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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


Julie Campbell, LoneLady

Unknown Pleasures absolutely sits in its own special space. I love its mystery and violence. What I perhaps love most about it is Martin Hannet's production, how he stripped away the rock and roll temporariness and transformed Joy Division's music into something compelling and timeless. He architecturalised the sound, creating volumes and fathoms aurally and psychologically. His treatment of the drums completely reassessed what drums could sound like. It taught me that they could be light on their feet but lose none of their power. They shudder and shiver yet form a completely solid mechanical framework.

“I love the visionary lyrics; they're exciting and I think there's a kind of bravery in writing seriously about existential matters.The album cover art so masterfully teases with what lies within. I used to have the poster on my wall and marvel at its seductive blackness and starkly evocative song titles. It seems to be generally agreed that Closer has stronger songwriting, but on balance I find I listen to Unknown Pleasures more. I love itss deep mysteries. It feels like diving into blackness, an invitation into some thrilling, frightening journey. Happy 40th Anniversary.”

Photo by Rachel Lipsitz