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Substance album review

Magazine: Record Mirror (UK)

Publication date: Saturday 16 July 1988

Reviewer: Kevin Murphy


 

JOY DIVISION 'SUBSTANCE'

Substance traces Joy Division's evolution from inquisitive punks to tormented martyrs. With Ian Curtis' suicide eight years ago, the group went from aspiring hopefuls to revered legends over night. "It was," as Stephen Morris wryly admits "a very good gimmick. I'm surprised he went along with it."
Their first crud steps,
Warsaw and Leaders of men, show a lot of aggression, but little promise. But their contribution to the Factory Sample EP, Digital, had the first signs of the latent power and tension that surged through their later music. By the time of Transmission and She's lost control, they had added both a beauty and fragility to their work
The final ingredient was love, and with it they produced the magnificent
Dead souls and Atmosphere before bowing out with the poignant Love will tear us apart
Had
Curtis been alive this would be heralded as a celebration, but to many it is now seen as exploitation. Hopefully, Substance will go some way to shattering the myth, and show them for what they really were: a rock band. The greatest rock band ever