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Baker's Dozen

Unknown Pleasures At 40: Our Favourite Artists On Joy Division's Debut
Patrick Clarke , June 14th, 2019 06:42

As Joy Division's still-staggering debut album turns 40, we present a Baker's Dozen of Baker's Dozens featuring artists and writers who picked Unknown Pleasures among their favourites of all time


Neil Arthur, Blancmange

“It was just the right time for me. I saw them in August 1979 with Essential Logic, Teardrop Explodes and Echo & The Bunnymen. That was some evening. I was still at art college and took photographs and made sketches. 'She’s Lost Control' was a huge influence on us. These bands were coming along and showing us a different way of doing things. We were making experimental noises and instrumentals but Joy Division made us start to put structured things together. To see Joy Division play was incredible.

“When he died, I heard by word-of-mouth, then we’d have heard on Peel or through the music press. I bought the New Order stuff and still have [Peter] Saville’s beautiful ‘Blue Monday’ sleeve. We referenced it on 'The Day Before You Came'. We also played with them at Futurama festival in the 80s.

“I can see how bands fall apart. We were open about making mistakes in public. Some proved to be fruitful, others didn’t. I walked off stage at the Royal Albert Hall and said I wasn’t doing it anymore. If I could have just stepped back a little further it would have been okay. We could have carried on and worked a bit harder. One thing we were worried about was that we were being eaten by the machinery of the music business. It was eating away at our friendship and we didn’t let it.”