YMMV / Joy Division

  • Broken Base:
    • The production of Martin Hannett. Most people, including Ian Curtis, are fond of his sterile production style, while many fans who heard the band's live material are surprised by the raw energy and prefer Joy Division as a live band. In interviews Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook themselves that they only initially wanted Unknown Pleasures to sound how they sounded live and were initially unhappy with Hannett's style. Some fans love both styles of the band, the studio style and the live concert style.
    • Which is better, Unknown Pleasures or Closer? The latter is commonly considered the band's masterpiece. However, some prefer the less experimental, more rock-oriented style of the former and dislike the experimental, synth-heavy direction on the latter with its comparatively dry production.
  • Creator Backlash: As mentioned above, Sumner and Hook (and Morris as well) were not fond of the production on their albums, claiming that Hannett took them too far away from their live sound. Hook and Morris eventually came around and are quite fond of the albums' overall sound now, but Sumner never has.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Curtis. Control hypothesizes that after having a verbal altercation with his wife (chasing her out of the house) and watching TV, Curtis suffered another grand mal seizure and collapsed. When he came to again, he crossed the horizon — and was Driven to Suicide as a result.
  • Ear Worm:
    • 31G, 31G, 31G, 31G... From "Warsaw." And the bassline from "Exercise One."
    • And of course, the more well-known hits "Transmission," "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "She's Lost Control," and "Dead Souls" certainly count.
    • "This is the way, step inside..." from "Atrocity Exhibition."
    • Speaking of Closer, who could forget:
    "Isolation (BA-deep-BA-deep, BA-deep-BA-deep), iso-lay-shunnn (BA-deep-BA-deep, BA-deep-BA-deep), isolation!"
    • Let us not forget that damn catchy intro to "Disorder".
  • Fandom Rivalry: Oh god, Joy Division fans vs. New Order fans. Joy Division fans argue that the band is nothing without Ian Curtis's dark, poetic lyrics, while New Order fans argue that New Order has the energy, song-writing prowess and experimentation that made Joy Division great or was lacking in Joy Division. Of course, many more fans enjoy both bands.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The first two sentences of Melody Maker's review of Unknown Pleasures: '"To talk of life today is like talking of rope in the house of a hanged man." Where will it end?'
    • The tombstone on the cover of Closer, which was released just weeks after Ian Curtis' suicide. (The art was created before his death.)
    • The artist responsible for the artwork for the "Love Will Tear Us Apart" single release said he only realized in retrospect that Curtis had intended the artwork to resemble a headstone.
  • Gateway Series: A lot of people discover Post-Punk with this band.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Joy Division has a strong cult following in New Zealand. When Ian Curtis died, a fan had painted a tribute to him on a wall in Wellington, which still remains today, although it had been relocated and re-painted a few times.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Most of Ian's lyrics are ominous but "In a Lonely Place" stand out. It never actually came out in Ian's lifetime, but New Order re-recorded it as a B-Side. The verse that stands out "Hangman looks round as he waits / Cord stretches tight and it breaks / One day we will die in your dreams / How I wish you were here with me now" Yikes.
    • Though not a Joy Division song, Throbbing Gristle's song "Weeping" become more chilling than usual when taken into account that it's not only about suicide, but one of Ian's favorite songs, to the point of singing parts of it during phone calls with TG members.
    • In 2017, Chris Cornell, former lead singer for Soundgarden and Audioslave, also hung himself on May 18... the same date as Ian's suicide. Some fans do not think his choice of method and date was at all a coincidence.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ian Curtis. Yes, by many accounts, he wasn't the easiest person to deal with, but given how much he suffered in life, it's nearly impossible not to feel sympathy for the guy. He had severe depression, very, very bad epilepsy (with regular tonic-clonic seizures), and of course, this was at a time when nobody understood it enough to effectively help him. The pills he was prescribed only exacerbated his depression, and the constant performing with the band only made his illness worse. There's also the fact that Curtis frequently felt like his audience only came to shows to watch him have epileptic fits instead of trying to get the message of his band's music. His life was not a very good one.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: More people have seen the cover of Unknown Pleasures than have actually heard the band.
  • Memetic Mutation: The artwork for Unknown Pleasures.
  • The Scrappy: Fans tend not to like Peter Hook due to his feuding with the other band members, seemingly being hell-bent on cashing in on the band's legacy and eradicating whatever mystique the band possessed.
  • Serious Business: Much like Kurt Cobain, Ian is remembered as a tragic tortured figure, but his bandmates remember him as a rather goofy, kind-hearted individual. Stephen Morris recalls in one book how he would drop Ian off at his house after gigs in the early hours and then Ian would take his dog for a walk in the middle of the night.
  • Signature Song: "Atmosphere", "She's Lost Control", "Transmission" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart".
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Only released two albums during their three-year run, and are nowadays considered the most influential Post-Punk band.
  • Sophomore Slump: Closer is a notable aversion, being considered the band's masterpiece.
  • Tear Jerker: "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Also, "The Eternal" and "Decades", the combination of which a music critic called "suicide notes set to music."
    • Many Joy Division songs are Tear Jerkers, but when Ian sings "For entertainment they watch his body twist" in "Atrocity Exhibition," and you remember about his epilepsy, you could definitely by forgiven for crying. The rest of the lyrics in the song do not help at all.
      But the sickness is drowned out by cries for more
      Pray to God, make it quick, watch him fall.
    • "Isolation" has an incredibly moving and personal verse that will move you to tears if you're unprepared. It sounds like Ian is unable to move past some sort of past trauma and any attempt to do so just deepens his feelings of self-loathing.
      Mother, I tried, please believe me.
      I'm doing the best that I can.
      I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through.
      I'm ashamed of the person I am.
    • "Heart and Soul", "Twenty Four Hours", "Ceremony", "In a Lonely Place", and "Atmosphere" also qualify for this.
      • "Ceremony" especially. Next to "In a Lonely Place", it was one of the last songs Ian recorded with the band before his death and really gives a depressing haunting vibe.
    • "The Eternal", which just screams Ian's own funeral.
    • The band members' reaction to Ian's suicide can be considered this as well. For one thing, they didn't know he was at the verge of suicide. They all have seen regretted not realizing what Ian was feeling, especially Stephen, who feels they could have prevented Ian's death.
    • Arguably Ian's death holds a big curtain over the band. While he wasn't the best person out there, he wasn't reallya bad person: He was quiet, meek, and a somber person, but the pressure of a growing band mixed with his depression/epilepsy and his collapsing marriage with Deborah just kept pushing him over the edge until he took his life, leaving behind a dark legacy of his haunting and sad lyrics, coupled with leaving behind his daughter. Damn.
  • Too Cool to Live: Ian Curtis.
  • True Art Is Angsty
  • Yoko Oh No: Touching from a Distance gets some critical reviews on Amazon from fans who don't appreciate Deborah Curtis, Ian Curtis' widow, exposing how cruel Ian could be to her. A lot of them think she has an ax to grind, despite the clear emotional abuse described in the book.