Last month in the Los Angeles Times, Henry Rollins published a beautiful appreciation of Jon Savage’s brilliant new oral history of Joy Division: This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else. He included this description of the band’s music, which sums it up better than just about anyone else ever has:
Joy Division’s music doesn’t “rock” in the classic sense as much as shudder, roar and convulse. The songs are readings of temperature, light and lack of light. They walk silently for hours on city streets and return alone to small rooms with full ashtrays and no messages on the machine. It’s a fantastically difficult question to answer: Why do you like Joy Division? The more dedicated the listener, the more likely you’ll get an inhaled breath held for a few seconds, an exhale and a shrug…
Now go listen to Closer about 10 times and you will see what Hank means.
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