Best Joy Division Songs

The best songs by Joy Division. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Love Will Tear Us Apart
Love Will Tear Us apart is the best post-punk song ever, and one of the best singles of all time.
Stands as one of the best rock songs of all time. I would then go with Atmosphere and Transmission. So original.
I love this song but seriously I don't think it's their best one... But definitely one of the best "rock" song ever (if we must rate a piece of art).
[Newest]My number 1 song of all time.

A poetic recount of life's futility and inequity; Curtis pulls Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" from the silence.
Such a dark and heavy track. Love the guitar melody and tone.
Turn the lights out and drift away


The bass and drum combined are electrifying, and Ian Curtis delivers his trademark haunting baritone vocals with fast-paced hooks.
So sad, so haunting, so atmospheric, so nostalgic, with so many feelings feelings feelings feelings!
Love that song, it reminds me of stuff. Now the stuff are dead and gone but music remains beautiful
[Newest]Iconic... Simply beautiful, a voice of the genre.

4New Dawn Fades
Few songs manage to transmit so much feelings like this one, truly the best song of Joy Division
Probably the saddest song I've ever heard. I listened to it on repeat many times after I first heard it. (Transmission is a close second place for me)
Prefer the cover by Moby and New Order, but this song is still amazing.


I can only understate how much I like this song. There isn't a word good enough to describe it. RIP Ian.


Totally moving and chillingly beautiful.
Just amazing and so original

This should be in top 3! Dance, dance, dance to the radio!
Ian sings like a desperate soul trapped in an automaton's body. Haunting. Sad. Touching.

7Dead Souls
This is one of, if not my favorite Joy Division song. I think it's very underrated.

8Day of the Lords
"This is the room, the start of it all..."
Powerful, destructive, and brilliant- Day of the Lords- where time dissapears and oblivion is all. Never has the 'end' or rather 'the start', been so poetic.

What I would give to hear a clear full recording of ian curtis on vocals, and uncover the lyrics if the lost first verse
Even when Bernie is singing it, you hear Ian's baritone!
Best of the best

10She's Lost Control
Love this song, especially how the rhythm of the drums and the melody of the guitar go along. One of the best Joy Division songs.
I prefer Closer as an album, but this is by far the best Joy Division song, followed by Decades.
This is a theme song to when I lose control, again.

The Contenders

11Heart and Soul

Taking one last breath, this haunting song makes me feel so much hidden emotions. It always makes me blue whenever I hear it, no matter how much I feel happy before... I can't say I've ever heard a better way to close an album. Thank you. (Please forgive my mistakes English is not my first language)
Hauntingly beautiful song. The sequencing of the three last songs on the album could not have been better chosen.
Gothic Rock, Prog Rock and Post-Punk all blended in probably best Joy Division's song.
[Newest]Curtis sings this song as if his soul is leaving his body. Definitely one of the greatest songs of all time

13Leaders of Men

Come on, how can Warsaw be out of top 10?

A happy, upbeat sounding song with depressing lyrics, I like it.
It can make me cry...

16A Means to An End
I put my trust in you

All time favorite. Beautiful.


19The Eternal
'No words could explain, no actions determine,
Just watching the trees and the leaves as they fall. '
dear god
Slow, atmospheric, and depressing. This song is what got be into Joy Division.

20No Love Lost
I really like 'no love lost' by joy division because of the intro.. It's very hypnotizing... What a magnificent song!
Fantastic. Especially the one on Ideal For Living with the spacey build-up.
One of the best... top ten certainly

21Twenty Four Hours
It builds up constantly, leaving you wanting a climax, but it never comes, it just burns out. And that, in my opinion, is the song's strength, it emphasizes the emotion and the hopelessness of the lyrics.
So much energy in there. Makes you keep on going ahead.


23Atrocity Exhibition
The song "The Fly" by U2 has been described as a phone call from hell, but this song takes that to much higher levels. A carnival of the grotesque, this song is full of distorted guitars, brilliant vocals and terrifying lyrics, and one of, if not the, best by Joy Division.

Back to the good old days, I remember seeing Joy Division about 10-12 times in the good old days. Still the only song in which I cried to, the final performance at Birmingham uni (I was there) and after hearing it in 1981 it was the definitive Joy Division Song
I am glad someone agrees that this is their saddest song, as I included it in an essay about songs for different emtotions, for "sad". The emotion in this song is unparalelled in the joy Division cannon, and the fact that it's the last song Ian performed makes it even sadder.
Their saddest song, and unfourtunatley true

This song is Ian saying the "live life to it's fullest" propoganda given out by society so you
Go out and use its facilities instead of saying safely indoors.

26In a Lonely Place
This rare gem was one of, if not the last song Joy Division ever recorded, 4 days before Ian's tragic suicide. The snare drumming and deep bass synth instantly set the mood of hopelessness and indeed, loneliness of this track. Ian's lyrics are rather chilling, as they describe how he will soon be. "The hangman looks round as he waits, cord stretches tight then it breaks" His tortured voice uttering this line brings me shivers every time. The track also includes the use of a melodica, an instument Ian had previously utilised on the track "Decades", which also used a similar synth sound to this track. Finally, Bernard's guitar section brings the last two minutes of the track to a dramatic close, as the synth begins to distort and the drumming breaks down towards the last 30 seconds. Truly an overlooked masterpiece.
Both versions. The original is incredible, a unique blend of Joy Division classic atmospheric sound with western movie's harmonica features, something never heard from, never made by and even never approached by any other bands on the earth. Then the New Order remastering in Anton Corbijn's Control motion picture is a true rebirth for this song, at the same time powerful, modern, deep and insightful. Definitely a can't miss.


Not only the most depressive song by Joy Division, but perhaps even the most depressive song ever written. The poor quality of rehearsal recording only adds to the gloomy atmosphere of the song. Along with "Decades" my favourite song.

27Ice Age


Full of powerful rusty chords and great duo of Peter Hook and Ian Curtis vocals

30These Days
Classic post-punk hymn where you already guess the roots of New Order later works. It's also one of the most accessible to the ears of the general public.



32Walked In Line
Delivers a harsh, militaristic vibe, definitely one of my favourites.

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This list was created 4 years, 282 days ago and has been voted on over 500 times. This top ten list has been remixed 3 times.

Updated Friday, April 17, 2015

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