Meanwhile On Twitter
Posted on April 19, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 50 Comments
Scalzi: Nominee for “Song So Uniquely Suiting a Band That All Its Covers Suck”: “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Joy Division. Discuss.
The_No_Show: True. Plus: every time I hear a Joy Division cover, I want to hang myself.
Scalzi: That’s just MEAN.
The_No_Show: What? Too soon?
Every time I hear Joy Division, I want to hang myself.
This is a great song. Arguably the best song from this era and style. Someone should cover it………..
Evidence in support of Joy Division covers sucking: The Killers covering Shadowplay. I can’t believe Anton Corbijn subjected us to it at the end of Control.
Oh and willywoollove, you’re wrong, because Atmosphere is an even better Joy Division song.
On their album “Pretentious Crapola,” the Swinging Erudites have a number that’s entitled, “The Captain and Tenille Meet Joy Division,” in which C&T’s most famous song is sung to the tune of Joy Division’s best-known. Fortunately for all concerned, the song is quite brief, as a full-length version would permanently injure brains.
As John McLaughlin would bellow, WRONG! Joy Division + Tuvan throat-singing = AWESOME
As I mentioned to Ron Hogan on Twitter, when you have to reach for the Tuvan throatsinging cover of anything, you’ve already lost.
I respectfully disagree!
You obviously haven’t heard this version – it’s darker and moodier than the original. I like it. http://www.ozenne.com/music/mp3/LoveWillTearUsApart.mp3
Frente’s cover of Bizarre Love Triangle – possibly better than the original.
Wow. You’ve never heard the Jose Gonzalez version?
He covers Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” too, and I especially like “Killing for Love.”
Why does everyone assume I haven’t heard these versions? Perhaps I have! And perhaps THEY ALL SUCK. Perhaps! Bwa ha ha hah ha!
I’m just glad no one here’s trotted out the Paul Young version yet. YET.
@John – because I keep having to link the Frente cover to Americans who’ve never heard of it, and they all get really excited!
Actually, I like the Frente! version of that song. Like the New Order version more, mind you. But the Frente! version is good, too.
On the other hand, Pat MacDonald (of Timbuk3 fame) has an album of guitar-based covers (mostly acoustic) of Depeche Mode called “Strange Love: PM does DM” that is made of awesome.
Agh – all of my adolescent angst wrapped up in a riff. I’m now going to have to go to my room, close my door, and shout, “You’ll never understand me!” to my husband – whom I trust will be suitably confused.
If you start putting in Depeche Mode links I may end up in the basement with all the lights off.
Thank god we grow up and our hormones settle down. :)
Wow, the Frente! version was the soundtrack of my Grade 5 crush. Thanks for bringing that home for me, guys.
Yeah…The Cure’s version isn’t bad, but I think all of these bands (The Cure included) probably should have just left it alone.
Speaking of The Cure, I don’t think anyone has successfully covered any of their songs. Worst of all that I have heard is The Smashing Pumpkins (who I love) doing an awful version of “A Night Like This”…if you haven’t heard it, good for you. (Didn’t help that Billy Corgan didn’t sing it).
Joy Division is just *slightly* too early to be truly melded to my pop culture consciousness. I’m more of a New Order gal myself, and they’ve been covered all over the place.
The Nouvelle Vague version is good. It exaggerates the between the music and the vocals a bit more, but the slight added bitterness to the vocals more than compensates.
I like the Nouvelle Vague verson of a A Forest (if we’re referring to Cure covers) and I felt they did Love Will Tear Us Apart okayish.
And while LB is on the subject of Cure covers, I actually like the Leatherstrip version of Lullabye.
I have never heard Joy Division before (I’m coming from another culture,blablabla). Listening to this song, I can say that I feel I haven’t lost anything.
They really divide joy in pieces so small that they become irrelevant.
rreugen @ 21. I guess you had to be there.
Unfortunately, in those days I pretty much was here.
Not a cover, but I love Half Man Half Biscuit’s Joy Division Oven Gloves:
Dinosaur Jr. did an awesome cover of “Just Like Heaven”. It’s better than the Cure in my opinion.
You know… you expressed very clearly why I’m totally uninterested in Interpol.
