An excellent newer radio program out of WNYC called SoundCheck recently a fascinating report on one of the most respected bands in both popular and underground music spheres. Peter Hook, the band’s bass player just released a new book called Unknown Pleasures.
The British post-punk band Joy Division existed for less than three years — all told, from January of 1978 to May of 1980. But its influence on music over the last thirty-odd years has been enormous, heard in the sound of bands from U2 to Interpol. Joy Division’s story is also a sad one; the group’s singer, Ian Curtis, took his own life just days before the group was scheduled to make its first US tour.
The other three members soldiered on under the name New Order — changing from the dark, intense sound of Joy Division to something more dance oriented. New Order went on to rule ’80s radio, but Joy Division never really went away. Now, Peter Hook, who played bass in both bands is telling his part of the tale, in a new book called Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. Along the way, you get a tale full of humor, dopey pranks, perseverance, fights, friendship, and a band that changed the sound of rock.