Joy Division - Closer
Critic Score
Based on 6 reviews
1980 Ratings: #5 / 122
User Score
Based on 972 ratings
1980 Ratings: #2
Liked by 48 people
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Joy Division were at the height of their powers on Closer, equaling and arguably bettering the astonishing Unknown Pleasures, that's how accomplished the four members were. Rock, however defined, rarely seems and sounds so important, so vital, and so impossible to resist or ignore as here.


Closer is even more austere, more claustrophobic, more inventive, more beautiful, and more haunting than its predecessor. It's also Joy Division's start-to-finish masterpiece, a flawless encapsulation of everything the group sought to achieve.


Closer is the album that would come to define Joy Division in all their suicidal glory. Their previous effort, Unknown Pleasures is argued to be the better album of the two Joy Division put out, but honestly who cares?

Rolling Stone

The music of Joy Division — an art-minded English postpunk band that initially struck reviewers as a tuneful version of PiL — sets forth an even more indelible vision of gloom. In fact, it's a vision so steeped in deathly fixations that it proved fatal.

After the tremendous success achieved on Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division released an even more authentic, ambitious, claustrophobic and powerful album, months after Ian Curtis´s suicide. Although it seemed impossible for a band, no matter how creative and prolific, to follow up an album like their debut with another work nearly as strong, it seems that Curtis and his peers managed to find even larger inspiration for putting out an album like Closer, that feels so much more theatrical, ... read more
Oh yeah, I like this one more. The instrumentals on this album are just that tiny bit better than last last one, and I can actually take this guy's voice seriously. The first track, Atrocity Exhibition, has these strange distorted vocals that kind of scream from the back of the song, and it's very haunting. That is also the best track on here. The lyrics are even more tortured and depressive on here ... read more
Like a brief shooting star, in just a few years time Joy Division left us with a treasure of classic songs.

Recorded in March 1980 (just as they released the "atmosphere/dead souls" single), after a European tour in support of Unknown Pleasures, "Closer" finds the band at the creative peak of post punk. A 23 year old Ian curtis, neck deep in depression and uncontrolled epilepsy, drones his sorrowful poetry over slowed down angular post-punk rackets. Bernard Sumner and ... read more
Personally, i prefer Joy Divisions second album Closer, to their debut Unknown Pleasures, and while i absolutely adore that album, there is something about Closer that gnaws on my bones and places me in a sensory deprivation tank every single time i listen. It is the gravitas that surrounded the album at the time of its release that still sticks to it to this day, of the unfortunate suicide of Ian Curtis, and the skeletal and desolate sounds on the album that make it so memorable. It is one of ... read more
i found this album to be much better than joy division's debut. when listening i was put in a trance-like state. there was nothing else i could focus on. each track had energy and was engaging, i could feel what joy division was trying to put across. the hooks and lyrics of each song were improved from the last LP, and they matched the equally improved instrumentals. a masterpiece that is made only once in a lifetime.
fav tracks: isolation, the eternal
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Year End Lists

#10/Rolling Stone

Track List

  1. Atrocity Exhibition 
  2. Isolation 
  3. Passover 
  4. Colony 
  5. A Means To An End 
  6. Heart And Soul 
  7. Twenty Four Hours 
  8. The Eternal 
  9. Decades
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Added on: September 24, 2012