It’s a Joy Division cover band that isn’t even bothering to learn Joy Division songs *blah*
I’ll trot out the Paul Young version! I really like his take on it despite the fact that Paul can’t really make anything depressing. Is it so bad to have a chipper “Love will tear us apart?”
I’m the opposite way of our host: I feel that 99 percent of the covers honor the band by their simple existence. It confirms the sublime glory of the song and its writers.
The only band that does a decent cover that I’ve ever heard is Radiohead. They streamed it live from their studio once, and I saw a cap of it online. They honestly don’t *cover* it so much as *wallow* in it – it’s the truest rendition I’ve heard this side of New Order.
I would have loved to have Johnny Cash do a cover of this.
“Is it so bad to have a chipper ‘Love will tear us apart?'”
Yes. Yes it is.
I thought Radiohead did a respectable cover of Ceremony on their Thumbs Down webcast….
“Is it so bad to have a chipper ‘Love will tear us apart?’”
C’mon. It would be cool. Like Leonard Cohen covering “Hey Mickey”
I like the Swans’ cover:
They actualy covered it twice, once with Gira singing, and once with Jarboe. I prefer the former, obviously, since that’s the one I linked.
Actually this is a slightly better clip:
Please ignore the crappy video though.
I almost agree with you on this, but I love the cover of this song that the Swans did. Definitely worth digging up if you can find it.
I would like to see a law passed against any future covers of this song though.
Also, I think it should be illegal to cover “Electric Avenue” for a number of reasons.
So on reading this, I went back to the Boy Division cover to see if it is still full of awesome.
And yes, it is.
This all makes me think of the Wombats song “Lets Dance to Joy Division”. While i’ve certanly spent some quality time in the basement, in the dark, listening to JD, the Wombats also have a good take on it. And it is more in line with how i listen to it now myself (thank god for being out of those teen years!).
Have you noticed that, as far as I can tell, no one has ever attempted to cover Gary Puckett & The Union Gap?
I wouldn’t say Paul Young’s version is exactly “chipper.”
But if you ever wanted to know what Love Will Tear Us Apart sung by Bill Withers would sound like…….
I sincerely hope that it is only because it goes without saying that it has thus far gone without saying that when New Order plays a Joy Division song, this, too, is a cover, and thus, does indeed suck.
That is all.
Madonna’s cover of _American Pie_ is the single worst cover ever (until someone tries to cover The Pogues _Fairtytale of New York_). I’m not sure if it’s Madonna, the fact that it’s _American Pie_, or the unholy combination of the two that really caps it. But lord, it’s bad.
And here I discover that _Fairytale of New York_ has already been covered multiple times. I wish I didn’t know that.
Hell, I only like one version of Joy Division themselves doing this song (the regular 7″ single version) so I can’t blame you. I must have bought 3 different goddamn JD compilations, only to find they had alternate versions/mixes that I didn’t like; I wanted the version on the single without having to dig the bloody thing out for just one play!
The Frente! cover of that New Order song, while pleasant, always struck me as just a novelty bit, like Pat Boone doing jazzy covers of metal songs.
“C’mon. It would be cool. Like Leonard Cohen covering ‘Hey Mickey'”
I’d listen to that, at least once.
MikeW @ 25:
“Dinosaur Jr. did an awesome cover of “Just Like Heaven”. It’s better than the Cure in my opinion.”
BLASPHEMY! Okay, it’s not bad, and I appreciate that they did their own thing with it and went in a different direction rather than trying to imitate or improve upon what had already been done. But better than the original? Crazy talk.
My favorite cover of all time — probably Knives Out as done by the Flaming Lips. I love Radiohead’s version too. Not sure which one I like better.
I always enjoyed the covers by Swans with the two different versions. I prefer the female vocal version.
I remember this on the radio a few years ago.
I can’t believe no one’s mentioned the June Tabor/Oysterband version:
Apologies for the ropey sound/video quality, I couldn’t find a better version.
A cover that is actually what sold me on said band. A plus is Tiff’s usual introduction of it as “the only Joy Division song everybody knows.” Well, that and her reminding me of Wanda Jackson.
It does sound better on the album where the bass comes through better, though.
The Squarepusher version from 2002 is actually quite good: it manages to sound spookier than the original.
I’ve also got a novelty dub version of LWTUAA by Jah Division (groan) lying around but that’s just plain weird…