Joy Division was formed in 1977, in Manchester, England, by Ian Curtis (vocalist,guitarist), Bernard Sumner (guitarist, keyboardist), Peter Hook (bassist, vocalist) and Stephen Morris (percussionist, drummer). The band became one of the main references of English post-punk in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Influenced by Velvet Underground, David Bowie and Iggy Pop, Joy Division was characterized by making dense songs, marked mainly by Stephen Morris drums and lyrics with depressive tendencies and also by the use of synthesizers in their music.
Ian Curtis met the other members of the band at a Sex Pistols concert on June 4, 1976. Before adopting the name Joy Division, the band was called Warsaw, a name inspired by the song "Warszsawa" from the album 'Low', by David Bowie. But, as there was already a London band called Warsaw Pakt, that name was dropped.
Joy Division's first studio work was the EP 'An Ideal For Living' (1978), still strongly influenced by the punk movement. But, it was after signing with the independent record label Factory Records and starting to work with producer Martin Hannett, that the band's sound started to gain the format that became an influence for many of the bands that emerged in the following decades.
After releasing two songs ("Digital" and "Glass") in a Factory Records compilation, the group released their debut album, 'Unknown Pleasures' (1979). The album had great repercussion between the public and the critics, due to its somber sound and the intimate lyrics. Highlight for the songs "She's Lost Control", "Shadowplay" and "New Dawn Fades".
Still in 1979, Joy Division released the first single, “Transmission”, which became known due to the performance that the band did on a BBC2 TV program.
In the early 1980s, Ian Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy, also started to have marital problems. Even so, Joy Division recorded the album 'Closer' in March. At the end of
April, the 7 "compact of" Love Will Tear Us Apart "was released, a song that would become the band's biggest hit.
On May 18, 1980, the day before Joy Division's trip to the United States on their first international tour, Ian Curtis committed suicide. The album 'Closer' was released in July of the same year and became one of the most worshiped records in modern rock.
After Ian Curtis's death, the other band members formed New Order.
In the following years, two essential Joy Division collections were released: 'Still' (1981), with leftovers from the studio and live music taken from the band's last concert, and 'Substance' (1988), a collection of singles and B-sides. .
In 2007, the film "Control", directed by Anton Corbijn, based on the biography of Ian Curtis written by Deborah Curtis, widow of the vocalist, who addresses the history of the band, came out. In the same year, the documentary "Joy Division", directed by Grant Gee, also appeared.