Five Joy Division Covers on the 31st Anniversary of Ian Curtis' Death
For die-hard Joy Division fans, hardly enough can be said about Ian Curtis. Though he died 31 years ago this week (on May 18, 1980), his memory, music, and (let's face it) moves live on. Bands have mimicked the English band's deep bass lines, Curtis' trademark voice, and frontmen everywhere have tried to imitate his epileptic fits and pass them off as their own legitimate dance moves.
Their album cover for Unknown Pleasures with successive pulses has been basically mass-produced into T-shirts, shoes, and even copied by other bands for their own merchandise, making it quite possibly the next Ramones or CBGB shirt. But what's our favorite commemoration of the late, great post-punk band? The cover song.
There are tons, ranging from a sweetly morbid take on "Love Will Tear Us Apart" to a highly danceable version of "No Love Lost" -- and even a dubstep version of "She's Lost Control." Of course, LCD Soundsystem and Nine Inch Nails are in on this. We've picked out our five favorite Joy Division/Ian Curtis cover songs after the jump, and they're far from traditional.
LCD Soundsystem, "No Love Lost"
No real shock here, but James Murphy and company make this song a little less dark and a helluva lot more danceable -- as if it even needed it.
Smashing Pumpkins, "Transmission"
This version of "Transmission" has a pretty intense instrumental solo that sounds more like old-school Billy Corgan than Ian Curtis. SP manages to recreate Joy Division's darkness with a Smashing Pumpkins aesthetic. Fitting, since this version has most of the band's original lineup intact.
Evelyn Evelyn "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
This band's interesting in itself because it's a duo that was created based on a fictional backstory of conjoined twins. Talk about refreshing the meaning of "love will tear us apart." It's a soft, sweetly reimagined interpretation of the original that feels more melancholy than dance-worthy.
Spoek Mathambo "Control"
Joy Division as dubstep. Yes, this happened. And the music video is true to Curtis form, complete with epileptic dance moves and subtle Joy Division references throughout. Can you catch 'em all?
Nine Inch Nails "Atmosphere"
You can't go wrong with a little Nine Inch Nails. Though Trent Reznor did a few Joy Division covers with Bauhaus' Peter Murphy for the 2006 Radio Sessions, we're more particular to this Nine Inch Nails cover of "Atmosphere."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.