Best Joy Division Songs

The Top Ten

1 Love Will Tear Us Apart 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.

Through the years, maybe till the day I'm 70 years old this song will still haunt me.

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).

2 Shadowplay Shadowplay

A poetic recount of life's futility and inequity; Curtis pulls Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" from the silence.

Dark and ere, one of the greatest songs ever crafted. - Quart

Such a dark and heavy track. Love the guitar melody and tone.
Turn the lights out and drift away - LostinSonics

3 Disorder Disorder

One of my all time favourites, along with "They Walked In Line", "Atmosphere".

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

4 Transmission

That opening bass line is legitimately chilling. And the emotive tear of Curtis' vocals as the track plateaus. Pretty much a perfect song.

Obviously love will tear us apart is the biggest hit, and it's a really good tune but transmission is my favourite toon for sure

Love will tear us apart and Disorder surely are the tops for lyrics but the guitar on this will never fail to send chills.

Ian sings like a desperate soul trapped in an automaton's body. Haunting. Sad. Touching.

5 New 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. - PositronWildhawk

Best song ever written. With no hyperbole.

6 Isolation

A happy, upbeat sounding song with depressing lyrics, I like it.

It can make me cry...

7 Atmosphere

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

In my humble opinion the greatest song of all time, haunting, timeless, brilliant.

Totally moving and chillingly beautiful.

My phone ring tone. That says it all

8 Decades

Beautiful instrumentals

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)

The most depressive JD song. As it is the last track on their last LP, it is like the last breath of Ian Curtis before his death. It's simply the best one.

Gothic Rock, Prog Rock and Post-Punk all blended in probably best Joy Division's song.

9 Dead Souls

Personally I think NIN's version is better (mostly because of the quality), but this is the original, so it's deathless

Love to play this at full volume in my car with windows down and scare people with its dark majesty...


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

1 Comment
10 She'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.

It is like Kurt's "Lithium", not greatest but the best, for sure.

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

11 Twenty 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.

In my opinion, this is probably their greatest song. The song builds and falls but the bass and drum line drives aggressively unlike any other song by JD. Ian Curtis' depression was also plain as ever in this song.

So much energy in there. Makes you keep on going ahead.

12 Ceremony

If only the mic didn't fail in the first verse

Imagine how excellent this song could've been if they only got the chance to finish fully recording it, it sounds like it could've been their best song yet. Too bad Ian killed himself before they got a chance to finish recording it though.

Listion to the radiohead version, its what it wouldve sounded like if they finished it

What I would give to hear a clear full recording of ian curtis on vocals, and uncover the lyrics if the lost first verse

13 Heart and Soul

Ere and dark, with those bells it makes this track atmospheric and outstanding. - Quart

Intrigating and dark. Just beautiful

14 A Means to an End

Public Image LTD totally ripped this sound on Metal Box

I put my trust in you

15 The Eternal

Slow, atmospheric, and depressing. This song is what got be into Joy Division.

'No words could explain, no actions determine,
Just watching the trees and the leaves as they fall. '
dear god


16 No 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

17 Warsaw

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

18 Day 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.

19 Leaders of Men
20 Digital

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

The best

21 Interzone

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

22 Atrocity 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.

23 Failures
24 I Remember Nothing
25 Insight


All time favorite. Beautiful.

26 Passover
27 In 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. - n00w

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.

This is not only my favorite Joy Division song ever, but my favorite song of all time. This song is Ian's suicide note.

28 Autosuggestion

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.

29 Something Must Break

HIGHLY underrated song. The instrumental is excellent and it has a nice dark sound

30 Colony
31 These 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. - n00w

32 Sound of Music
33 Ice Age
34 Candidate
35 The Only Mistake
36 Glass
37 Walked In Line

Delivers a harsh, militaristic vibe, definitely one of my favourites.

38 Novelty
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List Stats

1,000 votes
38 listings
9 years, 130 days old

Top Remixes (12)

1. Shadowplay
2. Heart and Soul
3. Love Will Tear Us Apart
1. Dead Souls
2. Ceremony
3. Leaders of Men
1. Love Will Tear Us Apart
2. Disorder
3. Shadowplay

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