• Joy Division - No Love Lost

    Joy Division - An Ideal For Living

    Title: An Ideal For Living
    Format: 7"
    Label: Enigma
    Year: 1978

    Side One - Warsaw / No Love Lost
    Side Two - Leaders Of Men / Failures

    No Love Lost 14.3.79

    I first saw Joy Division at a small nightclub in my home town in late 1978. It'd been organised by a guy called Bob Jefferson who ran a local record shop called Streets Ahead and the group played a fairly rough edged set from the dance floor, eye to eye with a minimal Monday night crowd.

    I already knew them through the Live At The Electric Circus LP and the An Ideal For Living EP that had come out that summer, the latter with the ill advised Hitler Youth fold out sleeve. I wasn’t that impressed with either but quite liked one of the EP tracks called No Love Lost.

    A week or so after seeing them at Check Inn I picked up A Factory Sample and fell in love with Digital. I guess that was the point I started to pay serious attention and the following spring Bob started putting on regular shows just down the road from me at my village youth club including two more appearances by Joy Division in March and May. The autographs are from the first one along with the live versions of No Love Lost and Disorder I've used.

    Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

    Title: Unknown Pleasures
    Format: LP
    Label: Factory
    Year: 1979

    Outside - Disorder / Day Of The Lords / Candidate / Insight / New Dawn Fades

    Inside - She's Lost Control / Shadowplay / Wilderness / Interzone / I Remember Nothing

    Disorder 14.3.79

    Much had changed by the time of the first Bowdon Vale show and there was a tightness and drive I'd not noticed before. You can hear it on both live tracks I've included and this swirling version of Disorder goes a long way to dispelling the myth that the sound of Unknown Pleasures (which they began to record a few weeks later) was largely down to Martin Hannett's spaced out production.

    Myself and my friend Pete followed the group around as much as we could throughout 1979 including the Stuff The Superstars all dayer at The Mayflower, the Leigh Rock Festival and the first Leeds Futurama as well as countless other shows in Manchester including support slots for both Fashion and Buzzcocks. Looking back it was definitely the most fanatical I ever got over any group but everybody knew something special was happening.

    Joy Division - Closer

    Title: Closer
    Format: LP
    Label: Factory
    Year: 1980

    Side One - Atrocity Exhibition / Isolation / Passover / Colony / A Means To An End

    Side Two - Heart And Soul / Twenty Four Hours / The Eternal / Decades


    I actually prefer second album Closer with a soft 's' (as Wilson would constantly stress) but I only got to see them once in 1980 at the New Osborne Club with Section 25 and Kevin Hewick in support. Soon Curtis would be gone and the remaining members would become New Order.

    I've said much of what I wanted to say about Joy Division elsewhere on this blog (so follow the links) but here's my obituary and favourite anecdote and also their masterpiece...

    Atmosphere 18.1.80

    Here are the young men, the weight on their shoulders

  • Radiohead - Knives Out

    Radiohead - Amnesiac

    Title: Amnesia
    Format: CD Album
    Label: Parlophone
    Year: 2001

    Tracks - Pakt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box / Pyramid Song / Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors / You And Whose Army? / I Might Be Wrong / Knives Out / Morning Bell/Amnesiac / Dollars & Cents / Hunting Bears / Like Spinning Plates / Life In A Glasshouse

    Knives Out

    Knives Out was on my headphones as I walked around a frozen Niagara Falls a dozen or so years back and its crisp, sub-zero melancholy was a perfect match for the breathtaking views. It's taken from the group's fifth album Amnesiac and is apparently Radiohead having a go at The Smiths.

    If you'd been a dog they would've drowned you at birth

  • Magazine - Shot By Both Sides

    Magazine - Shot By Both Sides

    Title: Shot By Both Sides
    Format: 7"
    Label: Virgin
    Year: 1978

    Side A - Shot By Both Sides
    Side B - My Mind Ain't So Open

    Shot by Both Sides

    Apologies to anyone expecting A Song From Under Under The Floorboards but it just doesn't match the ballistic thrill of Shot By Both Sides.

    Magazine's 7" debut famously shares an ascending riff with the Buzzcocks Lipstick but whereas the latter remained true to the punk blueprint, Devoto moved into no man's land and redefined the musical possibilities. It's equally apt as Russia wades into the West's attempt to fuck up Syria...

    Why are you so edgy, kid?

    Buzzcocks - Promises

    Title: Promises
    Format: 7"
    Label: United Artists
    Year: 1978

    Side A - Promises
    Side 1 - Lipstick


    Compare and contrast.

  • Pretenders - Talk Of The Town

    Pretenders - Talk Of The Town

    Title: Talk Of The Town
    Format: 7"
    Label: Real Records
    Year: 1980

    Side A - Talk Of The Town
    Side B - Cuban Slide

    Talk of the Town

    I remember The Pretenders Talk Of The Town reverberating from stall holders radios and following me around Kensington Market on a college art trip where I did more shopping than galleries. A bunch of us had gone down to London on a coach to supposedly inspire our A level projects but mainly we came back with records and clothes and used the time to get that little bit closer to the objects of our desire.

    Chrissie Hynde had that sultry, pulled through a hedge look I always went for and Talk Of The Town was such an achingly cool pop song. It didn't get much better than this.

    Such a drag to want something sometime

  • Mark Stewart + Maffia - Jerusalem

    Mark Stewart - Learning To Cope With Cowardice

    Title: Learning To Cope With Cowardice
    Format: LP
    Label: On-U Sound
    Year: 1983

    Side One - Learning To Cope With Cowardice / Liberty City / Blessed Are Those Who Struggle / None Dare Call It Conspiracy

    Side Two - Don't You Ever Lay Down Your Arms / The Paranoia Of Power / To Have The Vision / Jerusalem


    Mark Stewart is touring with a reunited Pop Group right now but following their original split in 1981 he hooked up with Adrian Sherwood for this his first solo album backed by a loose On-U Sound collective he called (The) Maffia. There's a must read Bluffers Guide to MS+M over at Uncarved that does a far better job of explaining the twists and turns than I ever could.

    Album closer Jerusalem is the undisputed highlight of Learning To Cope With Cowardice as Blake's mystical vision of the have's and have not's gets dubbed up with a brass band and choir undoubtedly from a satanic mill town. It's said the call to arms in the lyric is an incitement for a revolution not just of the French variety but also of the mind and I'd definitely sing along if this version was our national anthem...

    Bring me my chariots of fire


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