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A seminal, two studio album act condensed into a single CD

Joy Division - The Best of Joy Division
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: June 26, 2008
Joy Division

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Considering Joy Division only had two official studio albums, a compilation of the post-punk mood rockers' most meaningful work seems a little frivolous. Add in the fact that there have been several collections over the years (including 1997's exhaustive four CD set Heart & Soul chock full of rarities) and another tapping of the well appears to be overkill. However, the main motivations behind The Best of Joy Division are clearly to coincide with Anton Corbijn's critically acclaimed film release Control, documenting the band through the eyes of fallen front man Ian Curtis.

It may not unearth any rare treasures and chances are longtime appreciators already own all fourteen tracks, but this installment is geared towards younger generations of listeners falling in love with the legendary English act for the first time. A scan through the disc includes seminal cuts like "Disorder, "She's Lost Control," "Atmosphere," "Heart and Soul" and "Transmission" (several of which also found new life in off shoot act New Order's recent set lists), showcasing the brooding bass lines, dance floor appeal and emotive lyrical presentations. Of course "Love Will Tear Us Apart" appears in all its infectious glory, sounding just as immediate as ever, though still chilling in the aftermath of the singer's suicide.

While there's plenty to observe about Joy Division's influence on younger acts (including Interpol, Editors and She Wants Revenge to name a few), the import title features many more reasons to celebrate than the American edition. Though this review refers to the single disc Stateside product, a little internet surfing will uncover the overseas edition, featuring a bonus disc with eight tracks from two separate Peel Sessions, plus an interview between with Curtis and drummer/percussionist Stephen Morris. It's an intriguing set of additions (though still something die-hards might have previously devoured in another format) that would've given some additional purchasing incentive beyond a mere single disc of repetition, despite the brilliance contained therein.

Related articles:

"Control" Movie review - Dec. 2007

Watch Joy Division - "Transmission" video

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