Means To An End: The Music of Joy Division, A

A Means To An End Cover

A Means To An End: The Music of Joy Division

A Means To An End: The Music of Joy Division is a tribute compilation album for the band Joy Division. Released on September 12, 1995 by Virgin Records in the United States and Hut Recordings in Europe, this compilation contains a cover of Joy Division’s Day of the Lords performed by Dave Navarro’s side project Honeymoon Stitch with Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith and vocals from Michael Angelos from the band Plexi. This cover is exclusive to this release.

If you listen carefully, near the end of Day of The Lords, at the 3:27 mark Dave Navarro sings: “And the water will run”, which is a reference to the Jane’s Addiction song Stop!  Fans of both bands who also possess a good ear may have noticed some musical similarities between the guitar parts of the two songs.  Dave’s line is an inside joke acknowledging that he is aware of the similarities as well.

The following is an essay from (Joy Division’s record label) Factor Records founder Anthony Wilson about this release that appears in the album’s liner notes:

Sometimes I get to thinking it’s the best thing in the world.

At least the best thing in our world, the rock ‘n roller coaster.

The play of influences, I always get water images. Streams running in to other streams making rivers that was us all away.

And being an academic I can drone on about how Elvis put country and R ‘n B together to make Rockabilly, how the Beatles put Rock ‘n Roll in with Tin Pan Alley, and how Dylan lucked up the Beatles to Woody Guthrie.

Buy my own beloved Joy Division. I always knew they were one of the most important bands in the Universe, but fuck me if I knew why. They changed my life, and the life of many others, but I never got a hold on the real deep shit how they change music.

Until.

Until a couple of years ago, listening to the radio, some J.D.’s history lesson, and there’s our Bernard explaining it all. It’s easy to forget how clever Bernard is. I try and do it all the time.

What the boy said went like this; when punk came along it stripped music of all pretensions, returned us to the pure thrill of rock ‘n roll where that simplicity allowed the absolute expression of the central Oedipal lyric of pup, “Fuck You.”

But.

But sooner or later, and later was late ’77, someone was going to want a way to express more complex emotions, but to build to that place from the simplicity of anger of punk instrumentation.

And that’s what Joy Division did.

Fundamental.

For a couple of years all we needed to say was “fuck you” but sooner or later someone would have to find a way so say “I’m fucked.” With all the intensity on earth.

Barney put it better than that, but you get the point.

And the influence. The boys were so central to the way British music developed in the early 80’s. Ask the British DJ John Peel about his demo band in those days. Joy Division influence? 80%? 90%

These days (nice title) British bands know and love their history, but where we’re at maybe the influence isn’t needed that much. So this stuff is a real shock. How does it feel to listen to it?

Fucking wonderful.

Feels so good that mad and talented people on the other side of the ditch are feeding on such good stuff, and getting it. You certainly do get it.

And I’d like to say that this isn’t just a Joy Division tribute.

This is also a tribute to Martin Hannett, God rest his large soul.

So many musicians, producers and engineers on this album seem to have understood the aural landscape that Martin created for this dear band. I remember him coming back from Nashville in ’81. “What was it like, Martin?” “The bastards are all using my drum sound.”

He loved it. He’d love this.

What happened then? Up in the Pacific Northwest in the late 80’s you found your answer to the pretensions and weakness of R ‘n R. And you said “Fuck off” to the world with divine eloquence. Now as you take it further, these shades from a pervious tim have proved the ideal companions.

That’s the academic stuff. The only other thing I’d like to say is “thank you.”

– Anthony Wilson of Factory Too, Manchester, England. May ’95.

Track Listing:

  1. She’s Lost Control
    Girls Against Boys
  2. Day of the Lords
    Honeymoon Stitch
  3. New Dawn Fades
    Moby
  4. Transmission
    Low
  5. Atmosphere
    Codeine
  6. Insight
    Futher
  7. Love Will Tear Us Apart
    Santon Miranda
  8. Isolation
    Starchildren
  9. Heart & Soul
    Kendra Smith
  10. Twenty Four Hours
    Versus
  11. Warsaw
    Desert Storm
  12. They Walked in Line
    godheadSilo
  13. Interzone
    Face to Face
  14. And You Said
    Tortoise

Release Date:  09/12/1995
Released By:  Virgin Records (US), Hut Recordings (Europe)
ID Number(s):  402660-2 (US CD), CDHUT 29 (Europe CD), HUTDLP 29 (12″ 2x-Vinyl), DPRO-12817 (US Promo)
Medium(s):  CD, 12″ Double-Vinyl
Time:  60:33

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