Finally took in Anton Corbijn’s arresting Ian Curtis biopic Control the other night. Poke me in the eye for waiting so long. This masterful piece of cinema is a must see whether you’re a fan of Joy Division or not; a stark black & white vision of early 70′s industrial Britain that brilliantly captures the disaffection of England’s youth and the escape they found in the glam rock of Bowie and post Velvets Lou Reed before the sonic liberation provided by the Sex Pistols and punk later in the decade. Hard to believe this is the debut of both the film’s director and its principle actor. Sam Riley becomes the troubled Curtis so completely it is impossible to imagine any one else in the role. The soundtrack is just as surprising as all of the live performances are played by the actors.
To get you in a moody JD mood I thought I’d post this set of studio sessions from 1979.
Genetic Records session, Eden Studios, London, Sunday, March 4, Producer: Martin Rushent
Piccadilly Radio session, Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham, Monday, June 4 Producer: Stuart James
First ‘Transmission’ session, Central Sound Studios, Manchester, mid-July, Producer: Martin Hannett
The improvement of sound under the guidance of studio genius Martin Hannett is startling. Many of these tracks appear on the ‘Heart and Soul’ box set but none of these recordings are from that release. Tracks 1-6 are from a tape source (several generations away from the master tape so please forgive the hiss) and are actually a different mix with the lead guitar a much stronger presence (far preferable to the ‘official’ mix IMHO). Tracks 7-15 are from the ‘Atmosphere’ vinyl bootleg. Caveat: ‘Exercise One’ sounds (to these ears anyway) like a live recording so it’s inclusion with the Eden Studios material is questionable.