Perfectly timed to capitalize on the resurgence of interest in all things Joy Division following the release of Anton Corbijn's critically lauded biopic, Control, these new 'collector's edition' reissues of the group's three Factory albums come packaged with bonus discs containing a bootleg-quality amateur concert recording from the era that confirms they were much more of a raging punk attack unit than their sombre and orderly studio work suggests.
What many people miss is that Joy Division, much like New Order, were essentially a singles band best represented in the 7- and 12-inch format. While there are some memorable moments on Unknown Pleasures and Closer, they haven't aged well and seem more like archaic relics of a forgotten era than anything that might be relevant today. What's even stranger is that Still, essentially a posthumous house-clearing of the group's leftover recordings, which was a huge disappointment when I bought it in 1981, now seems like a truer representation of the group than either of the first two albums. I'll hang onto the singles, John Peel Sessions and the Warsaw bootleg.