Peter Hook Recalls The First Time Joy Division Played “Transmission”

Peter Hook Recalls The First Time Joy Division Played “Transmission”

joy division
 Ian Curtis and Joy Division. Photo by Chris Mills/Redferns.

Joy Division’s “Transmission” was released as a single 40 years ago in October of 1979, following on from their renowned debut album Unknown Pleasures. The song represents more than a moment of change for Joy Division – by incorporating disco and mod elements into their songwriting, the band pioneered a new and unique sound that, over the next few decades, would have a monumental impact the evolution of dance and pop music. Despite the fact that Joy Division’s career (1976–1980) was sadly cut short when their singer, Ian Curtis lost his battle to suicide in 1980, it’s hard to imagine what modern music might sound like now without their pivotal contribution. 

Joy Division | “Transmission” [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Legendary Joy Division and New Order bassist, Peter Hook, spoke with Radio X about the iconic song, recalling the first time the band played their enigmatic hit that officially marked their transformation from punk to new wave.

Peter Hook | Radio X Interview

Peter Hook, told Radio X that the song was a milestone in the band's career: “The first time I noticed anything different was when we’d written a song that weekend. And we had a gig on Thursday, so we thought we’d play that song at the gig.”

“We played the new song, which was Transmission - and everyone in the whole place stopped literally what they were doing to listen and to turn round and watch us. It was an absolutely bizarre moment. It really made the hair on your arms stand up and shivers down your spine.

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