Today we’re listening to “Transmission” by Joy Division
I made it.
For someone that is a total New Order/ Joy Division fanboy, there is always a greater-than-zero chance that this will devolve into an all-New-Order-All-the-time page. Not the worst thing, I suppose (at least for me, anyway). Nevertheless, I thought I'd already covered one of Joy Division’s songs. Enough so that I went to check. And then checked again. No dice.
I made it almost 200 posts before featuring one of my all-time favorite bands.
"Love Will tear Us Apart" is one of those songs that has become bigger than itself, transcending any discussion. At this point, it's canonical. Indeed, New Order still closes out their shows with it. And people love it. Play the hits and all that, right?
It's good, but Transmission is better.
The debut single for our friends from Salford kicked off a strange tradition for the band and (later for New Order) of releasing tracks that don't appear on an LP. An earlier iteration was recorded a year earlier and slated to be on the band's scuttled self-titled record. We're familiar with a sped-up version (re)recorded a year later.
"Transmission" was a catalyst for the band and the beginning of the sound that landed them on everyone and their brother's best of lists.
It was-and is- a song that defined a band that defined an era.
This is what gives the tune its emblematic importance in popular culture. It proves a point about what’s actually important in art, a point that we all need to be regularly reminded of, that cleverness and complexity are utterly redundant if they are not imbued with meaning, with intensity, with human experience.
Transmission tells us that 2 notes with something to say have infinitely more value and meaning than a thousand well-rehearsed but empty artistic gestures. What the tune does have to say is more than the sum of its parts, and as time has proven is more than the band could ever have known.
Read the rest of the article here.
“Transmission” by Joy Division| Album title, YYYY
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