Peter Hook and Opinions on Passion Pit

The legend of Joy Division continues to grow decades after the death of frontman Ian Curtis. Peter Hook, founding bassist for both Joy Division and its successor New Order, joins Jim and Greg to set the record straight on the mythology surrounding his influential bands. Later, a review of the new release from indietronica artist Passion Pit.

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In the UK, pop has overtaken rock as the most popular genre of music in terms of chart success. Acts like Ed Sheeran, One Direction and Sam Smith have helped propel pop to its highest sales since 1999, but it's a different story in the United States. In 2014, rock music claimed 29% of sales, while pop only generated about half of that. These numbers have Jim and Greg thinking, are more rock fans buying physical products than fans of other genres of music?

The Library of Congress has selected new music for its National Recording Registry and there certainly is a range. The National Recording Registry is a list of recordings that are“historically, culturally or aesthetically important.”Some of the 2015 selections include Steve Martin's stand-up special A Wild and Crazy Guy, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Joan Baez's self-titled album, the song "Stand By Me" and Sesame Street's "Rubber Duckie."


Peter Hook

Joy Division only recorded two proper studio albums before lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980. But those releases, a string of fantastic singles and Curtis‘ own legend continue to impact fans today. But, as is often the case with legends, there’s a lot of fiction amongst the fact. And Peter Hook, the hugely influential bass player in Joy Division and New Order, wants to clear a few things up in his book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. First, there's the tragic image of Ian itself. True, he struggled with depression, a failing marriage and a debilitating case of epilepsy that would lead to his death. But, Peter describes a beer-drinking prankster full of joy when it came to the music. He also admits that he and the band weren't initially crazy about the sparse, moody sound Joy Division fans adore today. Much of that credit goes to producer Martin Hannett. For more on Joy Division listen to this episode.

Then, of course, we come to New Order's bitter divorce. Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter achieved more success than Joy Division. They disbanded in 2006, but recently reunited without Peter. Listening to the interview, you can hear the hard feelings, but Peter admits he'd play with those amazing musicians anytime. So how did New Order fare on their 2013 release without Peter Hook? Check out Jim and Greg's review.

reviewKindredKindred available on iTunes

Passion Pit Kindred

Frontman Michael Angelakos of the indietronica act Passion Pit has come a long way since "Sleepyhead" became a MySpace hit in 2008. He's now returned with a third album of shimmery electronic pop, Kindred. Jim is amazed by how Angelakos, who suffers from bipolar disorder, finds catharsis in making irresistible dance pop. Although he addresses his pain in Kindred, Angelakos never mopes but rather celebrates life. Electronic Dance Music rarely has real soul like this. Greg is also pleased to find this record more optimistic than the previous release, Gossamer. Angelakos has a knack for making commercial music that avoids pop cliches through his brilliant symphonic keyboard arrangements. According to Greg, it's a great pop record with finely honed songs from beginning to end. Both critics give Kindred a Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Paloma Faith, Only Love Can Hurt Like This, A Perfect Contradiction, RCA, 2014
  2. Sesame Street Cast, Put Down the Duckie, Sesame Street Platinum All-Time Favorites, Sony, 1995
  3. Joy Division, Transmission, Transmission (Single), Factory, 1979
  4. Joy Division, Atrocity Exhibition, Control, Factory, 1981
  5. Sex Pistols, Seventeen, Never Mind the Bollocks, Virgin, 1977
  6. Joy Division, Atmosphere, Atmosphere (Single), Factory, 1980
  7. Joy Division, Heart and Soul, Control, Factory, 1981
  8. New Order, Dreams Never End, Movement, Factory, 1981
  9. Joy Division, Isolation, Closer, Factory, 1980
  10. Joy Division, She's Lost Control, Unknown Pleasures, Factory, 1979
  11. Joy Division, Shadowplay, Unknown Pleasures, Factory, 1979
  12. Joy Division, Digital, Substance, Factory, 1988
  13. New Order, Blue Monday, Substance, Factory, 1987
  14. Joy Division, Dead Souls, Substance, Factory, 1988
  15. Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Substance, Factory, 1988
  16. New Order, In a Lonely Place, In a Lonely Place (Single), Factory, 1981
  17. New Order, Ceremony, Ceremony (Single), Factory, 1981
  18. New Order, Age of Consent, Power, Corruption & Lies, Factory, 1983
  19. New Order, Regret, Regret (Single), London, 1993
  20. Passion Pit, Lifted Up (1985), Lifted up (1985) (Single), Columbia, 2015
  21. Passion Pit, Where the Sky Hangs, Kindred, Columbia, 2015
  22. Telex, Moskow Diskow, Looking for St. Tropez, Sire, 1979
  23. Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers, Get Off the Phone, Live at Max's Kansas City, Beggars Banquet, 1979
  24. The Rolling Stones, Brown Sugar, Sticky Fingers, Rolling Stones, 1971
  25. Sleater-Kinney, Hey Darling, No Cities to Love, Sub Pop, 2015
  26. Jay and the Americans, Come a Little Bit Closer, Come a Little Bit Closer (Single), United Artists Records, 1964
  27. The Rutles, Cheese and Onions, The Rutles, Warner Bros., 1978

Footnotes Pop overtakes rock in the UK New admissions to National Recording Registry Sound Opinions on Joy Division & Control Sound Opinions reviews New Order Peter Hook Remembering Martin Hannett New Order RIP Ian Curtis Passion Pit Passion Pit on Sound Opinions“Gossamer”review Sound Opinions on synth-pop