Whilst making a list of what I considered the greatest songs of all time, our movies writer was very instrumental in getting this Joy Division number on the list, so even though I don’t really like the song (sorry folks!) I do concede that Helen is, on this occasion, quite right.
The track was written by British post-punk band Joy Division in 1979 and found it‘s debut when the guys supported Buzzcocks on their UK tour in September and October 1979.
It is one of the few songs where late frontman Ian Curtis had a go on the guitar, although he played it somewhat minimally during the song! Ian did do a good job with the lyrics though, which are believed to reflect the problems he was going through with his marriage to Deborah Curtis, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his suicide in May 1980.
The song was released as a single in April 1980 but it only really became a hit after Ian Curtis’ suicide in May of the same year - reaching number 13 in the UK and number one in New Zealand.
However things just weren’t the same without Curtis, so the band thought it was only fitting they should perform under a name from then on, and thus became New Order before re-releasing the song as Love in 1983.
When New Order were gearing up to release Permanent in 1995 they decided to reissue the track once again, this time with a remix by Arthur Baker, the promotion benefited the guys, and they were keen to use the tactic again in 2007 to coincide with the Collector's Edition re-issues of the band's three albums.
Love Will Tear Us Apart s never failed to be a popular song choice and finds it’s way into various DJ’s catalogues and was even listed by NME magazine as the best single of all time in 2002. Rolling Stone magazine wasn’t quite so forthcoming though, as it only managed to make it to number 179 on their list of the top 500 songs of all time
It’s not just the airwaves that are picking up on the single’s success either, as the track has been played to death in a number of films and TV shows, including the cult classic Donnie Darko as well as the indie film Wristcutters and a film about the Manchester music scene, 24 Hour Party People, during several scenes about the band and Curtis' suicide.
On the small screen, the song can be heard in the Doctor Who episode "School Reunion.", but if - like me - you are tired of hearing the song over and over, you can always check out one of the many, many covers by successful artists such as The Cure, Swans, Fall Out Boy, Simple Minds, U2, Arcade Fire and Squarepusher.
Although I’m still not convinced (cue the backlash of hateful comments) it seemed to do the job for Ian, who has the phrase "Love Will Tear Us Apart" inscribed on his memorial stone.
FemaleFirst - Ruth Harrison.
tagged in Joy Division