IsolationJoy Division – Isolation (Live at the Lyceum Ballroom)

This combination of image and music was what inspired me to create shotwithsound.

The way the photo almost subliminally makes me think of the song was what encouraged me to begin blogging about images that fit music. The first time I saw the shot – which almost coincidentally came together – on the preview screen of my camera, in an almost synaesthetic way, I started to hum the synth line from Isolation.

I rarely take photos in black and white (I prefer to give myself the option of converting the file at a later date) but with this image, I was checking to see how the rock formation looked, as the man who appears in the image walked by and I captured him, in black and white.

Joy Division are usually thought of as being a particularly industrial band, in sound, image, and soul if you will, but I think this image shows that their music, at its most powerful, can describe the loneliness of man in nature just as effectively as describing him living in a Ballardian dystopia. This version of Isolation was recorded live at the Lyceum Ballroom in London in 1980,  only three months before Ian Curtis’ suicide, and just before the sessions for Closer, the posthumously released album on which it featured. It brings the synth to the front, and I think the vocal sounds more haunted and desperate that the fairly clean one recorded for Closer, so in some ways darker, but also lighter: “but if you could just see the beauty” indeed.

Get it from Amazon (the Heart and Soul boxset live at the Lyceum version):

Image of Heart & Soul (2008 UK re-issue)

Download it on iTunes (the released version from Closer):

Joy Division - Closer (Collector's Edition) - Isolation

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