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Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Peter Hook

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826147,013 (3.95)3
Member:erikschreppel
Title:Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
Authors:Peter Hook
Info:It Books (2013), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook (2012)

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    The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club by Peter Hook (markohei)
    markohei: It's like a sequel to Unknown Pleasures.
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Unknown Pleasures is a great memoir by the bass player of Joy Division. This book is mostly about Joy Division even though the remaining members (after the death of Ian Curtis) would form the even more successful group New Order. I am a bigger fan of New Order than Joy Division but Joy Division has a few incredible songs which I have in my music collection. Hook tries to show the complexity of Curtis’ personality which he felt had not been captured before in book or cinematic form yet. Hook is a great fan of Curtis, and his mystique, but was also a close friend whom he felt respected his own talent as a fellow artist. Morrissey disparages New Order (also from Manchester) but Hook only refers to Johnny Marr obliquely when speaking about Marr’s later collaboration with Bernard Sumner (Electronic). Joy Division evolved away from their Punk beginnings and into a unique style culminating with “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and leading to New Order finishing Curtis’ “Ceremony.” This is a very personal book and well written. I’ve found memoirs by musicians to be very unpretentious and focused. I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Nov 29, 2014 |
Peter Hook's "Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division" reads like a transcript of what you'd expect a conversation with Peter Hook at a pub to be, talking about Joy Division. This has its upsides and downsides. It makes the book, at times, a breeze to read, but other times, when Hook slips into colloquialisms that I, in Philadelphia, don't understand, the book is a bit disappointing. The structure of the book also seemed a bit off. There were sections where Hook would be telling the story, with occasional interjections in italics from someone who I can only imagine is the editor, and then there were sections called "Timelines" which recapped the previous sections from Hook in short snippets by date, but these also contained tidbits that weren't in the previous section. I would have liked an introduction that explained how the book was laid out, who wrote what, etc. I can only interpret this form as the punk ethos coming through in his writing, but I found that back-and-forth between times and styles to be jarring. On the whole, I found the breakdown of the two Joy Division albums by track to be the best parts of the book, and the ones that I wished were longer. ( )
  sbloom42 | May 21, 2014 |
Okay. Two reasons why I requested this book for review. 1. The hombre loves Joy Division. and 2. I wanted to know more about the band. Now I’m not a fan. Yes, I listen to a few of the songs when the hombre plays them (I must say, he still has the CD set of Heart and Soul that I bought him as a gift years ago - which makes me all warm and fuzzy because I got him something that he loves and still listens to..anyway! I’m going off topic here....)

I thought the book was pretty good - now I completely understand a fan would greatly appreciate this book as it gives you an insight on how the band was. I liked the way it was written, it was to the point, and at some times really blunt. I found myself laughing at bits of it. Gradually as the book progresses though, it does get more serious and more sad - since you know what’s going to happen to Ian Curtis and although he was undergoing serious health issues they just kept going. It’s admirable because they went through a lot of struggle in the beginning, but they persisted (it’s also extremely difficult to be successful as a rock band as I learnt while reading through this book)

The book also includes a more detailed description on each track the band has made which I believe fans will greatly appreciate and lots of references to other bands they have met, toured with, and sometimes fought with (hah, those were funny parts). It was also interesting to see how Hook describes Ian Curtis during their tour stops. (He can be just one of the guys too - which was hard for me to see) You also had to sympathize for him and his struggle with epilepsy. Hook’s narrative is very good and easy to follow and above all very entertaining.

Fans will greatly appreciate this book, non fans wanting to read how a real (yes I say REAL) band works should pick this up to get a glimpse at how hard it really is (no seriously, it’s really hard and not as easy as you think!) also, nice small appearances from The Cure and Bono!!!! ( )
  sensitivemuse | May 15, 2013 |
When Peter Hook's book, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, showed up at my house, I squealed with delight at the gorgeous black cover, demi sleeve and black page edges. Then I noticed that the front of the book had faint lines imitating the pattern of Joy Division's first album. It blew me away before I even opened the book. (Well done, It Books.)

Then I began reading and was swept away by Peter Hook (bassist extraordinaire) and his conversational style of writing. It felt as if I was actually able to sit down with him for a friendly chat about Joy Division and to finally learn more of the story of a band that was forced to dissolve in their prime, one day before an American tour. This isn't a tell-all--many juicy stories are hinted at but not told--which I believe shows the respect that Hook still has for his former bandmates and colleagues. Still, there's enough meat in the story to make any reader feel like an insider.

