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Morley on Joy Division: Piece by Piece

ZTT co-founder Paul Morley has just published his latest book: "Joy Division: Piece by Piece: Writing About Joy Division 1977-2007."

Joy Division are the perennial cult post-punk band. Four young men with weight on their shoulders, the drama and tension of their music remains unsurpassed.

Paul Morley was their contemporary and Northern English compatriot, who wrote extensively and evocatively of the ‘mood, atmosphere and ephemeral terror’ that enveloped this unique group and their doomed front man, vocalist Ian Curtis. These are his complete writings on Joy Division, both contemporary and retrospective, forming a close personal account of the band’s brief, turbulent history: from primitive beginnings as Manchester punk band Warsaw, to Curtis’ near-fatal epileptic seizure following a London concert, and his tragic suicide in May 1980.

As Morley says, ‘The more that time moves on, the more I have to say about them.’ In addition to collecting all of the author’s journalistic writings on the band from the late 1970s/early 1980s, this unique work includes retrospective essays on the significance of the group, the post-punk era zeitgeist and the ‘psycho-geography’ of Manchester.

Contemporary elements include Morley’s articles on the background to Anton Corbijn’s acclaimed film, Control, recounting the brief life of Ian Curtis. Movingly, Morley also includes the original text that grew into his literary work Nothing, paralleling the two suicides that marked his life: those of his own father, and his young contemporary Curtis.