Joy Division: The Rarest Studio Outtakes

As far as I can tell, the four tracks provided here continue to be the hardest Joy Division studio outtakes to find. While certainly not essential for the casual/moderate fan, they will scratch the completist's itch.

You will need these four tracks to complete the studio recording jigsaw puzzle, all the other pieces of which are provided by:

  • The releases from the band’s active period (proper albums, “Still,” singles/b-sides)
  • The semi-official bootleg, “Warsaw”
  • The official boxed set, “Heart and Soul” 
  • The official BBC Sessions

Four tracks zipped up here

  • Atrocity Exhibition (June 4, 1979 - Piccadilly Radio Session)
  • Digital (March 4, 1979 - Eden Studios, Genetic Records demo)
  • Novelty (mid-July, 1979 - Central Sound Studios)
  • Transmission (mid-July, 1979 - Central Sound Studios)

If you’re looking for curated live Joy Division, try this collection.

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