Icon Joy Division Shadowplay
Songs and Lyrics

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
Live performance released from January 11th 1980 at the Paradiso, Amsterdam
Recorded in March 1980 at Britannia Row Studios, Islington, London
Released on Closer, on Permanent and on Heart and Soul
Live performance on May 2nd 1980 at Birmingham University released on Still

This is a crisis I knew had to come
Destroying the balance I'd kept
Doubting, unsettling and turning around
[or in the Still live version:
  Doubting and turning and moving around]
Wondering what will come next

Is this the role that you wanted to live?
I was foolish to ask for so much
Without the protection and infancy's guard
It all falls apart at first touch

Watching the reel as it comes to a close
Brutally taking its time
People who change for no reason at all
It's happening all of the time

Can I go on with this train of events?
Disturbing and purging my mind
Back out of my duties, when all's said and done
I know that I'll lose every time

The version recorded at the Paradiso starts at this point:

Moving along in our god-given ways
Safety is sat by the fire
Sanctuary from these feverish smiles
Left with a mark on the door

Is this the gift that I wanted to give?
Forgive and forget's what they teach
Or pass through the deserts and wastelands once more
And watch as they drop by the beach

This is a crisis I knew had to come
Destroying the balance I'd kept
Turning around to the next set of lives
[or in the Still live version:
  Moving along to the next set of lives]
Wondering what will come next

Other information
Cover versions by:Released on:
BeverBalance (Ego Development 001 1997)
A Black PeopleCVLT Nation Sessions: Closer (CVLT Nation 2015)
Heart & SoulSongs of Joy Division (2.47 / Antena Krzyku AK2949 2013)
Peter Hook
  and The Light
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2013)
So This Is Permanence: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2015)
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)
The InstrumentsJoy Division Covers (Happy Happy Birthday To Me 086 2007)
The Nine TearsE.R.M.O.Y. (The Holy Hour 2012)
Candid Shade of Pleasure (The Holy Hour 2013)
PustkiWarszawa: Tribute To Joy Division (Kuka KR001CD 2007)
Señor ChinarroWarsaw (El Colectivo Karma 011 1998)
SillanA Tribute to Joy Division: Shadowplay (Syborgmusic sbm019 2013)
24 Grana Napoli Sound System Vol 2 (La Canzonetta 330506 2006)

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