October 7th brings the release of The Time Is Now, a new charity covers compilation benefitting amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Due out from Republic Records/Mass Appeal Records, the album features updates of classic ’80s jams from the likes of Phantogram (Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home”), Lower Dens (Hall & Oates’ “Maneater”), and Aloe Blacc (Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”). It also includes a cover of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” by Scarlett Johansson’s band Sugar for Sugar.
Sugar for Sugar is essentially Johansson’s previous short-lived supergroup, The Singles, minus Este Haim — it features Holly Miranda, Julia Haltigan, and Kendra Morris. Together, they keep things relatively faithful to New Order’s new wave hit, adding a touch more neon to the synth notes and percussion. Take a listen below.
Former New Order bassist Peter Hook has penned a massive 768-page autobiography that centers on his time with the dance-rock pioneers. Substance: Inside New Order, the follow-up to Hook’s 2013 tome Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, is due out October 6th via Simon & Schuster.
According to the book’s description, “Peter Hook has written a no-holds-barred, comprehensive account of the band’s entire history, packed with outrageous anecdotes and including every set list and tour itinerary and interspersed with ‘geek facts’ of every piece of electronic equipment used to forge the sound that changed the direction of popular music.”
Substance picks up where Unknown Pleasures left off: “One day we were Joy Division, then our lead singer killed himself and the next time we got together, we were a new band,” Hook writes. Together, Hook, singer-guitarist Bernard Sumner and drummer Stephen Morris overcame the odds and the loss of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis to become an acclaimed band in their own right.
Substance likely also provides Hook’s perspective of his acrimonious split from New Order, a departure that has since spawned a public war of words between him and Sumner as well as a lawsuit. Hook previously questioned the accuracy of Sumner’s memoir Chapter and Verse [Joy Division, New Order and Me], so it will be interesting to see how the New Order story differs from Hook’s gaze.
Hook’s New Order-era autobiography is the third book penned by the bassist, following Unknown Pleasures and 2009’s The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, Hook’s account of the legendary Manchester nightclub.
© Daniel Kreps & Rolling Stone
“There was a boy
I almost knew him
A glance exchanged
Made me feel good
Leaving some signs
Now a legend
The dream was wrought
Where thoughts were heard
Love is reserved
From previous times”
(The song is a tribute to Vini Reilly’s friend Ian curtis)
To celebrate Ian Curtis’ 60th birthday, DJ and electronic producer Dave Clarke takes us back to his teenage bedroom, where the “secret cult” of Joy Division changed his life.
July 15, 2016 would have been the 60th birthday of Ian Curtis (1956-1980), the iconic poet, singer and Joy Division frontman who chose to leave the world when he was only 23. Although his recorded legacy barely exceeds a couple dozen songs, Curtis’ work with Joy Division has remained beloved by many throughout the years and still echoes in today’s music. We’ve asked DJ, electronic producer and Waves artist Dave Clarke for his personal perspective on Curtis and Joy Division.
Waves: What was Joy Division’s importance for you, and for your generation of music fans and musicians?
Dave Clarke: “It is hard for me to separate most underground music at that time from [BBC DJ] John Peel: I heard of this group because of him. There was also quite a big cultural north/south divide in England: for a kid from Brighton, the chance of hearing music from northern England was quite small without someone like Peel. So hearing this on crackly radio transmission was very special, like a secret cult, with a mono ear piece underneath the blankets. It shaped me immensely.”
What, in your opinion, made Curtis such an influential character?
“I always separate music from the cult of personality. I take music at face value, and also information was not so easily found in those days unless you actively sought it or read fanzines, so I just listened to the music. Only later in life did I find out about his life and why some of the songs were written. I think ‘She Lost Control’ was written from his perspective of working in situations that brought him close to a woman with epilepsy (I wonder if Grace Jones who covered the song ever knew). So for me, his life story only became apparent way after he passed away, through documentaries and films. But his lyrical ability was exceptional and fit the zeitgeist of post-WW2 England. Yet it still rings true today. I saw [Joy Division bassist] Peter Hook play Joy Division’s music live the other week, and the lyrics still touch nerves.”
Where do you hear the echoes of Joy Division in today’s music?
“All over the place, sometimes in bands like Interpol, Soft Moon, She Wants Revenge… When you have such a great reference, it’s hard not to ingest it and pay homage.”
And how important do you think was producer Martin Hannett’s contribution to Joy Division’s work?
“He made their sound in my opinion. A true catalytic convertor in the artistic sense. I think he may have had a deeper understanding of their sound than perhaps they did. Joy Division under Hannett’s guidance was a complete entity, a whole package – how rare is that?!”