Collecting Music in an Analog Age

In the early 1980s, I had a day job crunching numbers for a financial company in midtown Manhattan. But when the nine-to-five, suit and tie part of my day was finished, it was time for music to take over. I would listen to my favorite albums on my Sony Pressman (the ancestor of the soon-to-be released Walkman), on crappy headphones, wearing the long, gray tweed coat I’d bought used in Greenwich Village.

I was a fan of Joy Division, the seminal post-punk group from Manchester, England. Their two studio albums, Unknown Pleasures and Closer, were part of the soundtrack for my life in those days. After Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980, the band morphed into New Order and recorded the last two songs Curtis had co-written. This first single contained two gray-tinged songs, Ceremony and In a Lonely Place, that were apt successors to Joy Division’s signature sound. This record, released on the small Factory label, was hard to find in New York City, where I lived at the time, but it was a must-have: this was the final statement of a group that would become legendary.

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