Joy Division: 50 Tracks from 10 Concerts (September 1979- April 1980)

Joy Division’s live expression was the opposite of the clean, spacious, icy one that producer Martin Hannett honed on the band’s studio recordings. Live, they were a filthy, thick, hot power trio mess, with a sound not so far from Stooges/Crazy Horse, and a lot of moves that seem to come from The Velvet Underground. 

The live Joy Division oeuvre/experience can be intimidating to both moderate and super fans, because nearly every document is an audience recording, and there are a lot of them. Also, the band was loose/sloppy, which led to both great and terrible performances of songs. And they only had so many compositions in their repertoire. 

So, nobody really needs to spend a lot of time with 35-40 JD concert recordings. I have spent that time, over a decade, and I have ended up being a track-by-track fan.  

The folder I’m sharing has 50 of those tracks. I automatically excluded live material that appeared on the official releases “Still,” “Heart & Soul,” “Preston,” and “Les Bains Douches.” I think of those as the most official, canonical, available, live releases – and the ones that most fans will already know well.   

Anyhow, I had to a draw a line in the murky official/bootleg sand somewhere – in order to create a mix with value to serious fans – and this seemed like a reasonable one. 

A few overlaps with official releases remain, because better masters of the recordings appeared after the band attached them to releases (several tracks each from 1/11/80, 2/8/80). The 2/20/80 High Wycombe source is the bonus disc attached to the fleeting, limited edition 2007 reissue of “Still.” The person who mastered it for release apparently remastered it a few years later, but I have not found that version.

I didn’t pay any attention to how many or how few songs came from a show, or whether or not every possible song was represented. 15-20 bad-sounding shows went totally into the trash, as did plenty of good-sounding recordings of badly played songs. 

These are simply the tracks that I think are worth hearing a lot. 

File Format & Track List: Choose Your Own Adventure

So that it’s easy for fans with any level of interest to identify and delete any tracks they’ve already got, these files are still tagged show-by-show, rather than being wrapped into some kind of album. The screenshot below shows you exactly what you’ll get. 

3h20m mp3 mix zipped up here

15 responses
Christmas came early! Thanks for this, John. Your hard work in preparing these posts is always much appreciated. Happi Holidays!
Sorry for the typo. Happy Holidays!
Thanks for this!
You're welcome, Phoebe!
Thank you! Wish you would post even more not Dead stuff.
Josh, I would love to post more non-Dead. Someone suggested 83-84 jazz fusion Black Flag, and I'd do that in a second, but where does one get a large body of their live recordings?
This is an awesome mixtape. Thank you for taking the time and effort to curate such a set. The intensity of some of the tracks e.g. New Dawn Fades (Amsterdam), These Days (Netherlands) just blew me away. The closest I will ever come to hearing them live. Thank You, Thank You. Thank You.
Frank, your comment is music to my ears. Thank you.
Once again many, many thanks.
6 visitors upvoted this post.