattern of white-coloured waves, whose meaning is no longer a mistery to many. This ‘Pulsar’ has now become a household name or rather a statement and undoubtly ends in the canon of graphic design of the 20th century.
Due to the approach of producer and magician Martin Hannett, the music on the record was captured as an enchanting mix of emotions. Songs abrasive against punk and experimental work, varied by dark melodrama as by Kraut rock-like influences. Never pushy and mostly quite danceable. Textually mysterious with a lot of references to situations that were unraveled much later, resulted into a lot of praise to the young singer and writer Ian Curtis.
Tragedy formed the basis of the unprecedented appreciation which Joy Division were granted since May 1980. The death of the charismatic romanticist Ian Curtis, attracted a larger crowd of music lovers. Their songs that seemed to go hand in hand with the life of the singer. Stories intertwined with mistery, romance and misery to which many could mirror. While fans comfort themselves with the legacy of Joy Division, the remaining members already plunged into a new adventure, New Order, hoping to suppress their grief. Taken care of by their manager Rob Gretton, they continued since Joy Division suddenly came to a halt. When Gillian Gilbert, Stephen’s girlfriend joined after 3 months, they were a quartett again and the new band New Order grew into another success.
To pass the 40th anniversary of the debut album Unknown Pleasures in 2019 unnoticed wasn’t an option. Again the ‘inhouse designer’ of Factory Records, Peter Saville, was asked to restyle his original design into a special edition of this record.
The formerly euphoric feeling, to have purchased something unprecedented, an artwork that once at home on the turntable revealed it’s secrets, that’s not to be expected. Now in particular it’s the appreciation for their legacy and unintentionally it also did put Manchester ‘on the map’. As this proud town couldn’t stay behind to honour the band and their debut album, a few city landmarks were decorated by graphic light projections to mark the 40th anniversary last year.
About the jubilee of this album by Peter Saville, Mary-Ann Hobbs, dj of BBC 6 spoke to him on May 27, 2020.
‘With Unknown Pleasures was kind of easy and it was self initiated. There wasn’t a request to make any changes, as I recal last year. It’s just that I remembered that Joy Division had asked for Unknown Pleasures to be white on the outside and black on the inside. And the evening that I put the sleeve together back in ’79 and I was not very confident about that. And I was using a piece of equipment to make the artwork that enabled me to see line-art working and I could actually see what it would look like if I put black on the outside. And I thought it looked good and so, the original is the opposite of what the group had asked for. And so, it striked me last year, it might be nice, 40 years later, to give them the sleeve that they’d asked for originally. So that was the special edition, the white Unknown Pleasures.’
Apart from these modifications, his re-make included a few other interventions. Again, the white cover also came in a stylish, structured cardboard. The original white-black inside cover was flipped into black-white. The red vinyl was a reference to the original 1st pressing of the black record, that hold in front of a light source, colored purple reddish. Alltogether, the two different editions are a fine couple of art-objects that even can be listened to.
Since the overwhelming debut Unknown Pleasures, the follow-up Closer turned out to be of inimitable quality. Due to the tragic incident, the release of the record was delayed 2 months till the first the first blow after the death of Ian Curtis was over. For someone unsuspectingly tuning in on BBC Radio 1 on May 19, 1980 for the John Peel nightshow, and witnessed the announcement of the death of Ian Curtis, felt to hold the physical album in your hands like an emotional experience. As if you were carrying the testament of Ian Curtis, while obviously this was also the final part for all four band members. The final album by Joy Division. Like attending a Requiem. Despite the lack of knowledge of the complete story behind the tragedy, you were aware this meant the definitive end.
Again the record was given a stylish sleeve. Austere black-white. A serene photo of a religious looking group of statues, virtually any text. On the cover just the title of the album, graved into an off-white, slightly rough textured cardboard. As vulnerable as the young life that was gone too soon. The record was housed in a similar produced inner sleeve, provided with the same modest typeface like the cover. The black vinyl of the 1st pressings again exposed that purple reddish color in front of a light source.
