Shadowplay (song)

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For other uses, see Shadowplay (disambiguation).
Song by Joy Division from the album Unknown Pleasures
Released 15 June 1979
Recorded 1–17 April 1979 at Strawberry Studios, Stockport
Genre Post-punk
Length 3:55
Label Factory Records
Writer(s) Bernard Sumner
Peter Hook
Stephen Morris
Ian Curtis[1]
Producer(s) Martin Hannett, Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures track listing
"She's Lost Control"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Shadowplay" is a song by the band Joy Division. It appeared on the 1979 album Unknown Pleasures. The song was covered by The Killers in 2007, Carpathian in 2010, and Kevin Max in 2012.


Early recordings of the lyrics on the Warsaw album show the first line of the song as saying "To the centre of the city where all roads meet looking for you". In later recordings the word looking is replaced with waiting.

Cover versions[edit]

Single by The Killers
from the album Sawdust
Released October 9, 2007 (U.S.)
Format Download
Genre Post-punk revival, alternative rock
Length 4:09
Label Island, Vertigo
Producer(s) The Killers
The Killers singles chronology
"For Reasons Unknown"

The Killers recorded a version of "Shadowplay" for the 2007 film Control;[2] it plays during the film's credits and was included on the soundtrack album. It became a live staple for the band's 2006-2007 Sam's Town Tour.[citation needed] Their recording was also included on the group's b-sides and rarities album, Sawdust. Rolling Stone magazine said the recording "should have stayed in the vaults".[3] In April 2013, The Killers were joined onstage by Joy Division/New Order guitarist Bernard Sumner for the first time to perform this song live at Festival Estéreo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia. They did it once again at their 2013 Lollapalooza appearance.

It was released as a digital download single on October 9, 2007 and peaked at #68 on the Billboard Hot 100. A music video, directed by Spencer Kaplan and Jonathan V. Sela, was released on November 21, 2007, featuring the band interspersed with clips from Control.

Kevin Max recorded a version for his 2012 EP Fiefdom of Angels-Side One.


Chart (2007) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 68
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 43
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 19
Canadian Hot 100[4] 49
UK Singles Chart 115

Carpathian covered the song for their 2010 "Wanderlust" 7" EP.


  1. ^ Ascap entry
  2. ^ NME, "The Killers cover Shadowplay" (15 Jan 2007) Access date: 2 August 2007.
  3. ^ Hoard, Christian (11/29/2007), "Sawdust". Rolling Stone. (1040):84
  4. ^ a b "The Killers - Shadowplay worldwide chart positions and trajectories". Retrieved October 26, 2007.

External links[edit]