It was on this day (June 15th) in 1979 that JOY DIVISION unveiled their iconic debut album 'Unknown Pleasures' via Factory Records; an album that would go on to inspire thousands of musicians, and one with an artwork that has become one of the most famous music-themed T-shirt designs in history.

Joy Division - Unknown PleasuresJoy Division - Unknown Pleasures

Produced by Martin Hannett, 'Unknown Pleasures' unveiled a new sound to the mainstream. Joy Division were among the first post-punk bands to popularise the gothic rock genre and with songs like 'New Dawn Fades', 'She's Lost Control' and 'Shadowplay', the album still has a special place in the hearts of goths and post-punk fans everywhere.

Despite its legacy, however, it wasn't quite the phenomenon that it is now, almost forty years on. Reviews were initially very mixed, and sales of the record were slow for the first four months. It wasn't until they released the song 'Transmission' that their popularity began to grow.

Of course, it became something of a morbidly fascinating listen following lead singer Ian Curtis' suicide almomst a year later, ahead of the release of the band's second album 'Closer' and their biggest ever single 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'.

The band first formed in Manchester in 1976 and initially decided on the band name 'Warsaw' in honour of David Bowie's song 'Warszawa'. Their early influences were the punk bands of the time, with guitarist Bernard Sumner and bassist Peter Hook having decided to form after watching the Sex Pistols live.

They eventually brought in Ian Curtis without an audition, and later his old school pal Stephen Morris as a drummer, and they would go on to play their first gig as Joy Division in January 1978. 

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Following Curtis' death, the remaining members became New Order, while Peter Hook would go on to form Peter Hook and the Light. Even today 'Unknown Pleasures' is often played live in full by the latter.