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Studio version

Love will tear us apart

When routine bites hard
And ambitions are low
And resentment rides high
But emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways
Taking different roads
Then love will tear us apart again

Why is the bedroom so cold?
You've turned away on your side
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect run so dry
Yet there's still this appeal
That we've kept through our lives
But love will tear us apart again

You cry out in your sleep
All my failings exposed
There's a taste in my mouth
As desperation takes hold
Just that something so good
Just can't function no more
When love will tear us apart again



Peel Session version | Concert version

Translations: Español | Français | Italiano | Português



Line-up: Ian Curtis | Peter Hook | Stephen Morris | Bernard Sumner
Ian Curtis played the guitar, and Bernard Sumner the keyboard



This song is the most well-known and from far the most covered Joy Division song

Heineken used this song in one of their TV ad in Ireland



Peel Session recording | Live recordings

Date: Tuesday 8 January 1980
Studio: Pennine Sound Studios – Oldham (UK)
Duration: 3.14

Availability on record:
Atmosphere (FAC 213) | Love Will Tear Us Apart (7") | Love Will Tear Us Apart (12") | Permanent

Date: March 1980
Studio: Strawberry Studios – Stockport (UK
Duration: 3.22

Availability on record:
Heart And Soul | Love Will Tear Us Apart (7") | Love Will Tear Us Apart (12") | Love Will Tear Us Apart (1995) | Substance
Note: this song
was not entirely finished during this session, but was reworked and mixed between 18 and 30 March 1980 at the Britannia Row Studios, while the band was recording Closer. This song is played slower than the 8 January 1980 version recorded at the Pennine Sound Studios



The powers that be were still unaware that they had been part of Ian's own plan. While some people worried about the myth Tony Wilson was trying to create, no one realized that Ian had been busy myth-making himself. Ian crooned his way through Love will tear us apart after Tony Wilson gave him Frank Sinatra's Forty Great Songs to listen to. When the band were unable to decide which vocal should be used they released both – one on each side of the seven-inch single. Understandably, the lyrics were interpreted by the press as being about a love affair gone wrong, but as the last to know that our love affair had 'gone wrong, I had taken Ian's infidelity as being part of his illness
(Source: Deborah CurtisTouching from a distance)