Peter Hook to re-record Joy Division songs

Former Joy Division and New Order bassist to rework three tracks with ex-Happy Mondays singer Rowetta. There could even be an album in the pipeline ...

Peter Hook has revealed plans to re-record three Joy Division songs on a new EP. Thirty years after the death of Ian Curtis, with his latest project having more or less collapsed around his ears, Hook will revisit Atmosphere and two more classics with the help of X Factor loser and former Happy Mondays singer Rowetta.

Hook revealed his plans in an interview with Slicing Up Eyeballs. Recently, he has been travelling the world on the Unknown Pleasures tour, playing Joy Division songs with his new group, the Light, and Rowetta. "A lot of people come to me and [say], 'Wow, you look like you're really enjoying [playing old songs],'" he explained. "And I'm thinking, 'I am.'" Since Hook is enjoying them so much, he is doing us all the enormous favour of zombie-walking them back across the studio floor. With the backing singer from Happy Mondays.

"The versions of the songs with Rowetta have a really nice quality," Hook claimed. "[She] wants us to record an EP of the four [Joy Division songs] that she sings [live]." These are Insight, New Dawn Fades, Atmosphere, and an unreleased song called Pictures, which Hook recovered from an Ian Curtis demo. "So we're going to do [that]."

How will fans feel about this? Perhaps Mani, Hook's Freebass bandmate, provides an insight. "[Pete]'s a self-centred sellout reduced to hawking his mate's corpse around to get paid," he once tweeted. Although Mani later retracted this statement, Joy Division fans may not be so kind. Asked about the band's other surviving members, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris, Hook admitted he has "nothing to do" with them. But "they play Joy Division tracks with Bad Lieutenant ... so you'd have to say that, apart from me doing it in the concept of the LP, they're doing the same thing, aren't they?"

Yes, "apart from ... the LP". But that subordinate clause is crucial. And hold on a second. LP? Was this a slip of the tongue? Or are there plans to turn the project into an album?

But at least Hook is open about things. "Starting a new group is very, very difficult," he explained. "Even 18-year-old kids run out of energy staring new bands ... [You can be] so easily seduced into doing something from the past ... [for a] ready-made audience. You know, it makes life much easier. Which is sad, really." You might say he hit the nail on the head.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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