On the heels of the DVD releases of the Ian Curtis bio-pic "Control" and the "Joy Division" documentary, the band is going through yet another re-evauation phase, both critically and commercially. (I hadn't listend to my "Heart and Soul" box-set in quite a while, but did so immediately after having seen "Control".) There are a lot of compilations on Joy Division, but none recently, and none that simply aimed to give "the best of" to the casual fan, if there is such one. This compilation is supposed to correct that.
"The Best of Joy Division" (14 tracks, 55 min.) brings a non-chronological overview of the band's best known tracks and other assorted album tracks. There is of course the inescapable (even if in my opinion overplayed and perhaps even overrated) "Love Will Tear Us Apart", as well as "She's Lost Control", "Atmosphere" and "Transmission", those 4 being the band's best known tracks (don't call them greatest hits!). The rest is made up fairly evenly from "Unknown Pleasures" and "Closer" (the band's 2 studio albums), as well as "Substance", a 1988 compilation. The quality of the songs on here is nothing short of fantastic.
That said, my biggest complaint with this "best of" collection is that, at a mere 55 min., there was room for at least 20 min. more music on here. Why is nothing included from "An Ideal for Living" (the band's first EP, from June '78), such as "Leaders of Men", an essential song in their catalog? Where are other must-have tracks like "A Means to an End", "Atrocity Exhibiton" or "Novelty"? Given the way this compilation is put together, it appers to me that this is stricly aimed at the casual Joy Division fan (if there is such a thing.. I've never met one). The music is great, but the compilation is not."
3 Stars ONLY because there are better collections out there.
Robert Alan Bryan | Waldorf, Maryland USA | 07/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are better previous collections than this single disc. The description refers to the UK edition. There is no bonus disc with the US set sold here. How can someone sell a Joy Division "best of" and not include the song "Novelty"? "Glass" and "Atrocity Exhibition" should also be on here. "Incubation" is a fair instrumental. If nothing else why not include the 12" mix of "She's Lost Control".? Joy Division is a great band and I am pleased to see them championed now though I have been a fan since Unknown Pleasures. I just wish that they were represented by a more superior "best of" than this. "
BE AWARE: no bonus disc on US version!!!
acumen pro | New York, NY | 05/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "Product Description" lists this as a Limited 2-CD edition, but that's only for the UK version, which is more $. It's a great collection nonetheless, recommended for anyone who doesn't have anything by this seminal band. Also check the film CONTROL, & the new documentary about them by Grant Gee."
Have you got any Joy Division....?
Christopher Mellor | Orlando, FL ,USA | 08/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Between '82 and '83 I was temoparily Djing at a pub in Oldham near Manchester.Monday nights were goth and indie night this album and the tracks on it take me right back to those nights. Most of these songs are like old friends and for me anyway have not lost any of their power or darkness in the twenty years that have passed since then.I'm also reminded of Peter hook's words about Joy Division which always strikes me as a stark contrast to the music. "Joy Division were just four lads from Macclesfield who liked to get pissed...!" The bonus disc is also great because of legacy left to us by the great John Peel for four decades the cornerstone of BBC Radio One.If you couldn't get to see a group live then the Peel sessions gave you an insight how they would sound.Also for me on a personal note because the session with "love will tear us apart" was recorded on my sixteenth birtday.I would highly recomend this collection to anyone who has never heard any Joy Division before.My only quibble with this album is the missing b-sides like "novelty" and "these days".Thankfully these tracks appear on "substance" the next album to buy after this and also the great "Unknown Pleasures" album which challenges any by the cure for darkness and depression."
Doesnt do them justice
T. Mayhew | Indiana | 03/02/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Buy Closer and Unknown Pleasures instead. The tracks are not well organized. Some of them are singles thrown in with album tracks, and there is no real continuity. Most important, it's not as high quality as the albums. Particularly She's Lost Control - 12in version sounds tinny and weak compared to Unknown Pleasures version. Spend the money for the albums, def worth the extra."