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Love WILL Tear Us Apart
May 23, 2006 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Covers It seems that, according to this guy, the fastest way to success is to cover Joy Division's classic 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. These 25 artists have taken his suggestion to heart, with covers ranging from rock giants U2 to latest pop punk darlings Fall Out Boy, via French lounge act Nouvelle Vague and, of course, New Order.
posted by muthecow (39 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's a lot of love.

Never has this song been used better than in the finale of Series 7: The Contenders...
posted by slimepuppy at 7:05 AM on May 23, 2006


Downloaded a bunch of these yesterday. The 10,000 Maniacs version is comically bad.

I was a little surprised that so few of the artists tried to make it their own--then again, it's probably intimidating to mess with a classic.
posted by whatnot at 7:07 AM on May 23, 2006


How cute, just as I come over to this window, the song starts playing on the radio.
posted by kjell at 7:09 AM on May 23, 2006


The power that was Joy Division really shows when you compare their awesome original version (or the Peel Session version) to the rest. RIP Ian.
posted by caddis at 7:13 AM on May 23, 2006


New Order's "Ceremony" is a truly a spiritual experience.

Not three days ago I heard it in Urban Outfitters, and I wanted to vomit forever.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:17 AM on May 23, 2006


And for me, Joy Division's "Decades" is the basis of every electro song made in the last 5 years.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:21 AM on May 23, 2006


Even though I do not like the cover version very much, that voice of Yat-Kah is amazing!
Nice link, thanks muthecow!
posted by Glow Bucket at 7:21 AM on May 23, 2006


Great link, muthecow thanks for posting. My personal favorite is "Digital", which I covered in at least a couple of bands, to great effect... only a couple of people in the crowd actually recognized it as a JD song even though we played it more or less straight.

Only because you mentioned them, I watched Falloutboy on SNL a few weeks (repeat, I think) back, and they really impressed me with their sound and their energy. Then I bought a couple of albums of theirs and was very disappointed. The album versions sounded like Lit, Blink 182 or some other generic fourth generation SoCal "punk" band. Anyone care to offer up a defense for them? I was so bored after a couple of listens, I filed them under Sell the CDs on Ebay.
posted by psmealey at 7:43 AM on May 23, 2006


Listening to the String Quartet tribute...not bad, but could've been so much better...
posted by pax digita at 7:45 AM on May 23, 2006


Here's a little JD fun fact. Ian Curtis spent the evening before they recorded LWTUAA listening to old Sinatra records so he could employ some of Sinatra's style and phrasing into it. Kinda weird, I think. But I appreciate the ambition. I would have to say Decades and 24 hours (both on Closer) are my favorite JD songs in that this-song-is-so-beautiful-and-sad-I can't-even-listen-to-it sort of way. You know what I mean. The songs that I can-listen-to-but-aren't-as-beautiful and make me bop araound like a gloombot would have to be Isolation, Transmission and She's lost control Again.
posted by Skygazer at 7:57 AM on May 23, 2006


New Order's shouldn't count as a cover.

10,000 Maniacs shouldn't count as a cover, either. That's more of a butchering.
posted by herc at 8:05 AM on May 23, 2006


Neat coincidence; I was listening to JD on the way in to work today. The Swans covers are good, and the other cover (not listed here) of a JD song I really and truly enjoyed was Low's cover of Transmission.
posted by boo_radley at 8:07 AM on May 23, 2006


There's really no defending Fall Out Boy's records -- either you like radio-friendly pop-rock or you don't. I am a little surprised at how different they sound live, though. I saw them on Conan (I think) last year and they were unbelievably bad technically -- off-beat, out of tune, sounding -- ironically -- like a fourth-rate cover band.
posted by aaronetc at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2006


I can't say any of the imitations I've heard have exactly moved me. Is that comforting or disappointing?


"Rule #1: Put a hot girl on keyboard or bass."
What the hell is the point of a girl on keyboard when she could be striding, crop-toppily in front of the dreary lead singer with a mighty musical guitar phallus, slapping out belly-shaking bass goodness?

No self-respecting fan boy perv is going to come watch your dismal band's best asset sit behind a musical 2-by-4.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 8:11 AM on May 23, 2006


I don't recall Squarepusher having a "hot girl on keyboard or bass..."
posted by vkxmai at 8:19 AM on May 23, 2006


No self-respecting fan boy perv is going to come watch your dismal band's best asset sit behind a musical 2-by-4.

Errr... And for no other reason the Dandy Warhols' sell tickets to fan boy pervs. Why? Simply put, they have Zia McCabe (wiki) behind the keyboard (NSFW).
posted by DragonBoy at 8:27 AM on May 23, 2006


One thing I love about covers is the way they can distort time when you're young. Same for sampling. When you know the cover before the original, especially when the original is pretty famous and you just had never heard it yet, it can twist chronology.
posted by tracy_the_astonishing at 8:33 AM on May 23, 2006


The Bis cover is great, really remote but somehow affected at the same time. Bis were a massively underrated band, years ahead of their time.
posted by hnnrs at 8:33 AM on May 23, 2006


One thing I love about covers is the way they can distort time when you're young.