Since Unknown Pleasures, the group had made huge progress. Their stylish roughness had evolved into atmospheric but still danceable compositions, in which the synthesizer had come resoundingly to the fore with basslines that defined a great part of the melody, supported by a wide range of impressive drum patterns. Songs of which Ian felt that the words in his lyrics almost wrote themselves. With this record, the band distinguished more from the music by contemporaries, stimulated by producer Martin Hannett who achieved a galactic atmosphere by adding brilliantly chosen effects. The sadder that Joy Division never had the opportunity to present their Magnum Opus on stage together.
It is quite unique, that a year later, again a masterpiece will be celebrated.
After Fact 10, now in 2020 it’s this Fact 25’s turn. Like last year, Peter Saville was invited to design a special edition for this record. The way in which this remake came about, he explained in previously mentioned conversation with Mary-Ann Hobbs.
‘…there was the question, what are you gonna do this time? You know, how do you change the sleeve? And actually, there wasn’t really anything that was particually real. I mean, the only kind of in a way altercation, was whether to do a sleeve at all? I mean, I remember the day that Tony Wilson phoned me, to say that Ian had died, and it was during that call that I thought of the Closer cover that was in production. And I had to point out to Tony that we had a sleeve in production, that had a thomb on the cover. And that might seem like a bad idea in the event, and it could even seen like a sort of an exploited gesture. So Tony took it back to the group and said are you happy to go ahead with the sleeve? Anyway, they felt that Ian was part of the decision for that sleeve and so they decided to stick with that decision. So really, the only thing that would have been viable this time, would it bit to have been a completely different sleeve? And that didn’t really seem correct. So there’s some very subtle changes to the 2020 release of Closer. There’s some different dates on the back, in slightly enigmatic Roman numerals and there’s the incorporation of some red. A subtle presence of ruby for fortieth, ruby red inside the cover. There’s a clear vinyl. They told me there’s a new kind of cristayl clear vinyl, just like glass, which i quite like the idea. That I thought that it in kind a way would almost look like ghostly. Kind a record that’s perhaps barely even there! And there is this idea of red inside. Actually inside, on the reverse side of the border. So it’s there but you don’t see it. You only see it when you look in.’
At the same time with the reissue of Closer, also the three 12” singles Atmosphere, Love Will Tear Us Apart and Transmission are released. Each is similar to the originals, except for the dating which refers to this anniversary year 2020. All are genuine classics that were never released to promote a certain album. Originally, these singles first came out on 7” format prior to the death of Ian Curtis, with different sleeves than the later 12” versions, all released in 1980 after his passing. Of course designed by, who else, Peter Saville. These days, people purchase the iconic record Velvet Underground & Nico from 1967 for their collection just to get hold of a sixties artwork by Andy Warhol. Now you’ve got the chance to grab even 5 artworks from the eighties by Peter Saville, a genuine set of beautiful classics and a treat to your ears!
Contrary and stubborn, distinctive and non-conformist. Joy Division and Factory Records, with their roots firmly planted in the punk era without denying their ideals, they chose their own direction undisturbed. The tragedy that blocked their road, didn’t get in the way for the acknowledgement of their talent. 40 years later, their status keeps on growing and many today’s bands declare to be influenced by them. Despite the tragedy and the ‘divorce’, Joy Division will be Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner forever.
The reissues are released by Warner Music and they can be ordered through the official webstore of New Order.
(at the moment Unknown Pleasures is deleted)
March 7th 2019
Two photos from my Paradiso collection were displayed for the first time on this date.
One of the photos, titled #10 is of Peter Hook and familiar to many since the auction of Hooky's 'Joy Division Signature Collection'. In this auction, it was a double-portrait of him from 1980 and 2011, that i made in 2012 as a present. It was given to him after the concert in Utrecht of the '10th Anniversary Summer Darkness' on july 29th 2012. In the background, Stephen Morris is visible too, sitting behind his drumkit.
