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TITLE. LYRICS

Concert version

Atrocity exhibition

Asylums with doors open wide
Where people could pay to see inside
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says I still exist
This is the way, step inside

In arenas he kills for a prize
Wins a minute to add to his life
But the sickness is drowned by cries for more
Pray to God, make it quick, watch him fall
This is the way, step inside

You'll see the horrors of a faraway place
Meet the architects of law face to face
See mass murder on a scale you've never seen
And all the ones who try hard to succeed
This is the way, step inside

This is the way, step inside
If you wanna see some more, step inside. Go in all the way


 

ALTERNATE LYRICS

Studio version


 

DETAILS

Line-up: Ian Curtis | Peter Hook | Stephen Morris | Bernard Sumner
Peter Hook played the guitar, and Bernard Sumner the bass on this song


 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Title for this song is the same as one book by James Graham Ballard, one of Ian Curtis' favourite writers
When asked whether this novel influenced his lyrics,
Ian Curtis replied: "Actually no, I'd written the lyrics way before I read Atrocity Exhibition and I was looking for a title because sometimes I just can't think up a good title. Anyway I just saw this title at the beginning of one of his books and I thought that it just fitted with the ideas of the lyrics. Sometime after I wrote the lyrics and the song had been established in our set, I read the book and it is by pure coincidence that some of the ideas in the book are similar to some of the ideas in the lyrics"

Also called Welcome to the atrocity exhibition on bootlegs


 

LIVE RECORDINGS. NOTES

Studio recordings

Date: Saturday 16 June 1979
Venue: Odeon Canterbury (UK)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Wednesday 11 July 1979
Venue: Roots Club Leeds (UK)
Duration: 6.08

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 13 July 1979
Venue: Russel Club Manchester (UK)
Duration: 5.40

Availability on record: Heart And Soul

Date: Friday 27 July 1979
Venue: Imperial Hotel Blackpool (UK)
Duration: 6.24

Availability on record:

Date: Thursday 2 August 1979
Venue: Prince of Wales Conference Centre London (Tottenham) (UK)
Duration: 6.48

Availability on record:

Date: Saturday 11 August 1979 (evening)
Venue: Eric's Liverpool (UK)
Duration: 5.55

Availability on record:

Date: Saturday 8 September 1979
Venue: Queens Hall (Futurama) Leeds (UK)
Duration: 6.09

Availability on record:

Date: Saturday 22 September 1979
Venue: Nashville Rooms London (Earls Court) (UK)
Duration: 6.22

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 28 September 1979
Venue: Russel Club Manchester (UK)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:
Note: no bass played on this track, as
Peter Hook was already in the backstage

Date: Thursday 4 October 1979
Venue: City Hall Newcastle upon Tyne (UK)
Duration: 6.02

Availability on record:

Date: Tuesday 16 October 1979
Venue: Plan K Brussels (Belgium)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 26 October 1979
Venue: Electric Ballroom London (Camden) (UK)
Duration: 6.43

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 2 November 1979
Venue: Winter Gardens Bournemouth (UK)
Duration: 7.01

Availability on record:

Date: Saturday 10 November 1979
Venue: Rainbow Theatre London (Finsbury Park) (UK)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Tuesday 18 December 1979
Venue: Bains-Douches Paris (France)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 11 January 1980
Venue: Paradiso Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Duration: 6.43

Availability on record: Fractured Box | Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979 | Refractured Box One

Date: Tuesday 15 January 1980
Venue: Basement Cologne (Germany)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Thursday 17 January 1980
Venue: Plan K Brussels (Belgium)
Duration: 6.20

Availability on record:

Date: Wednesday 20 February 1980
Venue: Town Hall High Wycombe (UK)
Duration: 5.38

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 29 February 1980
Venue: Lyceum Ballroom London (Strand) (UK)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Thursday 3 April 1980
Venue: Moonlight Club London (West Hampstead) (UK)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 4 April 1980
Venue: Rainbow Theatre London (Finsbury Park) (UK)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record:

Date: Friday 11 April 1980
Venue: Russel Club Manchester (UK)
Duration: unknown

Availability on record: