Joy Division were a band who were impressively ahead of their time. They helped to pioneer a moody, grungy brand of post-punk rock music which has gone on to inspire generations of indie bands.
The band were experimental and later became New Order, the pop dance group.
The song kicks off with a repetitive percussion hit and slightly offkey guitar lick, which gives a slightly dread feeling. There’s also a more raucous, distorted guitar riff, which sits in the background for a lot of the song, and for other parts becomes prominent and drenched in reverb.
The bassline is quite high pitched for a bass, and darts along furtively,
The vocals are low pitched and exceedingly serious, fitting the bleak lyrics very well.
The song is about a girl who the singer saw having epileptic fits; in an odd turn of events, he was later diagnosed with epilepsy himself, and it was a key contributor to his suicide age just 23.
Radio X have this down as number 43 in their list of the 50 Gloomiest songs of all time, which is fair enough…
The song was released in 1979 on Unknown Pleasures, the band’s debut album, and an extended dance mix was released in 1980 as a 12″ single.
Disturbing but brilliant.