The second photo, titled #11 is of Ian Curtis and is a photo taken during the first set of the concert. The power and emotion of his performance is quite visible in this image. In the background, Bernard Sumner is visible too, playing guitar left hand stage.
You can also find both photos on the home page, by scrolling down.
And like all my other photos (not only Joy Division but from many New Wave / Post-Punk bands) are for sale on ebay.
March 4th 2019
Peter Hook: The Joy Division Signature Collection
THE RESULTS OF THE AUCTION AT OMEGA AUCTIONS MARCH 2ND 2019
The auction lasted almost 4 hours to sell 295 lots of all kinds of memorabilia. The final result was massive and a few lots were sold for absolute top prices.
A few highlights:
- SEX PISTOLS FREE TRADE HALL TICKET, RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPH - winning bid £3,600
- IAN CURTIS & JOY DIVISION TYPED LYRICS FOR "FAILURES" - winning bid £4,000
- JOY DIVISION SORDIDE SENTIMENTALE - winning bid £2,400
- ORIGINAL AND FULLY SIGNED IDEAL FOR LIVING 7" EP ON ENIGMA LABEL - winning bid £11,800
- IDEAL FOR LIVING STUDIO MASTER TAPE - winning bid £3,200
- IDEAL FOR LIVING ORIGINAL ARTWORK - winning bid £6,200
- HOOKY'S LEATHER JACKET FROM 1977 - winning bid £7,000
- CHIMES FROM CARGO STUDIOS USED ON "ATMOSPHERE" - winning bid £5,800
- ORIGINAL JOY DIVISION DRUM TRAPS FLIGHT CASE - winning bid £21,000
- ORIGINAL JOY DIVISION GIBSON EB-0 REPLICA - 1ST JOY DIVISION GUITAR AND CASE - winning bid £11,000
- ORIGINAL JOY DIVISION SHERGOLD MARATHON CUSTOM 6 STRING BASS GUITAR AND CASE- winning bid £15,500
- ORIGINAL FACTORY PROMO POSTER FOR FAC 10 UNKNOWN PLEASURES - winning bid £6,000
- ORIGINAL JOY DIVISION BAIN DOUCHES POSTER - winning bid £4,000
- ORIGINAL THE FACTORY RUSSELL CLUB POSTER 1979 - winning bid £9,000
- ORIGINAL JOY DIVISION KANT KINO BERLIN GIG POSTER - winning bid £4,800
- ORIGINAL JOY DIVISION WALTHAMSTOW POSTER BY DAVID PILS - winning bid £8,500
Lot 117 and Lot 119
The two lots in the auction with my photos in it, were sold for great prices. All the proceeds of the winning bids will go to THE CHRISTIE. Thanks to the buyers who won these lots and helped THE CHRISTIE via this auction.
I hope you'll enjoy your purchased photos!
- PETER HOOK FRAMED BEFORE AND AFTER BY MARC TILLI - winning bid £300
- FRAMED IAN CURTIS JOY DIVISION PARADISO AMSTERDAM 1980 BY MARC TILLI - winning bid £650
February 28th 2019
Peter Hook: The Joy Division Signature Collection
A JOY DIVISION & FACTORY RECORDS EXHIBITION & AUCTION
HISTORIC EQUIPMENT, GUITARS, INSTRUMENTS, RARE VINYL, UNIQUE ARTWORK & MORE FROM HOOKY’S ARCHIVE
Legendary Joy Division bassist, Peter Hook is to hold an exhibition and auction of his wide ranging and historic collection of Joy Division and Factory Records memorabilia which as one of the most avid collectors he has put together over his four decades in music.
The complete catalogue with all the items can be ordered in the online shop of Omega Auctions.
It is available in signed and non signed versions.
