Tuesday, August 10, 2021

This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division: The Oral History

Joy Division had a brief life as a band before the singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide. Despite the brief life, they have achieved a cult status and were very influential to many other bands. The remaining members of the band continued on as New Order and had success of their own.

At the onset, this book reads more as interview notes than a coherent story. It is primarily an assemblage of quotes from various parties involved. Gradually, as the book progresses, the narrative becomes more coherent. This is the story of young musicians that had managed to achieve a small degree of success. They paid their dues and went through the process. Gradually they became more popular and influential. The group struggled with the new-found fame, while trying to stay true to their independent roots.  However, Ian started to experience seizures. He was diagnosed with epilepsy, and given medication (that may have caused other problems.) He was also suffering with his wife's pregnancy and an other women. The band was trying to carry on with him and was on the onset of an American tour when he committed suicide. In retrospect, the signs were there (including previous suicide attempts). However, the band had attempted to power past them.

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