Joy Division

New Dawn Fades

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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 Qwest 4:47
Still 1981 Qwest 4:01
Heart and Soul 1998 Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:48