Joy Division

Dead Souls

Add to Song Favorites ♥

Song Review by

Joy Division's gift for contrasting two sides of a single might never have gotten stronger than with the "Atmosphere"/"Dead Souls" release -- where the former was a perfectly elegant, strong but restrained sparkling black diamond of a piece, "Dead Souls" starts suddenly, abruptly, like the tape machine was just turned on while the band was playing. Stephen Morris's shuddering drums punch through the speakers while Bernard Sumner creates another of his on-the-spot guitar riffs, heavy metal's volume through the Velvet Underground's deceptive drone simplicity and topped with a sudden shift here and there to add drama and bite. Peter Hook's bass playing is no less supple and on target, and between them the three actually take up the first two minutes of the song alone. It's a theatrical touch that makes Ian Curtis' out of nowhere appearance all the more striking, especially with his the edge of fear and desperation in his voice as he starts, "Someone take these dreams away!" His overall portrait of needing an escape from a private hell is all the more shot through with that edge, the musicians not letting up at all, their performances getting all the more loud and stinging even while keeping to the same relentless pace.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Still 1981 Qwest 4:53
Substance 1988 GC / Rhino 4:54
Permanent 1995 Qwest / Warner 4:53
Heart and Soul 1998 Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:57