(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
Some may argue this point, but of the all the bands that came in the wake of the British Punk movement, asides for The Smiths, none were remotely as important as Joy Division.
Most of the prominent Punk bands were falling apart (The Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks), or some just simply (The Clash, Wire, seemed to be progressing music wise.
The energetic quartet from Manchester, after seeing a Sex Pistols gig, decided upon forming a band, first under the name Warsaw Pact (taken from a song off of David Bowie's Low, then changing the groups name to Joy Division (which is the name of a concentration camp, in the novel, "House Of Dolls").
The group consisting of the charismatic, seizure prone lead singer, Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard "Albrecht" Sumner, innovative bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris, started out as a minimal punk band whose vision and creativity, put them in a class by themselves, musically sounding like a cross between Jim Morrison backed by Can instead of The Doors.
The debut Unknown Pleasures, is critically considered the greatest Post-punk album, and had it not been for the enormous influence of The Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bullocks, The Clash's eponymous debut, Wire's Pink Flag and The Damned's Damned, Damned, Damned. Unknown Pleasures, would have unfairly been lumped together with those four albums, but the albums by the four bands mentioned were all great three chord albums, filled with aggressive attitude, taking on everything and anything, Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, is an album that continues the "Punk" attitude, but the album exudes a certain confidence, that belies the experience of this young quartet.
What also makes Unknown Pleasures so wonderful was that despite the "Punk" movement frowned upon Art-rockers, and AOR chart-toppers, the members of Joy Division, never hid their love for their progressive heroes. Bands like The Velvet Underground, Can, Neu, David Bowie, Van Der Graaf Generator, Hawkwind, Kraftwerk and Gong, all played shaping this album, but asides for Can, bit and traces could be found of the other bands.
Unknown Pleasures, a dark, revolutionary album for its time, portrayed little bearance to what the band would become a few years later, but the band was amongst the first true Art-Punkers, (Talking Heads and Television on American side) and the shadow of this one album is cast over bands like Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Bauhaus to name a few, and according to most music critics believe this album single handedly created the New Wave/Post-Punk movement.