Auction Date: Saturday 2nd March 2019, start 1.00pm
Venue: Omega Auctions, Sankey Valley Industrial Estate, Newton-Le-Willows, WA12 8DN
MARC TILLI ITEMS IN AUCTION
In this auction, there are 2 specific lots of items that Hooky were given by me back in the day on special occasions.
The proceeds will be donated to The Christie
Lot 117-PETER HOOK FRAMED BEFORE AND AFTER BY MARC TILLI
Lot 119-FRAMED IAN CURTIS JOY DIVISION PARADISO AMSTERDAM 1980 BY MARC TILLI
Text and illustrations taken from the website of Omega Auctions.
Feel free to comment via my contact form.
September 11th 2018
Just completed artwork ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.
A detail of one of my photos from Joy Division’s famous gig at Paradiso Amsterdam January 11, 1980, was used in this painting.
Different techniques form the basis of this handmade and unique artwork on canvas, that measures 40 x 40 cm (± 15,75 x 15,75 inches). It’s signed by the artist. It will be available in a limited quantity via internet on an auction platform that will be announced soon.
Feel free to comment or in case you’ve any questions, please let me know via my contact form.
(the watermark won’t appear on the actual artwork)
July 20nd 2018
On the 8th of December 2018, Omega Auctions will auction Peter Hook's personal Joy Division memorabilia. A few items have been posted yet, so to lift the curtain slightly:
- a flightcase with a 'Joy Division' sencil on it
- the famous FAC 1 poster
- gig poster The Factory / The Russell Club January 1979
- gig poster Bains-Douches
- framed photos by Kevin Cummins and Anton Corbijn
- his leather jacket with a few buttons and pins on it
- an amp
- the FACT 10 Unknown Pleasures poster
More info to follow.
March 31st 2018
The Amsterdam venue Paradiso, opened its doors on March 30 1968. To celebrate its 50th birthday, the Paradiso website has a section about many of their programs. From now on, this list will grow.
You can scroll through this list and read about a variety of gigs.
For the concert of Joy Division on January 11 1980, a few of my quotes have been used in it.
Yes, in Dutch.
March 31st 2018
In 2018, Paradiso celebrates its 50th birthday. From the long-list of more than 25000 programs, Hester Carvalho, writer of the book ‘Paradiso 50 jaar in 50 legendarische concerten’, selected 50 memorial gigs to highlight the music history of the venue. Of course different genres have been selected to satisfy all kinds of visitors and readers.
For each gig, five eyewitnesses were found to recollect that night. Marc Tilli was asked about two shows, obviously Joy Division on January 11 1980 and the other one, The Rolling Stones on May 27th 1995.
For the Joy Division gig, the famous Lex van Rossen photo was selected, on which Ian Curtis is wearing The Sound And The Fury t-shirt. The book is written in Dutch only.
January 25th 2018
launch of the new version of the website JoyDivisionbook.com
Strawberry Studios in Stockport 'Control Room Recreation Project'
As part of the National Heritage Open Day weekend in the UK (September 2017), over a thousand people visited the building that housed the famous Strawberry Recording Studios from 1968 to 1993, where 10cc, Joy Division, The Smiths and hundreds of other famous artists recorded their hit records over a quarter of a century.
One of my Ian Curtis photos, was exhibited in The Control Room, during the open days in 2017 and from now on displayed permanently in the offices of Mondiale Publishing, the company that residents in this building.
October 6th 2016
release of latest book by Peter Hook ’Substance’ a recollection of his years in the legendary band New Order.
This book features one of the photos i took December 13th 1980, at the band’s 9th gig ever, in Rotterdam Hal 4. This venue was a renovated hall at a water purification plant. A gig made possible by the efforts of Mike Pickering, who then lived in Rotterdam and soon relocated to Manchester to DJ at the new club The Haçienda as formed his bands Quando Quango and M-People.
This gig was the 2nd appearance of Gillian Gilbert and showed an emotional and young band working hard through a selection of brand new songs. This struggling band would soon conquer the world with their massive hits and iconic albums.
Copyright @ joydivisionbook