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Old 09-04-2006, 12:53 AM   #1
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Unknown Pleasures vs. Closer

I have just recently gotten into Joy Division and my brains are getting blown apart by their sheer brilliance.

My initial impression was that the people who name Closer as the superior album only did so because it was the cool thing to say, since it is more difficult than its predecessor, and that secretly, UP was every JD fan's real (perhaps only) favourite. However, my experience has been the opposite: I feel that Closer is by far the catchier, more diverse, more accessible, and simply better album (and my taste is by no means really sophisticated believe me). What do you guys think? It seems like one of those eternal Achtung v Joshua type debates that will never end, but IMO, nothing on UP equals the magnificence of Isolation, Passover, Colony, Heart and Soul, and Eternal. Jesus thats hard to beat...

God damn, this band is good.
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:00 AM   #2
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I'm all about drawing lines and refusing not to make final decisions, but I have been listening devoutly to this band for years and years and years and it's still impossible for me to say which album I prefer.

I think that "Disorder" is the best song the band ever wrote, but those songs on Closer which you namecheck are nearly just as strong. I really don't know...I would give each album a solid 8.5/10 and just call it even, I suppose.

I don't agree that they were the best band since 1980, as you say, but I think it would be quite easy for you to back that claim up. I would definitely say that they're one of the best, though, and that these two albums are very nearly the pinnacle of everything up to, including, and following punk music. Just listen to This Heat and then we can talk about that, though...

Deceit and blue/yellow are easily the equals of these two albums...probably better, even.
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:13 AM   #3
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Ah, you caught me before I edited my post. On second thought, I felt it was a bit harsh to make the best-band-since-80 proclamation so early on in my listening experience, so I withdrew the gauntlet.

Of This Heat I claim complete igorance. But I will check them out on your reccomendation.

8.5/10 for both albums you say? Seems a bit harsh to me. What could possible beat that, especially if you use originality as one of your rating criteria? OKC on sheer musicality I would rate higher, but from what I understand, few people were playing the guitar the way Sumner was back then. A totally non-blues-based style. A criminally underrated guitarist, if you ask me.

TH you mentioned, but how about you name other albums (hopefully ones I know) you would rate higher than 8.5. Preferably post-70, because I feel an apple-to-apple comparison is harder to do for bands before that time.

But let the discussion continue! Unknown Pleasures, or Closer?

Ok, add Decades to my impossible-songs-to-beat-from-Closer list. Holy Crap....
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Old 09-04-2006, 02:57 AM   #4
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I've never understood why Closer is rated so much higher than Unknown Pleasures by many fans. Closer has a couple of great songs, namely Atrocity Exhibition and Twenty Four Hours, but I can't remember when I last listened to all of it - I get too bored and skip to something else. On the other hand, except for I Remember Nothing, Unknown Pleasures grips me the entire way through and doesn't let go. I consider Disorder and especially She's Lost Control to be the best two songs the band has done, and Interzone is a personal favourite. Also, Ian Curtis's booming "we were strangers" in New Dawn Fades is chilling.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:46 AM   #5
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Great thread guys, Joy Division are SO underrated.

I prefer Closer, personally, although Still is better (if you compiled the live material into one album, it'd be better than UP or Closer). My favourite JD song is only on Still.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomtom
Ah, you caught me before I edited my post. On second thought, I felt it was a bit harsh to make the best-band-since-80 proclamation so early on in my listening experience, so I withdrew the gauntlet.

Of This Heat I claim complete igorance. But I will check them out on your reccomendation.

8.5/10 for both albums you say? Seems a bit harsh to me. What could possible beat that, especially if you use originality as one of your rating criteria? OKC on sheer musicality I would rate higher, but from what I understand, few people were playing the guitar the way Sumner was back then. A totally non-blues-based style. A criminally underrated guitarist, if you ask me.

TH you mentioned, but how about you name other albums (hopefully ones I know) you would rate higher than 8.5. Preferably post-70, because I feel an apple-to-apple comparison is harder to do for bands before that time.

But let the discussion continue! Unknown Pleasures, or Closer?

Ok, add Decades to my impossible-songs-to-beat-from-Closer list. Holy Crap....
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:30 AM   #7
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Fair play, but I don't inflate my ratings like everybody else does. A 5/10 is an AVERAGE album for me, not a shitty one. Most people don't come at stuff like I do, with that, so just rest assured that an 8.5/10 is a stellar motherfucking rating. Also, there has never been an album recorded, in my opinion, which would warrant a 10/10. The best I can think of would probably be a 9.6 or 9.7 (included here, for me, would be albums like Achtung Baby, White Light/White Heat, Separation Sunday, The White Album, Midnite Vultures, The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle, and Kid A). Nothing is perfect, and that's a fact.

We're splitting hairs at and above 8.5, in my eyes. The bottom line is that I fucking LOVE each of these albums. Over the last five weeks, in fact, I have listened to more Joy Division than I have since probably 2004. It's been a great ride; I love going back every half year or so and rediscovering the band, to varying degrees.

Also, I want to explain that I don't consider historical context as heavily in my evaluation of albums and songs as do many people. I try to take the music simply for what it is; it's 100% impossible to consume and rate stuff in a vaccuum, so that's not it. I just try not to think quite as heavily about whether or not, for example, Ian Curtis killed himself as I do about the fact that, you know THE SONGS ARE AMAZING. Don't sweat it--I know you're not saying the band is great cuz of the tragedy involved, and I don't think it sounds like that's even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of your opinion. But, you know...part of me reacts against all that kind of shit (which, frankly, has a lot to do with how highly many, many people rate the band--I react against them as strongly as I react to the power and heart-stopping precision of the music).

Great albums. Great songs. Great stuff. But not perfect, for me.

Again, listen to This Heat. And give Metal Box a whirl, too. Trust me when I say that Joy Division is indeed overrated, even though only marginally. Other bands were doing better shit, especially if you value originality w/in historical context as highly as you say you do. Whatever. It's all good, man. I'm going to go listen to some Joy Division, now...
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Old 09-04-2006, 02:33 PM   #8
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Personally, I enjoy both albums approximately equally. They both have fantastic songs (as well as some lacklustre songs) on each. On most days I'd place Closer just slightly above Unknown Pleasures. There are certain production elements of UP that I don't like. For instance, I think the drums in the version of She's Lost Control on Substance is far better than the version on the album. Regardless of what I think though, they're both two very good albums by a great band.
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Old 09-05-2006, 02:46 AM   #9
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i like closer better. but unknown pleasures isn't awful.
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Old 09-05-2006, 07:29 AM   #10
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Originally posted by GibsonGirl

For instance, I think the drums in the version of She's Lost Control on Substance is far better than the version on the album.
YES! I always argue with Axver about this, saying the mix on SLC on UP is awful, and someone else actually agrees!
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Old 09-05-2006, 07:41 AM   #11
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YES! I always argue with Axver about this, saying the mix on SLC on UP is awful, and someone else actually agrees!
I will happily third this sentiment.
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:31 AM   #12
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I'll fourth it.
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