Before & After: The BBC Sessions

Joy Division

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Before & After: The BBC Sessions Review

by Sam Samuelson

In 2000, Varèse individually re-released the Joy Division and New Order BBC sessions that had been available in numerous packages off and on for years. In 2002, they logically threw both recordings into the Before & After: The BBC Sessions set in order to draw some comparisons between the band with Ian Curtis and without. In the end, this set just shows that the Joy Division material is really quite good while the New Order recording finds Bernard Sumner quite drunk and sounding a mess. This just doesn't provide a good standpoint to draw any parallels or conclusions from -- anyone who has heard these tapes many times before will find nothing at all revelatory and will therefore find this set to be useless. For New Order/Joy Division fans who don't own these, it's pretty much as useful as buying them individually elsewhere.

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