Acclaimed Albums – Closer by Joy Division

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 210/250Title: Closer
Artist: Joy Division
Year: 1980
Position: #45

Right, so some false starts with my Sonos connecting to Spotify made Closer a more difficult listen than it really had to be. Doesn’t help when you end up cutting out in the middle of a track on a album you are listening to for the first time and you then have no idea of where you were. Given how great Unknown Pleasures was, I knew that this album would be worth the perseverance and, with the Sonos going bye bye, a second go on something more reliable.

Few bands can make the claim that 100% of their albums have received massive acclaim. Sadly, the reason that Joy Division can was because lead singer Ian Curtis took his own life two months prior to Closer‘s release and the band re-tooled themselves into synth-pop pioneers New Order.

Closer is a development on their debut in pretty much every way. Everything is that much more mature, dark and very much different to everything else that was out at the time. Given how, in the 1001 songs list, I am now in the first era of post-punk – I cannot help but be impressed at the direction that New Order took on this album.

Innovative is a term that is used a lot when I talk about albums on this list (mainly because innovation is a key way to have the critical opinion that gets you a high placement on lists like this) and I am going to use it again for Closer. Where Unknown Pleasures innovated and provided almost a statement of intent of what this band would be – Closer starts to delve into beat-making that will later form parts of gothic rock and trip-hop.

To think that, from recording this album, their next move was ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ cannot help but make you wonder what would have been the band’s next move if Ian Curtis hadn’t have killed himself. The fact that New Order were able to regroup and still have a hugely successful and influential career is astonishing. Once I finish this cut of the list (which I sadly wasn’t able to do in 2019) I cannot wait to wait to listen to what one of their albums sounds like.

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