On May 18, 1980, Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis committed suicide in his kitchen at the age of 23. A month later, the band released “Love Will Tear us Apart,” which was written and had made a live debut the preceding year. The song was far and away Joy Division’s biggest “hit,” peaking at #13 on the UK Singles chart and, somewhat amusingly, at #42 on the American Dance/Disco charts.
Whether due to the proximity of Curtis’ death or just the fact that it is unbelievably catchy in an extremely maudlin way, “Love Will Tear us Apart” has lived on in ways I’m sure the band didn’t expect. Today, it is probably one of the top two or three cover songs that so-called “indie” bands learn and add to their sets as they start off. To celebrate the life of Ian Curtis, we’ve collected a dozen covers of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” ranging from folk to metal to easy listening and back again, in one place for you to parse through. Curtis would have been 60 this year.
Broken Social Scene
Atoms For Peace