Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.


An Ideal For Living (Re-Upped)

Northern England Ghetto Music

What was planned to be Joy Division's first LP (unreleased until 1994, except in bootleg form) sounds like an album from the punk era…raw and edgy, undisciplined but tuneful, unlike the group's proper début, Unknown Pleasures. All of the tracks were later seen in different forms, but Warsaw still manages to captivate the listener through its pure energy. In addition to the original twelve tracks from the bootleg studio recordings, the album also includes five tracks from a recording session in July 1977, detailing the most punk-inspired songs in the group's discography.
I remember this album of early Joy Division recordings was one of those úber rare bootlegs you’d have to pay ransom prices for in the 90’s and, if you could find it at all in record fairs and bootleg traders stalls, it was only available on vinyl. I didn’t buy a copy until a few years ago when I picked it up for a reasonable and I’m pretty sure discounted price. Now not that Warsaw is a bad record, but it’s infinitely more “interesting” than it is “good” if you take my meaning.
It’s most interesting specifically from two different standpoints. The first is you often read interviews with ex-Joy Division members where they recount how they were unhappy with Martin Hannett’s famous productions. They’d considered themselves a punk band and weren’t happy with how he turned them into some kind of art project. But since Joy Division seemed so well suited to Hannett’s sound, I always wondered how much of a punk band they really were. It turns out they were a decent punk band (especially judging by the demo sessions recorded at Pennine Sound Studios). Though as a band Warsaw might not have had the lasting impact Joy Division has, they were still a lot more interesting than many other British punk bands from the 1977-78 years.
Which leads me onto the second quite interesting point, which is that this record suggests almost any punk band from the Manchester area, under the direction of Martin Hannett could have become Joy Division or something very much like they became. Ian Curtis‘s cult of personality aside, in some ways Warsaw proves that Hannett was as integral to Joy Division just as much as anyone else. He took a decent enough punk band and made them a phenomenal genre-defining post-punk band that would go on to have a lasting impact on alternative and indie rock for decades to come.
So for classic punk fans who always kind of liked Joy Divisions songs but were never keen on their chilly post-punk aesthetic, this album might prove to be quite enjoyable on its own merits. The production however is still a little thin to be a true punk classic.
For those interested in Joy Division, it’s probably more a curiosity for the completest than an essential album. It’s not a lost masterpiece, far from it.  A lot of these versions bear similarities in rawness to the band’s BBC sessions and higher-fidelity live recordings which is a good, bad or an indifferent thing depending on your personal views of the band’s studio recordings. It’s always a treat to hear “Interzone” played with more rage-fuelled garage-punk gusto than the 1979 Unknown Pleasures version.
If you own everything else by Joy Division, including a number of live bootlegs, you probably can’t get around the fact you pretty much need to pick this up at some point. And it’s actually a lot better (and more enjoyable) than similar semi-apocryphal records by seminal bands.


Tracks A1 to B3 recorded at Arrow Studios, Manchester, England, May 1978.
Track B4 from the Komakino flexi recorded at Britannia Row, March 1980.
Tracks B5 to B9 recorded at Pennine Sound Studios, Manchester, England, July 18, 1977.

Taken from a 180g Vinyl bootleg pressing to glorious MP3 @ 320kbps

Warsaw; Warsaw

A1.  The Drawback
A2.  Leaders Of Men
A3.  They Walked In Line
A4.  Failures
A5.  Novelty
A6.  No Love Lost
A7.  Transmission
A8.  Living In The Ice Age
B1.  Interzone
B2.  Warsaw
B3.  Shadowplay
B4.  As You Said
B5.  Inside The Line
B6.  Gutz
B7.  At A Later Date
B8.  The Kill
B9.  You’re No Good For Me


  1. Thanks for posting this. I can finally throw away my old cassette version now.

    1. You're more then welcome. I hope you enjoy.