Shadowplay (song)

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Song by Joy Division
from the album Unknown Pleasures
Released15 June 1979
Recorded1–17 April 1979
StudioStrawberry, Stockport
GenreGothic rock[1]
Producer(s)Martin Hannett, Joy Division
Music video
"Shadowplay" on YouTube

"Shadowplay" is a song by the English rock band Joy Division. The song appeared on their 1979 debut album Unknown Pleasures.


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]

Shadowplay (The Killers song) cover.jpg
Single by The Killers
from the album Sawdust
Released9 October 2007 (U.S.)
GenreElectronic rock, dark wave
Producer(s)The Killers
The Killers singles chronology
"For Reasons Unknown"

The Killers recorded a version of "Shadowplay" for the 2007 film Control;[3] this version plays during the film's credits and was included on the soundtrack album. The song became a live staple for the band's 2006-2007 Sam's Town Tour.[4]

The band's recording of "Shadowplay" 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".[5] 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 so once again at their 2013 Lollapalooza appearance.

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

Kevin Max recorded a version of "Shadowplay" for his 2012 EP Fiefdom of Angels: Side One.

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

In 2012 the Belgian band Flying Horseman recorded a version of "Shadowplay" for their EP Navigate.


Chart (2007) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[6] 68
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 43
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 19
Canadian Hot 100[6] 49
UK Singles Chart 115


  1. ^ Jonathan Dick (1 April 2014). "10 Best Songs: The 10 Best Joy Division Songs". Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ Ascap entry
  3. ^ NME, "The Killers cover Shadowplay" (15 Jan 2007) Access date: 2 August 2007.
  4. ^ "The Killers: Concert Setlist". 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  5. ^ Hoard, Christian (11/29/2007), "Sawdust". Rolling Stone. (1040):84
  6. ^ a b "The Killers - Shadowplay worldwide chart positions and trajectories". Retrieved October 26, 2007.

External links[edit]