Saturday, 10 September 2011

GUEST SPOT # 13 - Joy Division - 'She's Lost Control'


This week's Guest Spot is from Grace, writing like this at 16! Could she be the next big music journalist??

Joy Division - 'She's Lost Control' (1979/80)

It's clear that human beings have a fascination and perhaps even a need for fear. Whether it's the original Japanese version of 'The Ring' or 'SAW: The Ride' at Thorpe Park, we all have something that frightens us, but we still love it and return to it repeatedly. I discovered my "horror vice" when I watched 'Control', the biopic about the life and death of Joy Division's tragic front man Ian Curtis. I never understood their popularity until I saw that very film and heard 'She's Lost Control'. The droning bass line, paired with Curtis' signature robotic, mono tonal vocals, creates a beautifully frightening piece of music which has inspired many modern bands - including Editors, Interpol and Franz Ferdinand. However, the lyrics are even creepier than the music: the song tells the story of a woman that Ian Curtis knew who had died during an epileptic seizure (often referred to as "losing control"), a condition that he also had, hence the frightened, somewhat paranoid sound in his voice throughout. Not only was it an audio marvel, it was visually spectacular too - Curtis was famous for his "epilepsy dance" during intense performances, where fans couldn't tell whether he was dancing or having a seizure. Sadly, Ian Curtis committed suicide on 18th May 1980, shortly after a nearly fatal epileptic seizure; this creates an even spookier, ironic meaningfulness to the song.



Joy Division are undoubtedly a depressing band, but they certainly do it well! This song sends shivers running down my spine every time I hear it, but I always want to hear it again after it fades out. 'She's Lost Control' is 3 minutes and 40 seconds of bewitching, yet beautiful, horror and I don't think there is any song that will ever move me to the extent that this does.




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GUEST SPOT # 13 - Joy Division - 'She's Lost Control'
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6 comments

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sfw
10 September 2011 at 12:15

Fantastic post Grace! Joy Division are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them and I know which camp I'm in! Thanks for the post/prompt - I'll be listening to them today!

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10 September 2011 at 14:52

I never really listened to this particular track and I totally agree it is haunting! Not only am I going to listen to JD later but Control is still top priority! Thanks Grace!

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10 September 2011 at 22:17

Interesting and insightful analysis, Grace. I think Joy Division were one of the greatest groups to ever walk this earth and 'She's Lost Control' is an incredible song. I was lucky enough to see them live in 1979 and I can certainly attest that Ian was an amazing performer. Sadly, some of the intensity he projected may well have been tied up in his condition. The whole group were brilliant, though. Keep listening to them. I understand what you mean about them sounding 'depressing' but I do have to disagree. Of course, their music is no bed of roses but, like the Blues, the pain can be incredibly cathartic. What is certainly true about JD is that they were entirely authentic: they played exactly how they felt. I'm not sure this can be said of the numerous bands that have tried to copy them since. Keep up the good writing.

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11 September 2011 at 07:06

Its strange we can live our life surrounded by unknown pleasures and don't know how to find them, if we did it could bring us all closer and we could all find an ideal for living.....help! i want to get out of this world alive...it was a late night

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11 September 2011 at 07:29

Grace great post check out earlier post 'dead Souls'

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11 September 2011 at 21:29

Excellent and well composed post! I never knew that the song was about the girl he saw in the job center. Growing up, my dad would play Joy Division and yes I did find it a little unsettling but what struck from watching the film was how 'normal' Ian Curtis was.

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