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Permanent CD review

Magazine: New Musical Express (UK)

Publication date: Saturday 17 June 1995

Reviewer: AJ Sexmeal (aka Alex James)



HERE ARE the young men, then. The ultimate sixth-formers. When I arrived at college, Dead souls was blaring out of the next room. Not what I'd expected at all. I thought I'd be the only one who liked Joy Division. Their obscurity was one of their charms. Morons just didn't like this band because you couldn't like them for the wrong reason
Young Mr
Curtis crystallised the faraway romantic desperation of any lucid teenager. Morrissey with a badget and a gun. Drunk on his emotions and Holy with Youth, if you like
The really powerful thing about the music is the primitive sort of counterpoint  you can hum all of
Hooky's basslines, even the crap ones. Actually, I love them just as much for being crap as for being godlike. Joy Division weren't great players. It was what they naively aspired to and sometimes glimpsed that made them like us and us like them
So much wank has been conjectured about these "art school" skinny boneses, it's tempting to be cynical. They are easy to dismiss but isn't anything? It's probably true that more girls read "Playboy" than listen to Joy Division albums but then the best girls do read "Playboy"
I'd never have believed I could play the bass if someone hadn't showed me how to do
Isolation and Transmission. I could imagine being in this band
It's nearly 20 years since some of these tracks were recorded and packaged and everything is still relevant.
New Order's success has made the abstruse side of Joy Division all the more potently mysterious. Ian Curtis sang about his mother, his illness, his weaknesses. Kurt Cobain  lightweight Coca Cola advert
The suggestive power of this music is X-certificate, dangerous, capricious, ambitious, delicious. The best band in the world ever
A beginning, a riddle, and an end