About this deal
As no US edition was ever pressed at the time of first release, UK copies were imported to the USA via independent record companies, who usually self-sealed the releases to meet then current US retailer expected standards.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a pretty decent version and MILES away from the 2015 one. But I HAD to buy the German press after testing it: it simply crushes this reissue. The band having changed name from Warsaw to Joy Division at the beginning of 1978, the songs from the two 1978 sessions are credited to Joy Division above despite being wrongly credited all to Warsaw on this edition).Numerous counterfeit editions of this release exist. Only the original vinyl has serrated vinyl around the label and different contours on the label. The embryonic version of "Ceremony" is an interesting moment in this, although it sadly starts almost half way down the song - but regardless of the sound engineer messing up the first part of it (thus the reasons for its exclusion on record), this live opener carries a promise of a live performance. "Shadowplay" continues with vibrant energy, the audience nicely adds to the atmosphere, greeting Peter Hook's bass introduction to the song. But then along comes the utter mess - which, considering the circumstances surrounding this particular concert (reportedly being the group's last) isn't something that should be blamed directly on the group; however, the point they reached at that stage, playing as clumsy as they were is, with all due respect, sad - Ian Curtis audibly exhausted and struggling to sing - which, however, does give this particular live material an aura of a brutally honest, stripped-to-the-bone, tortured soul that absolutely triumphs on "Twenty Four Hours" which is a stand out moment in an otherwise technically troubled performance ("Decades" is probably the greatest victim here, sounding weirdly enough like a warped-sounding tape, with synths so especially out of tune).
This can only be differentiated when held against a strong light source. The translucency was a hallmark of Tranco / PRT. Mine is the green variant. Everything else exactly as above for the 1980 UK release. No barcode on sleeve. Bought used, early 80s. As remarked by others I only recently discovered the translucent nature of the album. The cold nocturnal funereal sounds & lyrics of JD as they throb thru another doom-laden post-punk-goth droning landscape of nihilistic & disturbing material all enhanced by beautiful cover art. What’s not to like?From a live performance point, however, Joy Division are at best serving mere purpose of documentary evidence; those witnessing the energy and the charisma in the flesh may be right insisting on the unforgettable experience for all the right (or wrong) reasons, but from a level of just listening to it on record, Sumner and Hook's playing "skills" are at times insufferable, one can tell they struggle to keep up and maintain the "complete picture". Stephen Morris on the other hand is one true amazing human drum machine and helps a great deal by saving the whole thing, grabbing listeners' attention away from a potential fiasco. RCA was the home of Bowie and Iggy, 2 big heroes to this band, especially Ian, hence the determination to get on the label. The colors are the result of formulations used for the original pressings, with the purple believed to be the very first pressing. The red-tinted version was apparantly more widely distributed.
It's ironic how JD were so unhappy that RCA was insisting on adding the synthesizer, making them sound so less punk. It paled in comparison to what Hannett would do. And then to think the direction that N.O. would take it...! Among Tranco / PRT pressings, there is no correlation between vinyl colour and paper part variants. Marketed as a limited edition of 1000 copies on 180gm vinyl, however an unknown amount of copies were pressed.
It's good to hear that some justice is being done to those BASE releases of the 1980s.I've always held them in high esteem;and the audiophile event of listening to Joy Division on such a High End level never fails to paint a respectful smile on my face. A compilation that is as pleasantly confusing an "album" - and despite the adorable hessian sleeve, it is a mixed bag.