Best Joy Division Songs

The Top Ten
1 Love Will Tear Us Apart

I love this song, but seriously, I don't think it's their best one. But definitely one of the best rock songs ever (if we must rate a piece of art).

Stands as one of the best rock songs of all time. I would then go with Atmosphere and Transmission. So original.

Lyrics to die for! Literally in a way...

Listen to these lyrics. The truth is when you know that a relationship has ended!

2 Shadowplay

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.

Dark and eerie, one of the greatest songs ever crafted.

3 Disorder

The bass and drum combined are electrifying, and Ian Curtis delivers his trademark haunting baritone vocals with fast-paced hooks.

One of the greatest songs ever written. Achingly beautiful, yet driving and decadent.

Love that song. It reminds me of stuff. Now the stuff is dead and gone, but the music remains beautiful.

4 New Dawn Fades

Probably their most emotional song. I've never heard another song with so much raw emotion in it, from the bass transitions to the guitar heaviness to Ian's vocals (which I think demonstrate the true essence of his talent as a singer) and the amazing lyrics. In other words, this song has everything for me.

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.)

The most perfect of Joy Division's songs. The lyrics (of which there are surprisingly few) co-exist in brilliant and haunting harmony with the score.

5 Transmission

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

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.

6 Isolation

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

7 Atmosphere

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

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

Totally moving and chillingly beautiful.

8 Dead Souls

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.

First JD song I ever heard. Completely blew my mind from the first note. Thanks, NIN!

9 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.

I prefer Closer as an album, but this is by far the best Joy Division song, followed by Decades.

Epic song from Ian. This could be one of the best prog rock songs of the '80s decade.

10 Decades

Taking one last breath, this haunting song makes me feel so many hidden emotions. It always makes me blue whenever I hear it, no matter how happy I feel 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 last three songs on the album could not have been better chosen.

The synth on this track is magnificent. Few songs can give me goosebumps as consistently as this one does.

The Contenders
11 Ceremony

Imagine how excellent this song could've been if they had 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.

If only. Had Ian Curtis performed the vocals on this song, it would have been remembered as the amazing song it is, potentially my favorite song of all time.

Listen to the original New Order version and the two live Joy Division recordings. Add Ian Curtis' voice to the song and you will see the greatest song never recorded.

12 Heart and Soul

Eerie and dark, with those bells it makes this track atmospheric and outstanding.

13 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 drive aggressively unlike any other song by JD. Ian Curtis' depression is also plain as ever in this song.

So much energy in there. It makes you keep on going ahead.

14 A Means to an End
15 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.

If I ever got in a car chase, this is the first song I'd want playing.

16 Warsaw

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

17 The Eternal

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

No words could explain, no actions determine,
Just watching the trees and the leaves as they fall.
Dear God.

18 Day of the Lords

Powerful, destructive, and brilliant - Day of the Lords - where time disappears and oblivion is all. Never has the end, or rather the start, been so poetic.

19 Interzone

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

20 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.

21 Leaders of Men
22 I Remember Nothing
23 Wilderness
24 Digital

Back to the good old days. I remember seeing Joy Division about 10-12 times. Still the only song to which I cried. 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 emotions, for "sad." The emotion in this song is unparalleled in the Joy Division canon, and the fact that it's the last song Ian performed makes it even sadder.

25 Failures
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