Joy Division

New Dawn Fades

Composed by Bernard Albrecht / Ian Curtis / Peter Hook / Stephen Morris

Song Review by

One of the many reasons Unknown Pleasures is the landmark album it is, "New Dawn Fades" was the most overt turn by Joy Division on that record towards an epic rock moment, drawing on everything from Black Sabbath's anti-anthems to Krautrock's clean, steady drive. A strange, looped instrumental moan heralds the rhythm section's appearance, Peter Hook's bass as sepulchral as could be asked for, Bernard Sumner's guitar sounding like it's trying to slowly scale an impossible height, trying to rise above where it was. Ian Curtis's vocals reflect on personal connection and its tangled collapse, of trying to escape a poisonous entropy in search of feeling -- the initial slight echo and almost half-whispered singing eventually turns into a near howl, the melodramatic becoming obsessively personal and strong, "hoping for something more." Sumner's concluding riff makes for a moment of light in this otherwise astonishingly dark, powerful composition.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Unknown Pleasures 1979 GC / Rhino
Still 1981 Rhino 4:01
No Image 1982 Factory
Concert 18 Jan Effenaar 1984 Jd Records
Form and Substance: The Dark Side 1990 Interzone Records
Too Young to Know, Too Wild to Care 1997
Various Artists
Heart and Soul 1998 Rhino / Rhino/Warner Bros. 4:48
Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979 2001 Dynamic 4:40
Refractured Box One 2003 Factory
House of Wax: Music from the Motion Picture 2005
Original Soundtrack
Let the Movie Begin 2006 Interstate 3:10
Classics from John Peel's All Time Festive 50 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:48
No Image 2007 Rhino / Warner Bros.
The Best of Joy Division 2008 Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:48
Rock Classics: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 4:48
blue highlight denotes editor's pick