I came to Joy Division a bit backwards as a New Order fan, the band formed by Hook, Morris and Sumner after Curtis' suicide in 1980. But, as I was five when this happened, it's not unexpected. And still, after discovering Joy Division, I only ever really listened to their most well-known songs -- "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Atmosphere" and "Dead Souls". So one of the best experiences of the book was reading Hook's two chapters covering Joy Division's studio albums, Unknown Pleasures and Closer, with the instruction "I really recommend listening to the record while you read". I took his advice and listened to each track as I read his words about them and it was an amazing experience and I can say that I'm now truly a Joy Division fan.

If you want to learn more about Ian Curtis and Joy Division, you can watch the brilliant 2007 film Control by Anton Corbijn. Hook mentions it more than once in his book as being fairly accurate. It is, of course, sad as it deals with the death of a bright young man, husband, father and musician at the age of 23. Whatever caused him to do it (which nobody truly knows), it is obvious that it still haunts his friends and family. Hook doesn't even state it outright until almost halfway through the book, as if he can't bring himself to visit those painful memories until it is essential for the narrative. I also highly recommend this book for fans of British music as you will get numerous tidbits about other musicians/bands of the time like Sex Pistols, OMD (one of my all-time favorite bands, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), The Cure, U2, Stephen Morrissey of The Smiths and more. It's also just a touching and funny story about four young men who put their hearts and souls into some of the most beautiful and haunting music ever written.

http://webereading.com/2013/04/new-release-unknown-pleasures.html ( )
  klpm | Apr 8, 2013 |
Peter Hook does a very good job making you feel like he is just having a friendly chat about Joy Division. His prose style is very informal and loose. And his different view of Ian Curtis does a great job making him less mythic and more human. It must have been a difficult journey for Hook to look at this time in his life, he repeatedly states his feeling that they all let Ian down (including Ian himself) and should have done something. But as with any book written by someone in a group dynamic, we get one man's side of every situation. Bernard Sumner might have a completely different view point. So we are left with a good book, that you must take with a grain of salt. I just got to the end and my everlasting feeling was simply "I miss Ian". ( )
  erikschreppel | Jan 18, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062222562, Hardcover)

Joy Division changed the face of music. Godfathers of alternative rock, they reinvented music in the post-punk era, creating a new sound—dark, hypnotic, and intense—that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead, and numerous others. The story is now legendary: in 1980, on the heels of their groundbreaking debut, Unknown Pleasures, and on the eve of their first U.S. tour, the band was rent asunder by the tragic death of their enigmatic lead singer, Ian Curtis. Yet in the mere three years they were together, Joy Division produced two landmark albums and a handful of singles—including the iconic anthem "Love Will Tear Us Apart"—that continue to have a powerful resonance.

Now, for the first time, their story is told by one of their own. In Unknown Pleasures, founding member and bass player Peter Hook recounts how four young men from Manchester and Salisbury, with makeshift instruments and a broken-down van, rose from the punk scene to create a haunting, atmospheric music that would define a generation. Peter talks with eye-opening candor and reflection about the suicide of Ian Curtis; the band's friendships and fallouts; the evolution of their sound and image; and the larger-than-life characters who formed a vital part of the Joy Division legend, including Factory Records founder Tony Wilson and producer Martin Hannett. Told with surprising humor and vivid detail, Unknown Pleasures is the book Joy Division fans have awaited for decades.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Godfathers of alternative rock, Joy Division reinvented music in the post-punk era, creating a new sound--dark, hypnotic, and intense--that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead, and numerous others. The story is now legendary: in 1980, on the heels of their groundbreaking debut, Unknown Pleasures, and on the eve of their first U.S. tour, the band was rent asunder by the tragic death of their enigmatic lead singer, Ian Curtis. Yet in the mere three years they were together, Joy Division produced two landmark albums and a handful of singles--including the iconic anthem "Love Will Tear Us Apart"--that continue to have a powerful resonance. Now, for the first time, their story is told by one of their own. Founding member and bass player Peter Hook recounts how four young men from Manchester and Salisbury, with makeshift instruments and a broken-down van, rose from the punk scene to create a haunting, atmospheric music that would define a generation.--From publisher description.… (more)

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