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Songs and Lyrics
Atrocity Exhibition

This page contains the following information about this Joy Division song:
  • details of every known studio recording and every official release;
  • details of any live performances which appear on an official release;
  • my transcription of the song lyrics, noting any significant variations;
  • known cover versions by other artists, and any other interesting facts.
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Track history
Recorded on June 4th 1979 at Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham
This version, recorded for Piccadilly Radio, was not released
Live performance on July 13th 1979 at The Factory released on Heart and Soul
Live performance released from January 11th 1980 at the Paradiso, Amsterdam
Recorded in March 1980 at Britannia Row Studios, Islington, London
This version was released on Closer and on Heart and Soul

Asylums with doors open wide
Where people could pay to see inside
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says: I still exist
This is the way - step inside --

In arenas he kills for a prize
Wins a minute to add to his life
But the sickness is drowned by cries for more
Pray to God, make it quick - watch him fall
This is the way - step inside --

This is the way --
This is the way - step inside --

You'll see the horrors of a faraway place
Meet the architects of war face to face
See mass murder on a scale you've never seen
And all the ones who try hard to succeed
This is the way - step inside --

The studio version ends with the following:
And I picked on the whims of a thousand or more
Still pursuing the path that's been buried for years
All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire
Can't replace or relate - can't release or repair
Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be

This is replaced on the live versions by the following:
This is the way --
This is the way - step inside --
Step inside - step inside
Wanna see some more? step inside --

Other information
The title comes from the anthology of stories by science-fiction writer J G Ballard
Cover versions by:Released on:
AmbersmokeCVLT Nation Sessions: Closer (CVLT Nation 2015)
Exhibicion AtrozExhibicion Atroz (Ultimate CD-1 1997)
Peter Hook
  and The Light
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2013)
So This Is Permanence: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2015)
Unknown Pleasures: Live in Leeds (Westworld 104 2017)
Closer: Live in Manchester (Westworld 105 2017)
Movement: Live in Dublin (Westworld 107 2017)
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: at Hebden Bridge (Live Here Now 2017)
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: Live in Camden (Live Here Now 2017)
Kung Fu JesusM (Satan-a-Go-Go 7697 1996)
NobodyGothic Grimoire 3 (Celtic Circle 1996)
Russ PayCloser Still (Dressed To Kill FUCT354 2000)
Released several times in compilations for digital downloading
(this version appears under several different artists' names)
  Dining Room
Something About Joy Division (Vox Pop VP3 1989)

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