Happy Anniversary: Joy Division, Closer

Friday, July 18, 2014
Happy Anniversary: Joy Division, Closer

34 years ago today, Joy Division released their second studio album, an effort which – exactly two months earlier – had already secured its position as their final album, due to frontman Ian Curtis’s suicide.

Produced by Martin Hannett, Closer is an album which is effectively impossible to spin without considering the circumstances under which it was ultimately released, i.e. posthumously, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a classic in its own right. Indeed, it’s come to be seen as such by more than a few reputable publications over the course of time: New Musical Express cited it in the list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever (at #72), Q named it #8 in their list of the 40 best albums of the 1980s, while Slant Magazine put it at #7 on theirs, and although Pitchfork only put it at #10 on their list, they concluded that it was “Joy Division's start-to-finish masterpiece; a flawless encapsulation of everything the group sought to achieve.” As such, it should come as no surprise that Closer has earned a spot in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

If you listen to only one song on Closer, then it must be “Isolation,” one of the greatest post-punk tracks of all time, but if you’re going to listen to Closer at all, then we’d recommend that you listen to it from start to finish…and when you’re done, spend a little more time mourning the death of Ian Curtis. The man made some brilliant music, but it’s still such a shame to realize that this was the last of it.