Since they formed in the 1970s, fashion’s favorite band Joy Division made music that was anything but joyous. They crafted song after morose, nihilistic song before morphing into New Order following frontman Ian Curtis‘ suicide in 1980.
But now, a sound engineer who worked at their recording studio, Julia Adamson, is hoping to find at least a modestly happier ending for some of their forgotten recordings. She’s come forward with 30 boxes of tapes she says are of Joy Division and other Manchester bands, saved from the dumpster when the studio closed in the early 1990s. The rescued recordings were produced by the influential Martin Hannett, like most of the band’s music, and include early outtakes of She’s Lost Control, Wilderness, and New Dawn Fades from their Unknown Pleasures album in 1979.
A member of 80s band The Fall, she revealed the details on Facebook, saying she no longer wanted the responsibility of preserving the tapes and was willing to pass them on to serious collectors. She approached the surviving members of Joy Division first, answered only by bassist Peter Hook with an apparently less-than-joyous reply. “He’s not a happy bunny,” she said.