Joy Division were a post-punk band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. The band dissolved in May 1980 after the suicide of its lead singer, Ian Curtis. Much of their popularity/reputation arguably resulted from frequent playings on air by iconic DJ John Peel, but it is easy now to overlook the impact that the first album, Unknown Pleasures, had on post-punk music at the time, as reference the number of prominent bands that cited this album as an influence. The remaining members reformed as New Order and they have gone on to achieve much critical and commercial success.
With their dark, cavernous sound and their use of synthesizers and electronics, Joy Division are considered the pioneering band of the post-punk movement of the late 1970s and the early 1980s.
Though they found only modest success during their career, and released only two studio albums, Joy Division have since been acclaimed as one of the most inventive, evocative and influential groups of their era; Thom Jurek writes “They left just a small bit of music and an echo that still rings”.
Inspired by a Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall on July 20, 1976, Bernard Sumner (also credited as “Bernard Dicken” and “Bernard Albrecht”) and Peter Hook formed a band with friend Terry Mason. Sumner bought a guitar, Hook purchased a bass, and Mason a drum kit. The band placed an advertisement in a Manchester record store and recruited Curtis as their singer.