An Ideal for Living

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An Ideal for Living
EP by Joy Division
Released 3 June 1978
Recorded 14 December 1977, Pennine Sound Studio, Oldham, England
Genre Punk rock
Length 12:47
Label Enigma, Anonymous
Producer Joy Division
Joy Division singles and EPs chronology
An Ideal for Living
A Factory Sample
Alternative cover
12" cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Melody Maker favourable[2]

An Ideal for Living is the debut EP released by Joy Division in 1978, shortly after changing their name from Warsaw.

All tracks were recorded at the Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham, on 14 December 1977. A 7" version was released in June on the band's own Enigma Records label (not to be confused with the American record label of the same name) which was sold out by September and subsequently followed by a 12" version on 10 October on the band's own Anonymous Records label. This was very much a home-brewed affair, with the band members and their friends stuffing the records into their sleeves. The design (by Bernard Sumner) featured Germanic imagery which helped to fuel unjustified speculation about the band's politics. All tracks were re-released on the 1988 singles compilation Substance. The song "Leaders of Men" appears in the film Newsmakers.


The cover has a black-and-white picture of a blonde Hitler Youth member beating a drum, which was drawn by guitarist Bernard Sumner (called "Bernard Albrecht" on the poster sleeve), and the words "Joy! Division" printed in a blackletter font. The cover design, coupled with the nature of the band's name, fuelled controversy over whether the band had Nazi sympathies. As the cover hints, the release reflects the band's early punk influences, as opposed to the post-punk style the band would later develop.

The 12" version was released later with an image of scaffolding, in an attempt to distance the band from perceived Nazi overtones.

Critical reception[edit]

David Cleary of Allmusic wrote that "sound quality and production values on this release are extremely primitive," while describing the release as "a mildly interesting, if not great EP." He also noted that with the re-release of tracks one and three on the rarities album Substance, the need for diehard Joy Division fans to obtain this platter has notably decreased.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Joy Division.

7" vinyl (Enigma PSS139) and 12" vinyl (Anonymous Record ANON 1)
  1. "Warsaw" – 2:26
  2. "No Love Lost" – 3:42
  3. "Leaders of Men" – 2:34
  4. "Failures" – 3:44

Release history[edit]

Vinyl Date Label
7" 3 June 1978 Enigma Records
12" 10 October 1978 Anonymous Records[3]


  1. ^ a b "An Ideal for Living - Joy Division". Allmusic. 
  2. ^ Brazier, Chris (24 June 1978). "Joy Division: An Ideal for Living". Melody Maker: 23. 
  3. ^ Gimarc, George (2005) Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock 1970-1982, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-848-6, p. 141, 163

External links[edit]