Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Joy Division/New Order

In dealing with the case of Joy Division and New Order we have the case of two bands that share a core membership, the second band coming out of the first after the death of the leader of Joy Division by suicide (itself a sign of the self-destructiveness that seems inherent in Rock & Roll). In dealing with these two bands, with different musical influence but the same body of core members, some have chosen to consider them as one case (rather like Parliament/Funkadelic and Faces/Small Faces), as the UK Music Hall of Fame did in inducting both of them together [1]. Others have chosen to examine the case of both bands separately, as did “Not In The Hall Of Fame” in making Joy Division its #29 worst snub and New Order its #6 worst snub [2] [3]. I have chosen the former position here as taking the two bands as one combined entry, recognizing the influence of both on the course of rock & roll music history. And so we will examine the two of them separately but together as making an overwhelming case for induction for the combined whole.

Joy Division/New Order’s Contribution

The contribution of both Joy Division and New Order was immense, though largely very different, in Rock & Roll. Ian Curtis (sole songwriter of Joy Division) committed suicide at the age of 23, and Joy Division only had two albums, which nonetheless made them a pivotal and essential member of the post-punk movement and an inspiration to many bands like U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Moby [4]. The surviving members of Joy Division then formed New Order in the aftermath of Curtis’ death and explored a techno direction that allowed them to fuse New Wave and techno in a way that had never been done before, leading to mainstream success, including five #1 dance hits on the American charts, as well as influence for such acts Pet Shop Boys and The Killers [5]. Combined, the combination between critical acclaim and undeniable and recognized influence in two genres means both of these bands are worthy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame status.

Why Joy Division/New Order Is A No-Brainer For The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

What Joy Division did in their two short albums was show how post-punk could take advantage of the energy of punk while exploring darker and gloomier material than punk managed to show. Songs like “Impression” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” showcased a brooding side of rock & roll that was the inspiration for many later artists, despite the lack of commercial success the band had [6]. On the other hand, New Order had both influence and undeniable popularity, as their songs (like “Blue Monday,” “True Faith,” and “Bizarre Love Triangle,” among others) remain enduring dance songs often covered by other artists, and demonstrated that techno could have a solid rock & roll foundation [7]. Though the influence of Joy Division and New Order is in different genres of Rock & Roll (post-punk as opposed to techno), the shared membership and organic progression of New Order from Joy Division suggests that we should recognize both of these bands together for the immense influence that both bands have had on music history.

Why Joy Division/New Order Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

There are really a few reasons why Joy Division/New Order is not yet in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. For one, it is possible that despite their tradition of combining related bands and acts together into one frankenband (like Parliament/Funkadelic and Small Faces/Faces), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Committee may be looking at the separate cases of both bands in isolation, without the interest in making its core membership double inductees. In addition, no Rock & Roll band has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame without significant North American success, which Joy Division did not have. Also, a key influence of New Order was Kraftwerk, a band that has itself been snubbed along with the vast majority of worthy techno acts [8] like Depeche Mode (which will be the subject of a future entry in this series). As a result of these reasons, Joy Division/New Order has not received its no-brainer induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Verdict: These two bands are worthy of separate induction. Together, they are an undeniable influence in multiple areas of Rock & Roll, having key roles in the development of both post-punk and techno. Combine the two bands and their core members and induct them both at the same time. Save everyone a lot of trouble and typed words about how out of touch the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is to music. Joy Division/New Order is one of the essential snubs that would signal among the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a commitment both to acts (like Joy Division and Kraftwerk) without a great deal of popularity in the United States as well as techno acts (like New Order). Given the underrepresented nature of the band’s genre, this is a no-brainer induction that would be a sign of a decreased amount of snobbery against dance acts with clear Rock & Roll chops.

[1] http://www.nme.com/news/new-order/21281

[2] http://www.notinhalloffame.com/index.php/rock-and-roll/item/8-

[3] http://www.notinhalloffame.com/index.php/rock-and-roll/item/27-29-joy-division

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_Division

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Order

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_Division_discography

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Order_discography

[8] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-kraftwer/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Joy Division/New Order

  1. Pingback: Jeff Diamond>INSIDE THE NFL | thechess.info

  2. Thanks for the pingback.

  3. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Phil Collins | Edge Induced Cohesion

  4. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Depeche Mode | Edge Induced Cohesion

  5. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Pat Benatar | Edge Induced Cohesion

  6. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Cure | Edge Induced Cohesion

  7. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Steve Winwood | Edge Induced Cohesion

  8. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Don Henley | Edge Induced Cohesion

  9. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: 10,000 Maniacs | Edge Induced Cohesion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s