Synopses & Reviews
Joy Division changed the face of music. Godfathers of alternative rock, they reinvented music in the post-punk era, creating a new sound—dark, hypnotic, and intense—that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead, and numerous others. The story is now legendary: in 1980, on the heels of their groundbreaking debut, Unknown Pleasures
, and on the eve of their first U.S. tour, the band was rent asunder by the tragic death of their enigmatic lead singer, Ian Curtis. Yet in the mere three years they were together, Joy Division produced two landmark albums and a handful of singles—including the iconic anthem "Love Will Tear Us Apart"—that continue to have a powerful resonance.
Now, for the first time, their story is told by one of their own. In Unknown Pleasures, founding member and bass player Peter Hook recounts how four young men from Manchester and Salisbury, with makeshift instruments and a broken-down van, rose from the punk scene to create a haunting, atmospheric music that would define a generation. Peter talks with eye-opening candor and reflection about the suicide of Ian Curtis; the band's friendships and fallouts; the evolution of their sound and image; and the larger-than-life characters who formed a vital part of the Joy Division legend, including Factory Records founder Tony Wilson and producer Martin Hannett. Told with surprising humor and vivid detail, Unknown Pleasures is the book Joy Division fans have awaited for decades.
"One of the progenitors of what became alternative rock, Joy Division pioneered a sound that would reverberate for decades, inspiring a litany of bands in its wake. The recording career of the band was tragically cut short by the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis . Founding member and bassist Peter Hook recounts the history of Joy Division, offering insight, righting wrongs, and separating fact from fiction. Hook is humble and affable (he's the first to admit he's not the world's greatest bass player), and his tone is more like that of a lengthy discussion with a pal at the pub, rather than a studied, academic assessment of the band and its legacy. This warts-and-all approach results in a warm, occasionally melancholy reminiscence, as Hook discusses the band's process, as well as its members' willful ignorance of Curtis's declining mental state. While the book ends on a sad note, Hook's fond recollection of various moments in Joy Division's short life, such as meeting a young U2, wrestling with a temperamental van on early tours, and a track-by-track commentary on the band's albums (he recommends readers put on the album in question when reading about Closer and Unknown Pleasures) will likely give readers a deeper appreciation for the people behind the music. Hook has written one of the warmest, most honest musical memoirs in recent memory. Agent: Matthew Elblonk of DeFiore & Co. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
, Peter Hook, bassist for the legendary, groundbreaking band Joy Division, takes readers backstage with the group that helped define the sound of a generation and influenced artists such as U2, Radiohead, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Unlike other books about Joy Division, Factory Records, or lead singer Ian Curtis—who took his own life just before the band's first U.S. Tour—Unknown Pleasures tells Joy Division's story from the unique perspective of one of the three surviving band members.
Told with surprising humor and vivid detail, Unknown Pleasures is the book Joy Division fans have been waiting for.
About the Author
As cofounder of Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook has been shaping the course of popular music for more than thirty years. He provided the propulsive bass guitar melodies on "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and the bestselling twelve-inch single of all time, "Blue Monday," among many other songs. He tours New Order and Joy Division albums with his band Peter Hook and The Light and DJs internationally, including at the numerous regular Haçienda nights at clubs around the world. The author of the New York Times bestseller Unknown Pleasures, he lives in Cheshire, England, with his family.