Joy Division – 7″ reissues (bootlegs?)

Transmission 7″
a: Transmission
b: Novelty

Factory Records Sampler 2×7″
a1: Digital – Joy Division
a2: Glass – Joy Division
b1: No Communication – The Durutti Column
b2: Thin Ice (Detail) – The Durutti Column
c1: Acne – John Dowie
c2: Idiot – John Dowie
c3: Hitler’s Liver – John Dowie
d1: Bader Meinhof – Cabaret Voltaire
d2: Sex In Secret – Cabaret Voltaire

I got this email the other day from the eBay seller that I bought my Sordide Sentimental 7″ reissue telling me that they had these in stock (both singles combined for $25+shipping). I am a little skeptical that they are bootlegs (for no other reason than the fact that I can’t find any other mention of them anywhere), though I will admit that these do look very nice. The Transmission 7″ comes in red vinyl, and the Factory 2×7 sampler being done up on “silver rice paper” and it comes with the same stickers that the original issue had. The eBay seller is apparently importing these from the UK, which should explain the price.

Of all the Joy Division standards, “Transmission” was one that I only came to appreciate later on in my twenties. When I used to rock Joy Division in my walkman as a lad, I always thought that compared to their other songs, “Transmission” was lyrically uncompelling (“DANCE DANCE DANCE TO THE RADIO!”). I finally “got it” when I was in California taking a tour of a relative’s bronze-sculpture foundry. I heard it come over the radio, set against these two dudes wearing hazmat suits (or something) standing over this molten-fire-pit-thingy, with “Transmission” blasting over them.

For Christmas this year, my lovely girlfriend got me that artsy/pricey Joy Division vinyl box set that Rhino put out last year. Comes in this beautiful cloth-covered box designed by Peter Saville (the original Factory records artist – she got me the Saville art book for my birthday last year as well). This thing is really expensive ($200?), I would hold off on rushing into this unless you can get a good deal on it. Inside the box is a copy of Closer, Unknown Pleasures and Still, but they come in “original art” (designed by Saville), which is essentially a plain white, black and grey cover (for each of the records respectively); none of the albums are labeled or have any writing on them, and there is no other information inside the box aside from a small piece of paper with a list of songs. When I opened it, I thought it was a mistake, and actually emailed Rhino that the “original” art was missing; they told me that it was “original” as in “new” and not original as in “the same”.

My Electric Love Affair – Blow Me Down 7″

a: Blow Me Down
aa: As Soon as Now
Hear both streaming on Myspace
Purchase from Rough Trade

This came with the Cajun Dance Party 7″ yesterday, and though I can’t even remember ordering it (or my reasons for ordering – I think it had something to do with the self-release nature and the comparison to the Wooden Shjips and Spacemen 3), but I can now say that my seven inch collection would have had a hole in it without this.

The classic “double a-side” format is appealing, though bit of a misnomer (“Blow Me Down” is clearly the a-side, “As Soon as Now” is clearly a b-side, which is not a put down). “Blow Me Down” starts, and immediately paints the wall of whatever room you are listening to it in with a coat of grime that you won’t ever be able to get off. Not to put too fine a point in it, but this is the culmination, the summary of every UK group that has made it big since Joy Division.

The aa-side is strong (though not as strong), with droning-acoustic guitars and some singing that, though I know this is lazy, sounds like Oasis (not the bloated corpses that fly around the world pretending to be Oasis).

This is an independent release limited to 500 copies, but you can get it from Rough Trade UK (I know…).

Joy Division – Sordide Sentimental Reissue 7″

a. Atmosphere
b. Dead Souls


In March 1980 Sordide Sentimental released a 7-inch: Licht Und Blindheit in 1,578 numbered copies. Joy Division had recorded the songs (which included Atmosphere) with Martin Hannett in October 1979. This 7″ will set you back around $20, but when you consider that an original went for over $1000 on eBay this month, its a good deal.

This is a limited fanclub pressing on colored vinyl, in a numbered picture sleeve (7″ x 12″) with French booklet and English translation leaflet. Soride Sentimental plastic bag, gatefold cover, cover painting by Jean-Francois Jamoul and photograph by Anton Corbijn. Considered the holy grail by Joy Division collectors.

Available at Scratch Records

LCD Soundsystem / Arcade Fire Split 7″

a. Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son (Serge Gainsbourg cover) – Arcade Fire
b. No Love Lost (Joy Division Cover) – LCD Soundsystem

Arcade Fire Side LCD Side

This is how NOT to do it.

Back in August, it was announced that a split 7″ would be available at the shows that The Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem were be playing together in September and October. Of course, fans of both bands (and I imagine that these bands have a great deal of fan-overlap) were eager to get their hands on this.

Trouble started when people reported that availability at the shows was sporadic, and many fans left empty handed. Coupled with the fact that there was no word on exactly how limited the single was, or whether there would be any left for sale in the bands web stores (as promised in the press release), panic ensued.

As a result, when a few singles ended up on eBay, they were being sold for over $60 (on average), and a few sold for over $100. Right now, because of the lack of communication from the bands involved, the single is being sold on eBay for between $20-30. Fans eager to get a copy caught a break when it finally ended up on the Arcade Fire webstore for $5. This was exciting, until you went to the check-out, and the cheapest they would ship it to you was with a $20 courier service….

The DFA store started selling it yesterday, for $7, and with shipping coming in at a couple of dollars. What an ordeal.

All of this is exactly how not to release a single for bands of this popularity, as it plays right into the hands of scalpers looking to make a quick buck. While I think that fans who paid $100+ for this single are foolish for doing so (especially when it wasn’t clear yet that the singles wouldn’t be available in the web stores), most hard core vinyl collectors understand the drive to maintain the “complete” collection, and so should the bands. This is especially true when a single being marketed as a “limited edition” – and this can mean anything from 100 copies to 10 000 copies. Bands of this size need to let their fans know exactly how “limited” their releases are so that they can help their fans maintain some kind of perspective.


The Music:
On LCD’s side is a Joy Division cover, “No Love Lost.” Fairly straightforward cover, not unlike their cover of Harry Nillson’s “Jump Into the Fire” (the “Daft Punk is Playing at my House” B-Side), in that it faithfully covers the song while giving it the LCD twist to it. Highly recommended for this song alone (listen to the Mp3 on this blog).

The Arcade Fire cover the Serge Gainsbourg-written, France Gall-sung “Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son (listen to the Mp3 here). This sounds like this was written in Paris in the 1960’s, and still maintains the Arcade Fire’s own trademarked “swell” near the end. This might be my favourite vocal performance from Regine, who sounds so different from her other songs.


Again, buy it at the DFA store. Don’t waste your money on the Arcade Fire’s webstore or eBay.