Originally named Warsaw, “Joy Division” were a new wave band from Salford, Greater Manchester in Great Britain. The band consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backup vocals), and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion). Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences to develop a sound and style that pioneered the post punk movement of the late 1970s. The band was not punk but was directly inspired by its energy.
Joy Division’s debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was released in 1979. Despite the band’s growing success, vocalist Ian Curtis was beset with depression and personal difficulties, including a dissolving marriage and his diagnosis of epilepsy. Curtis found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, and often had seizures during performances. On the eve of the band’s first American tour in May 1980, Curtis, overwhelmed with depression, committed suicide. Joy Division’s posthumously released second album, Closer (1980), and the single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” became the band’s highest charting releases. After the death of Curtis, the remaining members continued as New Order, achieving critical and commercial success.