Atmosphere (Joy Division song)

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"Licht und Blindheit"
Single by Joy Division
A-side Atmosphere
B-side Dead Souls
Released March 1980
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Post punk,[1] gothic rock, dark wave
Label Sordide Sentimental
Writer(s) Joy Division
Producer(s) Martin Hannett
Joy Division singles chronology
"Transmission"
(1980)
"Licht und Blindheit"
(1980)
"Komakino"
(1980)
"Atmosphere"
Single by Joy Division
Released August 1980 (US), September 1980 (UK)
Format 12" vinyl, CD
Genre Post punk,[2] gothic rock, new wave
Label Factory
Writer(s) Joy Division
Producer(s) Martin Hannett
Joy Division singles chronology
"Licht und Blindheit"
(1980)
"Atmosphere"/"She's Lost Control"
(1980)
Alternative cover
Cover of 1988 release
Music video
"Atmosphere" on YouTube

"Atmosphere" is a song by English post-punk band Joy Division. It was originally released in 1980 by record label Sordide Sentimental as "Licht und Blindheit", a France-only limited edition single featuring the track "Dead Souls" as the B-side. Following Ian Curtis' death the same year, it was released as a double A-sided single by record label Factory with "She's Lost Control" as the B-side.

The single was re-released in 1988 to coincide with the release of the compilation album Substance, and a music video was produced for the song. Bassist Peter Hook has since said he regards the song as the band's greatest.

Release[edit]

The song was originally released on 18 March 1980 by record label Sordide Sentimental as a France-only single under the title "Licht und Blindheit" (German for "Light and Blindness"). It was limited to 1578 copies[citation needed] and featured the track "Dead Souls" as the B-side.

Following the death of lead singer Ian Curtis in May 1980, "Atmosphere" was released as a double A-sided single with "She's Lost Control". "Atmosphere" was the A-side for the UK release but the B-side for the US release. "She's Lost Control" is an alternative version of the one that appears on the band's debut album Unknown Pleasures. The single peaked at number 1 in New Zealand in August 1981, and it would later re-chart there in July 1984 (number 17) and when it was reissued in August 1988 (number 5).[3] "Atmosphere" also hit number 34 in the UK Singles Chart during June 1988.[4]

The single was re-released in 1988 to coincide with the release of the compilation album Substance.

Music video[edit]

A music video was released for the song with the single's re-release in 1988.[5] It contains characters wearing black-hooded cloaks and white burial shrouds. It was directed by Anton Corbijn[5] (who later directed the Ian Curtis biopic Control; some home editions of the film contain the music video as an extra).

Reception[edit]

Ned Raggett of AllMusic wrote, "'Atmosphere' is another one of those prime Joy Division songs, like 'Transmission' or 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', where Martin Hannett's production becomes so essential to the end result that it couldn't have been heard otherwise", noting that, in regards to Ian Curtis' mental state and subsequent death, "there's a feeling of a requiem here, an awesome musical farewell."[6]

Joy Division bassist Peter Hook has said he regards the song as the band's greatest.[citation needed]

Legacy[edit]

NME voted the song number 1 in its list "The 20 Greatest Goth Tracks".[7]

The song featured the film 24 Hour Party People just after Ian Curtis' suicide is portrayed. The song is also used at the end of the Ian Curtis biopic Control.

Track listings[edit]

All songs written and composed by Joy Division (Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter Hook).

"Licht und Blindheit" (7")
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Atmosphere"   4:10
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Dead Souls"   4:53
"Atmosphere" (12")
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Atmosphere"   4:10
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "She's Lost Control"   4:45
1988 re-release
7"
12"
CD

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
position
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[3] 1
Chart (1984) Peak
position
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[3] 17
Chart (1988) Peak
position
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[3] 5
UK Singles Chart 34[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joy Division Styles of Atmosphere | discogs.com". Discogs. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Joy Division Styles of Atmosphere | discogs.com". Discogs. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Charts.org.nz – Joy Division – Atmosphere". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "mvdbase.com – Joy Division – 'Atmosphere'". mvdbase.com. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Atmosphere – Joy Division | Listen, Appearances, Song Review | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Lewis, Luke (5 March 2009). "Release the Bats – It's the 20 Greatest Goth Tracks | NME.com". NME. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 

External links[edit]