Highly Unnecessary Release; Great Music
Following the release of 'Control', the re-release of the band's back catalogue with live CDs and ahead of another proposed biopic, Rhino Records are set to release 'The Best Of Joy Division'; quite why they felt the need to present another package of the Mancunian legends' material we don't know, but a more cynical man would assume it's for the money, especially as the band produced so few albums that there's hardly a wealth of material to skip through to find the gems showcased here. Yes, the album is undoubtedly full of impassioned aural delights.
If you needed reminding of the splendours of Joy Division then you're in the right place, 'Shadowplay's aching bassline and shivering cymbals will have shivers running up and down your spine even before Curtis' shuddering wails kick in. 'New Dawn Fades' drowns the listener in glistening tones and eerie echoes, while 'These Days's impatient bubbling melody and incisive flashes of guitar contrast the band's popular image as "gloomy".
The well-known classics like 'Transmission' and 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' that even the vaguest music fan should recognise nestle in the centre of the album amongst the glacial beauty of, 'Atmosphere'; groovy riffs of 'Dead Souls' and epic doomy disco beats of 'She's Lost Control', a track that really ought to have the same standing as 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' in the minds of every connoisseur of British music.
There's a whole wealth of magical music to be discovered on 'The Best Of Joy Division' but you must also wonder if one would not be better off just purchasing the band's back catalogue and listening to the tracks in the format the band wanted. The addition of 79 Peel Sessions and an interview as a bonus on the physical compact disc release possibly makes the package a little more intriguing and worthwhile but it remains tricky to justify its existence, let alone purchase. The Peel Sessions offer extra tracks from two sessions in January and November 79 including tracks like, 'Insight' and 'Colony' as well as two versions of 'She's Lost Control' showing the track's development with the first take featuring a slower, much hollow percussive beat and the latter a punchy acidic crush at breakneck speed.