I've been listening to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" for almost an hour-and-a-half.

No need to lock the medicine cabinet, I’m fine.

It’s just that yesterday someone posted an entry at MeFi linking to thirty-something .mp3s of covers of Joy Division’s classic emo anthem, and I’m in just the right mood for unhealthy doses of it. Serious earworm infection yesterday, and I woke up singing it in the shower and had to crank it up Desmond-style as I prepared my coffee and breakfast, sorted out my correspondence, checked in on my news aggregates, and fired up the Dope…

You might think that an hour-and-a-half of angsty droning might get a bit thin, but there’s actually a huge amount of variation represented. Plenty of appropriately ironic lounge interpretations, sure – but there’s also polka, dub, electronic, a nice string quartet version, and on and on.

About 45 minutes in, something snapped and I found myself singing along with some Norwegian progressive/experimental ensemble’s version in my half-assed Neil Young voice – and then when it changed to a more straight-forward interpretation, it somehow made sense to switch over to my poorest Louis Armstrong imitation.

Woooo… now my brain is flooding with endorphins (and caffeine) and I’m drifting into an altered state of consciousness. Colours are brighter and I’m experiencing halos and mild tracers.

Why is the bedroom so cold? You’re turned away on your side… Is my timing so flawed? Our respect run so dry?


My God, it’s full of stars!

Hmmmm. Apparently Google has come to its conclusions about why someone might choose to listen to Love Will Tear Us Apart for extended periods.

Makes sense, I suppose.

How dare you besmirch Joy Division by calling the song emo? :mad:
I do have to admit though, I’ve heard a really crappy emo version of it.

I just read this book about depressing songs, mostly songs the author doesn’t like, and it has the song in it because he thinks it drones on too much. I disagree with him about that, but it is a depressing song. It didn’t really hit me until the book went over some of the lyrics.

I think their album Closer is much more depressing though. When I listened to part of it, the first song really messed with my head.

I agree about JD not being emo - emo is put-on tween angst; Ian Curtis lived in pain, and then killed himself - biiiig difference.

Does this collection have the two Swans versions on it? because those are my favourites.

I see one Swans entry. I’m not sure if it’s legal to link to, but I found it by googling mefi, and then on the first entry searching the page for Joy Division.

Actually, it looks like both Swans versions are on there. On the same blog, I once found a very cool mp3 of the singer from the Decemberists singing “Everyday is Like Sunday.” That’s worth checking out if you like Morrissey and The Decemberists.

Ahhhh, so there’s actually another gloom-rock song people cover other than “How Soon is Now”?

I love Joy Division, but any song that has lines like “resentment rides high, but emotions won’t grow” and “there’s a taste in my mouth, as desperation takes hold,” is quintessentially emo, even if we didn’t call it that at the time.

There’s still time for all those sad little wankers to even the score. [/GTH]

Yes! Both versions. I think the collection is quite comprehensive.

I’m really getting off on a tongue-in-cheek (I think) version by a group called “Albert Kuvezin & Yat-Kha.”

Love Will Tear Us Apart – Now With More Throat Singing!

I don’t like doing this, but even given your explanation — EMO? :confused:

Melody? No
Hardcore punk music? No
Whiny singing? No
Angst-filled lyrics? Sort of. Not high-schoolish enough really.

So it really only has an “emo score” of 1 out of 8 [/category geek]

Eh, we just have different senses of the word. “Emo,” for me, isn’t such a narrowly-defined musical genre, it’s sort of a vague aesthetic.

I hate to admit it, since I’m usually such a pissy prescriptivist, but the word only entered my vocabulary after its meaning had drifted considerably. It’s like “Rock & Roll,” which had a very narrow musical definition in 1957, but within a decade or two came to be applied to anything that was very vaguely rebellious and libidinous, even though Alan Freed would probably take exception to it. Substitute “morose” for “rebellious” and you’ve got the analogous drift of “emo.”

That being said, unless I’m much mistaken, we both agree that Fall Out Boy is “emo,” right? How distinct is the difference between their performance of Love Will Tear Us Apart and Joy Division’s, really?

Not very, in my opinion.

I came in here specifically to mention/link to that version.

It’s not tongue-in-cheek. Yat-Kha (that’s a person, not a band) is a Tuvan throat singer, who fell in love with Western rock and punk and has made it a persoonal quest to combine the two.

The result isn’t something I can listen to for a long time at a stretch, but is totally unlike any sound I’ve ever heard. If he were to play a show in Memphis, I would stand in the rain for a long time to see it.

(Yat-Kha’s Web site has his cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again” for download here. If you poke around the pages under “CDs,” you’ll find a fair number of mp3s to sample.)

Thanks for linking to that, jackelope. The cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart is something special, and must be heard.

I absolutely must have Recovers, now. If they had regular credit card payments and not just paypal, it’d be mine already – mainly because I’m going to be itchy until I get to hear his interpretation of Captain Beefheart’s Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles.

I’ve always been fascinated by throat-singing – and this is an application I’d never dreamed of. Far-fecking-out.

Very, in my opinion. That was the crappy emo cover I mentioned earlier. Maybe I should hear it again and compare it.
At any rate, their cover of Sonic Reducer is terrible, definitely worse than their cover of LWTUA, which I guess isn’t that bad, except I’m biased against them.

It’s clear to me that the word emo means something different to me than it does to you, so I don’t really see the need to keep arguing about it.

I made a mix like this with about 15 covers on it and surprisingly, it didn’t get old fast when played for friends. It was actually kind of nice background music at a party, though I think it helped that the covers varied in style.