Before Joy Division, They were Warsaw. (They were also briefly known as the Stiff Kittens, but the concise version of the legend plays better.) This was one of the first recording sessions undertaken by the Mancunian foursome, recorded in May 1978 while the still-gestating group was being courted by RCA Records. (These tracks are commonly known in the JD fandom as the “RCA Sessions”.) Most of this material remains unreleased, with only three tracks on 1997’s otherwise quite exhaustive Heart and Soul CD Box Set (“The Drawback”, “Interzone”, “Shadowplay”). Martin Hannett had yet to lend his metallic edge, so the group sounds pretty raw and rugged, far closer to ‘OG punk’ than the crystalline melodrama of Unknown Pleasures and funereal emotion of Closer. Ian Curtis hasn’t quite figured out his booming, sneering baritone, Stephen Morris’ drums are like mere raindrops on a windowsill, Peter Hook’s basslines haven’t yet begun to peek out from the typical rhythm section. Bernie …. well, he was having a bit of an identity crisis. (He figured it out in the end.) But the songs are there in embryonic form, and played with a freshness and energy that's a bit surprising for this rather dour, serious group. This record neatly documents the early development of one of the most iconic and beguiling bands in recent memory. Includes early versions of truly iconic Joy Division tracks such as “Leaders of Men”, “Transmission” and “Shadowplay”, also includes unreleased tracks such as “No Love Lost”, “Failures” and “Living In The Ice Age”. Black vinyl pressing in picture sleeve.
- black vinyl pressing
- limited edition
- music label: DOL 2019
reviewed by 24 HOUR PARTY PERSON 10/2019