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Joy Division

Joy Division
Artist Name

An English rock group called Joy Division was founded in Salford in 1976. The band's members were bassist Peter Hook, drummer Stephen Morris, guitarist and lyricist Bernard Sumner, and vocalist, guitarist, and guitarist Ian Curtis.

In June 1976, Sumner and Hook got together to start a band after seeing a Sex Pistols show. While early punk was clearly present in Joy Division's early records, they quickly evolved into one of the forerunners of the post-punk genre with a sparse sound and approach. Tony Wilson, a Manchester television personality, noticed their 1978 self-released debut EP An Ideal for Living and signed them to his indie company Factory Records. With producer Martin Hannett, they created their debut album Unknown Pleasures, which was released in 1979.

Frontman Curtis battled epilepsy, depression, and a failing marriage among other personal issues. Curtis's medical condition made it harder for him to perform as the band's success grew; he occasionally had seizures on stage. In May 1980, just before the band was set to embark on its first North American tour, he committed suicide at the age of 23. Two months later, Joy Division's second and final album, Closer, was released; together with the single "Love Will Tear Us Apart," it quickly rose to the top of the charts.

The remaining members of the band formed a new group called New Order between July and October 1980. They successfully combined post-punk with electronic and dance music influences over the course of the following ten years. Joy Division and New Order were both nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2023 as a single act.

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