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
Recorded on May 3rd/4th 1978 at Arrow Studios, Manchester; released on Warsaw
The synthesisers added to this version caused friction between band and producer
Recorded on January 31st 1979 at BBC Studios, Maida Vale for John Peel
Released on First Peel Session, Peel Sessions album and Complete BBC Recordings
Recorded on March 4th 1979 at Eden Studios, London for Genetic Records
This version released only on Heart and Soul
Recorded in July 1979 at Central Sound Studios, Manchester (but not released)
Recorded again in July-August 1979 at Strawberry Studios, Stockport
This version originally released as a 7" single in 1979, then a 12" single in 1980
Also on Substance, on Permanent, on Heart and Soul and on Best Of Joy Division
Live performance on July 13th 1979 at The Factory released on various singles
Recorded on September 15th 1979 at BBC 2 Studios for Something Else
This performance has been screened many times on a variety of TV programmes
Eventually released (in audio only) on Complete BBC Recordings
Live performance released from December 18th 1979 at Les Bains Douches, Paris
Live performance released from February 28th 1980 at The Warehouse, Preston
Live performance on May 2nd 1980 at Birmingham University released on Still

Radio - live transmission
Radio - live transmission

Listen to the silence - let it ring on
Eyes, dark grey lenses, frightened of the sun
We would have a fine time living in the night
Left to blind destruction, waiting for our sight
[or in the Warsaw version:
  We would make a fine pair living in the night
  Left to blind destruction - take away our sight]

We would go on as though nothing was wrong
And hide from these days - we remained all alone
Staying in the same place, staying out the time
[or in the Warsaw version:
  And hide from the days to remain all alone
  Stay in the same place, staring all the time]
Touching from a distance, further all the time

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio --

I could call out when the going gets tough
The things that we learned are no longer enough
No language, just sound, is all we need know
[or in the Warsaw version:
  And we could make contact if we trust our luck
  No language, just sound, is all that I know]
To synchronise love to the beat of the show

