Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Late 70's: Joy Division Creates Alternative Music

Joy Division is considered by many to have helped shape the beginnings of alternative music. (Of course, we here at agree.) Joy Division was definitely post-punk. Alternative music has various meanings and some disagree on its true meaning……but Joy Division added more melodies to the punk sound and moved away from overextended power-chord changes and incorporated slick guitar riffs and harmonies into their sound. The repetitive guitar riffs created by Bernard Sumner were accompanied by Peter Hooks’ high bass line playing style. Hooks plays the bass by hanging it low and using the higher notes to harmonize with the rest of the band. Hooks’ bass guitar is basically -a new instrument. He is an innovator. The drummer, Stephen Morris, is perhaps one of the most overlooked drummers to come out of the post punk era and has unusual speed and thick fill-ins. The lead singer, Ian Curtis was well known for his distinctive low voice and his ability to change emotion and pitch. Lyrically, Curtis fits the alternative mold by providing listeners with something poetic and new. Each band member brought something different to the table and is why Joy Division has influenced bands like U2 and continues to find new fans that have now become familiar with their earlier work. Joy Division is one of many pioneering groups that contributed to the “80’s sound” that is still prevalent in today’s music. Joy Division later became “New Order” and was responsible for taking the early beginnings of alternative music to greater levels in the 80's but………. that's another blog entirely. The college djs are asking for more alternative music. (Really.) Send your submission to Here is “Shadowplay” by Joy Division. Notice the space between notes in the guitar riffs.

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