Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Joy Division – Means to an End (Eamon Harkin Edit)

December 10, 2010

23. Joy Division – Means to an End (Eamon Harkin Edit).mp3

Technically not a 2010 cut, what with Joy Division having ceased operation way back in 1980. But this shit hot refix, courtesy of Eamon Harkin, brings the depressed anger of Ian Curtis and company dangerously close to the dancefloor.

Even better, Harkin retains the stripped down simplicity of Joy Division’s sonic attack while mixing in enough thumps and loops to claim it as his own. The additional drums ramp up the frustration and urgency, cornering Curtis and unleashing his “fight or flight response.”

No worries. It’s all “fight.”

What other sacred ground is E. Harkin trodding over?

The rest of the Top 50.



  1. These last three have been outrageously fabulous. I’m totally straight too (totally) so that means even more coming from me. I love this thing you are doing!

    For a minute I thought you were talking about ‘ground E’ and I was going to be like, “that the way it comes over here. You just lick your finger, stick it in the baggy and Blamo! Blotto!” but then I realized you meant something else entirely .

    • Thanks for the compliments, Scott. The mysterious “ground e” had me puzzled (and jonesing) (and laughing). Unfortunately, it also drew my attention to the fact that I had misspelled both Curtis’ and Harkin’s last names toward the back half of the post.

      Spellcheck, my ass.

  2. Again, I’ll have what Scott’s having.

    • Does this mean I can play Joy Division in the car?

    • I wouldn’t recommend it. Not unless you plan on driving like the guy in this promo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYxfgkxWLRA
      Not that I recommend doing that either.

  3. I think history shows which one of Ian Curtis’s “flight or fight” responses won out…and it wasn’t “fight”. I wish he had more in him.

    I don’t want to remix a dead horse, but I just can’t let this one pass without complaining.

    First, even though it’s 3 minutes longer, there just isn’t enough 2010 content to qualify for a 2010 list. I let the Zeppelin track pass because, well, I didn’t hear much Led in that Zeppelin. But this “re-edit” is like Taco Bell passing its filler off as beef, even though they fall short of the 40% beef content required to qualify as “Taco Meat”.

    If you’re not going to substantially impact the original, it’s like that shot-for-shot remake of the movie Psycho. What’s the point when we’ve got the original? To ride the coattails of a critically acclaimed artist, perhaps?

    The second point is my usual complaint about re-mixes; they rarely improve upon the original and are more likely to ruin it. This is a rare case of neither ruining, nor improving, the original. Joy Division ain’t for everyone. Harkin’s re-mix doesn’t change that. If anything, it drags out a song from a band accused of “dragging things out” and being “monotonous”. (Like I should talk.)

    I can see how some would like the tinkered version, especially if they’re on something, but I think the original flows much better and the re-editing distracts from the lyrics. Either way, whatever Joy one gets from this remix is at least 97.2% derived from Joy Division’s 30 year old original. And that should ultimately disqualify it from the Best of 2010.

    I’m not a big fan of covers or remakes of anything, but the way to approach Joy Division is the traditional cover route where you play their song your way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQGIk2YEwJw
    You may like it more. You may like it less. But it’s different enough to qualify for a “Best of year X” list.

    • Ah. You beg to differ. There’s really nothing more subjective than musical taste and everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion.

      Here’s where it gets a little, I don’t know, prickly(?) for me. The positives of this track (in my opinion) I’ve already listed. I can certainly see your point as to how it didn’t do enough to update it, but on the other hand, I’ve had my fill of remixes which reduce the original to nothing more than a couple of vocalizations in a vast sea of pounding 4/4.

      But that’s all taste right there. I suppose the prickliness comes from my lack of a desire to fight this kind of battle. I used to spend a lot of time and energy explaining to people how their musical tastes were wrong. I just don’t do it any more.

      While I may wish that everyone agreed with everything I recommended, I think that would get a little boring (even for me… eventually). I’m not going to trot out anything like “agree to disagree” because ultimately, this was my list of tracks and I’m really the only one completely partial to them.

      I’m not sure where I’m going with this. You make some valid points and I have no real impetus to dispute any of them. It didn’t work for you and that’s just the way music goes sometimes.

      Thanks for the well-thought out comment, SM. And thanks for that link. I had no idea GVSB had covered JD. Excellently too, I might add.

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