And we can daaaaaance
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio --

Other information
The first verse was reputedly inspired by The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley
Cover versions by:Released on:
AidenSome Kind Of Hate (Victory 50656 2011)
Anderson, Pearson,
  Riley, Treadaway
Control: Original Soundtrack (Warner 5144244782 2007)
Control (Momentum Pictures MP640D 2008 - DVD)
(performed by the actors playing Joy Division in the film)
Angry White MobStress (EP 1997 - no details known)
AnorakSynthetic Pop Covers from the ESA (Houston Party 2006)
Annie ChristianThe Other Way (Equipe Ecosse 2533 1998)
Arndt & WolfA Tribute to Joy Division: Shadowplay (Syborgmusic sbm019 2013)
BauhausLive In Berlin (bootleg released in 2006)
Also available on other bootlegs of live performances
Beata Beatrix3.5 Decades: A Joy Division Italian Tribute (Darkitalia dar001 2014)
Complot Bronswick30 years with(out) Ian Curtis: Transmission (Infrastition Fin056 2010)
Cretin 77Divide Et Impera (Rowdy Farrago RF022 2014)
CTXTransmitiendo Desde América Del Sur (Licor de Mono 2007)
Dead Men WalkingGraveyard Smashes Volume 1 (own release 2006)
DHMWarszawa: Tribute To Joy Division (Kuka KR001CD 2007)
DiabologumThe Onion Most Dangerous Game (Aliénor 1994)
DovesWhere We're Calling From (EMI HVNDVD001 2003 - DVD)
(a live excerpt included in "secret" documentary footage)
Also available on bootlegs of this live performance in 1999
EchowaveFuel Your Heartbeat (own release 2012)
The Fallout TrustWhen We Are Gone (At Large FUG 016 2006)
Flesh D-ViceTransmission (Hardedge FDV-731 1985)
Forgotten TombAnd Don't Deliver Us From Evil (Agonia ARCD105D 2012)
(bonus track on limited edition digipack release only)
Girl In A ComaAdventures In Coverland (Blackheart 53812 2010)
GreenhausThe Unmistakable Sound of Sloth (Phuture PHCD011 2002)
Half Man Half Biscuit  Available on various bootlegs of live performances
Heart & SoulSongs of Joy Division (2.47 / Antena Krzyku AK2949 2013)
Peter Hook
  and The Light
Unknown Pleasures: Live in Australia (Pylon 20/21 2011)
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2013)
So This Is Permanence: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2015)
Substance: Live in Manchester (Live Here Now 2016)
Unknown Pleasures: Live in Leeds (Westworld 104 2017)
Closer: Live in Manchester (Westworld 105 2017)
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: at Hebden Bridge (Live Here Now 2017)
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: Live in Camden (Live Here Now 2017)
Hot ChipWar Child: Heroes (Parlophone 2440732 2009)
The Best of War Child (Parlophone 2013)
The House of UsherEngrammaton (own release limited edition 2003)
InnerPartySystemDon't Stop (Island 1775271 2008 - limited edition)
Jah DivisionDub Will Tear Us Apart (The Social Registry TSR012 2004)
JamesAvailable on bootlegs of a live performance in 2009
Johnny ZhivagoCover Perversions (Infernal 11 2001)
(a bonus CD with Some of the People All of the Time)
JudahA Different Story (Spazio Gerra Produzioni SGP01 2010)
Knives OutRecorded but not yet released (Deathwish 2002)
LowA Means To An End (Virgin 40660-2 1995)
Transmission (EP - Vernon Yard CD16 1996)
  String Quartet
MSQ Performs Joy Division (Roma Music Group 2017)
Motel RosaThe Wireless EP (own release 2001)
Moving UnitsCollision With Joy Division (Lolipop / Flowers of Romance 2017)
My Better HalfTwilight + Transmission (Modest Music Momu001 2008)
Naked LunchEverything Dies (Auslander 1997)
NestrogenVauxhall and Eye, and I (own release 2009)
New Order5 11 (Warner 49366 2002 - DVD/video)
(recorded live at Finsbury Park in June 2002)
Retro (London 49499 2002 - on limited edition bonus disc)
Live at Bestival 2012 (Sunday Best SBESTCD60 2013)
Also available on various bootlegs of live performances
NoctívagusTransmission (own release limited edition 2005)
No DirectionThe No Direction Tapes (own release 1988)
NoMeansNoAvailable on various bootlegs of live performances
Russ PayCloser Still (Dressed To Kill FUCT354 2000)
Released several times in compilations for digital downloading
(this version appears under several different artists' names)
Project WintermuteCommunity: A NewOrderOnline Tribute (Retroforward 01 2004)
Purple PlushWalk In Line, Walk In Silence (Red Nail Music RNM023 2002)
Purple Xanax FactoryWalk In Line, Walk In Silence (Red Nail Music RNM023 2002)
Raw Pevere
  and The Rugrats
Walk In Line, Walk In Silence (Red Nail Music RNM023 2002)
Red ZebraA Red Zebra is Not a Dead Zebra (Antler CX 6010 1994)
Red Hot
  Chili Peppers
Live In Hyde Park (WEA International 48863 2004)
(excerpt played at the start of the track Right On Time)
Revel in the MorningGod Less America (Perpetual Motion PMR007 2004)
Rik L RikPerformed on the cover version by The Slaves (see below)
Rise of the FallenRecorded but not released commercially (Golem 2005)
The SandThe Memory of Dead Romances (own release 2003)
Seconds AwaySeconds Away/Staying at Home (Humble Pie HPR005 2002)
SiebenNo Less Than All (Redroom 008 2012)
A Change Of Speed, A Change Of Style (OVR CD0001 2015)
Silent FaithRemakes Thru Blood Banks (own release 2016)
The SlavesThe Slaves (Happy Hermit IRSD-82035 1990)
Smashing PumpkinsInsincere and Insolent (Thunderball TB049 - bootleg)
Also available on other bootlegs of live performances
SomedaysbetterRecorded in a session for BBC Radio Northern Ireland
SophyaThird Wish (Mutantjasz 1004 2006)
Spear of DestinyLoadestone (Easter Snow ESRC 007 2005)
Stranded HorseTransmission / A Faint Light (Talitres TAL071 2012)
SubgudBalance (Ego Development 001 1997)
SubmarineWarsaw (El Colectivo Karma 011 1998)
Summer LawnsFirst We Waited Then It Started (Isidore/SMOD 2005)
Susan and
  the Surftones
Direction (Acme Brothers 2010)
SwamiTransmission (Subdub 1999)
T & the StarburstSomething About Joy Division (Vox Pop VP3 1989)
(this was a bonus track on the CD version of the album)
Techniques BerlinSuburban Playgrounds & Concrete Beaches (Fabrika FP006 2012)
Transparent CurseDuplicate of Alien Reflections (own release 1996)

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