Initial screenings of Control were met with no short amount of praise, including a standing ovation at Cannes and approval from each surviving member of Joy Division, so it is not a surprise that the film's soundtrack -- released the same day as Rhino's Joy Division "collector's edition" (not to be confused with "deluxe edition") reissues of Unknown Pleasures, Closer, and Still -- is commendable as well, put together with similar degrees of knowledge and care, though a second disc containing New Order's full score would not have been a bad thing. Nearly every proto-punk artist a Joy Division expert would expect to hear in the film's background is represented: a who's who featuring the Velvet Underground, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk, Iggy Pop, and two David Bowies (the glam and Berlin/Eno Bowies). Can would've likely made sense, or perhaps even Nektar (there is actual published photographic evidence that Ian Curtis was a Nektar fan), but there are no miscues, and there is enough to open up a new world for those who are only slightly familiar with the band and its roots. Out of the inclusions released prior to Joy Division's formation, there is one surprise, and it is the fantastically frilly and schizophrenic "She Was Naked" by obscure Holland prog rockers Supersister -- in the liner notes, director Anton Corbijn, who photographed Joy Division shortly after relocating from Holland to England in 1979, alludes to pulling a fast one with the song's insertion, only to find out that JD drummer Steven Morris had each of the band's albums. Representation from JD contemporaries is limited to Buzzcocks (a post-Howard Devoto live version of "Boredom," recorded at the Roxy) and an F-word-laced rant from John Cooper Clarke. The actual Joy Division material here could be called the big three: "Dead Souls," "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Atmosphere." A version of "Transmission" recorded by the cast members is impressive, almost uncanny, while the Killers' cover of "Shadowplay" gets better after the intro and even better once you're able to block out the vocals. One potential deal-breaker: though the disc is enhanced by the inclusion of dialogue as some tracks segue from one to another, it could be frustrating for listeners making their own mixes and playlists.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman