Check Out Radiohead’s Brilliant Cover of Joy Division’s “Ceremony”

Check Out Radiohead’s Brilliant Cover of Joy Division’s “Ceremony”

ian curtis, thom yorke
L: Ian Curtis of Joy Division. Photo by Chris Mills/Redferns/Getty Images. R: Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty Images. 

Joy Division’s run in the spotlight was one of the shortest, and most influential, in the history of music. Their final album arrived less than two years after their debut EP, but in that time they managed to define Manchester post-punk, pre-empt electronic New Wave and create a majestic catalogue of music that only increases in significance over time. 

“Ceremony” was one of the last tracks recorded by the band, prior to the death of frontman Ian Curtis in May of 1980 and was perfumed live at their final ever performance. The song was then re-recorded and released as the debut single of the surviving members’ reformed outfit, New Order in 1981, and remains a stand-out in both band’s catalogues to this day. 

In 2007, Radiohead decided to pay homage to the British icons with a  cover of “Ceremony” during a livestream webcast – a format that is all too familiar since 2020 but was somewhat unique for its time. Staying true to the original, the band delivered one of the most authentic recreations of the track (in its analog form) in existence. 

Ian Curtis’ striking presence remains an unbeatable enigma, but we think Joy Division fans are sure to rate this brilliant tribute to the band by Thom Yorke and co. Check it out below! 

Radiohead | “Ceremony”

A live version of Joy Division’s “Ceremony,” captured at their final concert at Birmingham University on 2 May 1980, appeared on the Still album which was released by Factory Records in 1981. 


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