- Literary types. First track is the harsh and drilling Atrocity Exhibition, named after a J.G. Ballard novel. Ian Curtis didn’t just sing, he wrote the lyrics, and was rarely seen without a book in his hand that informed their creation.
- The proletariat. Like many of these Manchester bands, there’s a working class sensibility. In the midst of millions we still feel Isolation as we grind away at A Means To An End, losing our Heart And Soul in the process.
- Goths. Joy Division perfected melancholy and darkness in songs about sorrow and pain, loneliness, desolation, emptiness, urban decay. This album helped establish the gothic rock genre.
Yet it’s also about getting closer – to our goals, to each other. The album cover may portray a mausoleum but after the pain of love there can be hope. Don’t give up, ever. Don’t walk away.
The surviving band members didn’t, and New Order was born.
Extract from page 77 of 2000 Tunes: A History of Manchester Music by M. H. Rees; used with permission. Read the whole series (25 extracts) here; or my summary post. Readers might be interested in my forthcoming novel about a man obsessed with Manchester music - confusingly, it is also called 2000 Tunes!