Bernard Sumner (guitarist/keyboards) and Peter Hook (Bassist) formed the band Warsaw (inspired by the song "Warszawa " from David Bowie) after attending a live performance by the Sex Pistols in 1976. First they started with drummer Terry Mason who also went to the gig of the Sex Pistols. Unfortunately they couldn't find a singer but deciced to place an advertisement in the Machester Virgin Records shop and Ian Curtis was the one who responded. They moved from early punk to post-punk with their own darker/gothic style. Together with Ian Curtis (lead vocals/guitarist) and Stephen Morris on drums (to replace Terry) they released their first EP in 1978 titled "An Ideal For Living" with help from Tony Wilson who signed them to Factory Records. To prevent confusion with the band called Warsaw Pakt they changed the band name to Joy Division by the time their debut EP was released. On the 27th of December 1978 during a drive home from a gig Ian Curtis had his first epileptic seizure and was hospitalised.

Ian Curtis on stage

Their debut album "Unkown Pleasures" was recorded and produced by Martin Hannett and released in 1979.The non-album single "Transmission was released in November 1979. During their European tour in January 1980 Curtis experienced only 2 big seizures towards the end of the tour. They started working on their second album "Closer" again produced by Hannet at London's Britannia Row Studios. Another exclusive single was released titled "Licht Und Blindheit" that included "Atmosphere" and "Dead Souls". Sadly due to lack of sleep and busy work Ian's epilepsy became uncontrollable. He even had seizures during live performances.The band members starting to worry about Curtis when he suffered from depressions. On the 7th of April 1980 Ian attempted a first suicide with an overdose of his Epilepsy medicins. The band had to do performances without Ian with Simon Topping (From A Certain Ratio) replacing him. The audience was not very enthusiastic about Simon's singing and threw bear bottles towards the stage. They were forced to cancel all other gigs in April 1980. The last performance of Joy Division was at the University of Birminham's High Hall on the 2th of May 1980 including "Ceremony" (one of the last songs written by Ian).

Licht Und Blindheit EP - promo poster

A US/Canada tour was scheduled for May 1980 and Ian was supposed to join them again. Everything looked very promissings so far. But new problems arise and Ian's marriage with Deborah was in trouble also after having an affair with belgian journalist Annik Honoré.

Love Will Tear Us Apart - single cover

On the evening before the US/Canada tour he went to Deborah to prevent her from applying for a divorce. After the discussions they had Ian wanted to be alone that night and the next morning Deborah discovered he had hanged himself in the kitchen. In June 1980 the single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was released reaching #13 in the UK charts. The album "Closer" was released in July 1980 reaching #6 in the UK charts. 

New Order's Ceremony - single cover

Due to all these experiences it was impossible to continue the band Joy Divison and the remaining band members re-formed under the name New Order. The first single of New Order was made of the last 2 songs written by Ian: "Ceremony/In A Lonely Place" . The band achieved bigger success with a more commercial synth sound in the years that followed.

Original album cover
Closer (1980)
Atrocity Exhibition / Isolation / Passover / Colony / A Means to an End / Heart and Soul / Twenty Four Hours / The Eternal / Decades

Love Will Tear Us Apart



Heart And Soul