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UNKNOWN PLEASURES

𝘜𝘯𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴 turned 44 today.
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On this date in 1979, Joy Division released its debut studio album, one of the most important records ever made, a seminal work that had a significant impact on post-punk, gothic rock, and the larger alternative scene: Unknown Pleasures.

Initially, sales of Unknown Pleasures were slow until the release of the non-album single, “Transmission”, and unsold copies occupied the Factory Records office in the flat of label co-founder Alan Erasmus.

Following the release of “Transmission”, Unknown Pleasures sold out its initial pressing, with this prompting further pressings. By the conclusion of a critically acclaimed promotional tour supporting Buzzcocks in November 1979, Unknown Pleasures had neared 15,000 copies sold.

Unknown Pleasures failed to chart on the UK Albums Chart. However, following the singer’s, Ian Curtis, suicide in May 1980 and the release of their second album, 𝘊𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘳, it was reissued and reached #71. It fared better on the UK Indie Chart, placing it at #2 on the first chart to be published in January 1980 and going to top the chart following its reissue, spending 136 weeks on the chart in total.

Melody Maker called Unknown Pleasures an “opaque manifesto” and musically described it as “Gary Glitter meets the Velvet Underground”. BBC Music stated: “The genius of Unknown Pleasures lies within the sense of claustrophobia and despair achieved via Martin Hannett’s production techniques.” Spin said, “A groundbreaking work that sounds almost like a full-stop, its reverberations are still being measure.” NME wrote that the album “may famously be just a picture of 100 consecutive pulses from the pulsar discovered, CP1919, but it’s now as iconic as a logo for a band’s music.”

The music video, Joy Division performing two songs, “Transmission”, the single that helped increase the recognition and sales of Unknown Pleasures, followed by “She’s Lost Control”, one of the most iconic songs from Unknown Pleasures. “She’s Lost Control” draws primarily lyrical inspiration from a young woman experiencing a violent epileptic seizure—Curtis also suffered from epilepsy.

Photo: The Conversation.

Happy 44th anniversary, Unknown Pleasures!

💧 You might also like UNKNOWN PLEASURES: THE STORY BEHIND THE FAMOUS ALBUM COVER.

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Featured image via Skewt69.

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Rudolf Dethu

Rudolf Dethu

Music journalist, writer, radio DJ, socio-political activist, creative industry leader, and a qualified librarian, Rudolf Dethu is heavily under the influence of the punk rock philosophy. Often tagged as this country’s version of Malcolm McLaren—or as Rolling Stone Indonesia put it ‘the grand master of music propaganda’—a name based on his successes when managing Bali’s two favourite bands, Superman Is Dead and Navicula, both who have become two of the nation’s biggest rock bands.
Rudolf Dethu

Rudolf Dethu

Music journalist, writer, radio DJ, socio-political activist, creative industry leader, and a qualified librarian, Rudolf Dethu is heavily under the influence of the punk rock philosophy. Often tagged as this country’s version of Malcolm McLaren—or as Rolling Stone Indonesia put it ‘the grand master of music propaganda’—a name based on his successes when managing Bali’s two favourite bands, Superman Is Dead and Navicula, both who have become two of the nation’s biggest rock bands.

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RUDOLF DETHU

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