Somewhere in Salford in the summer of 1976, two guys called Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook tumbled (separately) out of a particularly inspiring Sex Pistols gig and decided right there and then, they would form a band. With some pretty sick bass guitar and keyboard skills between them, they needed a singer and a drummer – Terry Mason came on board as the drummer and they put an ad out in the local Virgin Records store for a vocalist. A young man called Ian Curtis saw the ad and, after seeing a few of their live gigs, applied and was hired without audition. That band called themselves Warsaw for their first year of gigging around Manchester and North England – a name inspired by David Bowie’s song 'Warszawa'.
After a few band member switch outs, the final line up consisted of Hook, Sumner, Curtis and Morris. Wanting to avoid confusion with London punk band Warsaw Pakt, the band renamed themselves Joy Division, taking the name from a sexual slavery wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the novel, House of Dolls (1955). Fast forward a couple years and the band self-release their first EP, An Ideal for Living. Soon after they are signed to Tony Wilson’s Factory Records and well, the rest is history.
Album Cover Art.
Their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was recorded in 1979 which, along with a gig supporting the Buzzcocks, set their rock n roll careers alight. The album featuring tracks such as Disorder and She’s Lost Control never even charted at the time, although it has since received critical acclaim from the likes of NME as one of the best albums of all time.
Their famous album cover, from which we took our inspiration for both of our Love Will Tear Us Apart prints was designed by graphic designer Peter Saville and features an image based on radio waves from pulsars - a star that emits repeating series of radio waves similar to a lighthouse beam.
In later years after the tragic suicide of Ian Curtis, the remaining band members went on to form New Order (stay tuned for a New Order print) who mixed in a much more electronica, digital dance vibe with anthems such as Blue Monday.
Our Joy Division Playlist.
Love Will Tear Us Apart, again.
Check out our two version here