The legendary Manchester band Joy Division were the subject of a two-day international symposium at the University of Limerick in 2015. Following on from previous events at UL on The Smiths, Morrissey and David Bowie, the Popular Music and Popular Culture Research Cluster are examining the legacy of the iconic Manchester band, whose career was cut short with the untimely death of their lead singer Ian Curtis in 1980. Best known for their song Love Will Tear Us Apart Joy Division are one of the world’s truly iconic and influential bands.
The symposium was launched by Noel Hogan of The Cranberries who recalled how Joy Division influenced his band’s early recording efforts. Delegates travelled from the UK, China, The US (including from Yale), Canada, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain and Portugal to dissect and debate the band’s contribution to Indie Music. The symposium heard papers on Joy Division’s influences, their songwriting practices, the band’s legacy as well as their transition to New Order following Curtis’s death.
One of the co-organisers Dr Martin Power stated: “Unknown Pleasures is considered one of the most stunning debut albums ever released, while on Closer Martin Hannett’s incandescent production permeates the record alongside a band that had grown much in confidence approaching their second album. Both albums have come to yield many landmark tracks.”
The two day event on Joy Division underscored the University of Limerick’s growing international research and publishing reputation in the area of popular music studies.
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