Home Read Classic Album Review: Joy Division | Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979

Classic Album Review: Joy Division | Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979

This live set captures post-punk’s most vital quartet at the height of their powers.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


It’s been two decades since Joy Division singer Ian Curtis hanged himself on the eve of their first U.S. tour, but fans around the world are still carrying a torch for the poor bastard.

For them, the remaining JDs have released the compilation Les Bains Douches, the second and final release of the group’s Fractured Music Archive. Taking its name from the Paris nightspot where half of it was recorded (other tracks come from gigs in Amsterdam and Endhoven), this live set captures post-punk’s most vital quartet at the height of their powers. Snarling and tearing their way through a set of prophetically titled soon-to-be classics such as Disorder, Love Will Tear us Apart, Atrocity Exhibit and Means to An End, Joy Division deliver the goods with primal intensity and sinister, mesmerizing urgency. It’s a must-have for the torchbearers.