Another thing that's pretty cool about them is the effect they can have on their original performers/composers. Robert Smith often said that the Cure changed the live arrangement of "Just Like Heaven" after listening to Dinosaur Jr.'s version of the song.
posted by psmealey at 8:44 AM on May 23, 2006


there's lots more here:

http://www.lwtua.free-online.co.uk/shadowplay/joyd/lovewill.html
posted by jsavimbi at 8:44 AM on May 23, 2006


I like the Squarepusher. Surprisingly straight-up.
posted by bardic at 8:49 AM on May 23, 2006


The Paul Young version plays constantly in Hell.
posted by kar120c at 9:05 AM on May 23, 2006


I would have to say Decades and 24 hours (both on Closer) are my favorite JD songs in that this-song-is-so-beautiful-and-sad-I can't-even-listen-to-it sort of way.

Seconded.

It's too bad that I can't stand but maybe one of the LWTUA covers, though, since most of them sound like they've replaced emotion with money.
posted by vanadium at 9:16 AM on May 23, 2006


I paid genuine cash money to attend a concert where Paul Young performed Love Will Tear Us Apart.

Phil Collins was there. As was Princess Diana.

It was, in retrospect, the lowest moment in my life.
posted by scaryduck at 9:26 AM on May 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know what I mean.

Yup I call it, "music to slit your wrists by" and I have to be in the right kind of head space to listen to it, especially Closer.

Have to say listening to some of those covers was like being assaulted at the store (which pumps AM Radio drivel into the aisles) by Gwen Stefani doing her version of It's My Life* ... there are some things in life people shouldn't even consider doing.

*please stop it hurts to listen.
posted by squeak at 9:32 AM on May 23, 2006


Oh, Twenty Four Hours is the best Joy Division song by a pretty wide margin.
posted by furiousthought at 9:50 AM on May 23, 2006


Same treatment for The Smiths' "There is a Light That Never Goes Out".
posted by yerfatma at 9:57 AM on May 23, 2006


I've always been partial to the Swans' Red Version; it's a nice counter to Coil's rendition of "Tainted Love".
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:57 AM on May 23, 2006


Oh my, where is jonmc, Don't Fear the Reaper has also received the same treatment.
posted by caddis at 10:14 AM on May 23, 2006


Was it Donnie Darko that began this JD resurgance? I've been trying to pinpoint it, but whatever the answer, their time was due.
posted by afx114 at 10:52 AM on May 23, 2006


And I thought Joy Division was just doing a cover of the old Captain & Tennille hit.

You learn something new every day.
posted by wendell at 11:09 AM on May 23, 2006


Google Music?
When did that happen? I missed it... glad I've found it now.
posted by MinPin at 11:38 AM on May 23, 2006


The Paul Young version plays constantly in Hell.

Yeah, that particular cover's pretty horrific. Thanks for the link, muthecow. Some of these aren't as bad as I was expecting, especially the Swans one.
posted by kryptondog at 1:45 PM on May 23, 2006


Aqualung does a good God Only Knows.
posted by Tlogmer at 2:58 PM on May 23, 2006


Was it Donnie Darko that began this JD resurgance?

As much as I love DD (and JD), I'm thinking it was in 2002, when we saw the confluence of the release of 24 Hour Party People, and the popularity of Interpol's first full length album, which was about as close to the Joy Division spirit (if not the sound) as I had heard in years .
posted by psmealey at 3:30 PM on May 23, 2006


I've always been partial to the Swans' Red Version; it's a nice counter to Coil's rendition of "Tainted Love".

Maybe I would be less chuffed if I hung out on last.fm more (or at all), but it's still pretty nice to see somebody else with the same (relatively obscure? - ie single/EP only?) covers.

Oh, yeh, and I second or third the 24 Hours thing.

Does anybody know if any contestants in any of the Idol franchises have butchered Love etc yet?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:46 PM on May 23, 2006


New Order's shouldn't count as a cover.

Yep, seems to me they should be allowed to re-record. Some of the others, though - yipes!
posted by WaterSprite at 9:51 PM on May 23, 2006


The Cure wins.
posted by blacklite at 12:48 AM on May 24, 2006


Only because you mentioned them, I watched Falloutboy on SNL a few weeks ... Anyone care to offer up a defense for them?

No, they're awful.

I've never covered Love Will Tear Us Apart. But I covered The Magnetic Fields "Book of Love" on my first EP, and that shit sells waaay more on iTunes than any of my stuff. And in way more countries.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:32 AM on May 24, 2006


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