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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 87
Thurs. April 25, 2013

“New Dawn Fades”
Moby’s tribute to Ian Curtis & Joy Division

1995

“♫ A
change of
scene, a
change of
style/ a
change of
hopes/
with no
regrets
♫”

Yes, I know Joy Division fans; how I could I prefer a cover of “New Dawn Fades” over the original? Moby’s rendition is more like a tribute than a cover. Besides, like, Peter Hook, I’m one of the few that doesn’t believe that the 1979 version of “New Dawn Fades” is the greatest Joy Division song of all time. Hook made his case in his excellent book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, when he wrote, ““New Dawn Fades” is that track that most people say is their favorite. This seems an odd choice to me, because it’s very, very, simple and very economical, certainly from my point of view, because the bass is pretty much consistently all the way through.”

I must add Moby was no new wave poseur, he was truly a fan of Joy Division when he told Black Book magazine about his experience performing “New Dawn Fades” with New Order, ““I toured with New Order ten years ago. On the last show of the tour, we did ‘New Dawn Fades’ together, and at the end of that, Peter Hook turned to me and said, ‘You know, we haven’t played this since Ian [Curtis] died.” “Moby tried to take, describing this incredible music moment with his idols Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris when he said, “When I was 15, if you had come to me and said, ‘Someday you will sing a Joy Division song with Joy Division,’ I would have believed you more if you had said at some point we’ll all live on Jupiter.’”

If you want further proof, Moby was worthy of recording this Joy Division classic, he explained his reasons why he covered “New Dawn Fades” to The Guardian UK when Dave Simpson wrote, “He shakes his head in disbelief, and suddenly Moby is 15 again, transported to the days when he wasn’t good at school, girls had no interest in him and Ian Curtis was “my best friend, even though he was dead and I never met him.” This brings us to Moby’s cover of “New Dawn Fades.” Michael Mann used Moby’s Joy Division tribute of “New Dawn Fades” in his film Heat. Unfortunately, only Moby’s wicked guitar skills were on display and made the final cut of Heat’s dramatic highway scene. Such a shame because its Moby’s exceptional vocal that sounds like the artist formally known as Richard M. Hall was literally channeling the ghost of Ian Curtis.

More than just a cover song soundtracked in Michael Mann’s film Heat, Moby’s rendition of “New Dawn Fades” is one of my favorite Joy Division covers of all time. Ian Curtis fans have to admit it must be a daunting task to try to emulate the enigmatic vocal tendencies of Joy Division legendary vocalist. But Moby didn’t just try to imitate Ian, the artist formally known as Richard M. Hall delivered a vocal tribute worthy of Curtis and Joy Division’s name. In fact, Moby’s version of “New Dawn Fades” was so monumental that both Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook invited Moby to perform this vintage Unknown Pleasure with New Order. And remember Sumner and Hook couldn’t agree on anything and they both saw eye to eye on Moby’s cover. Actually, Bernard and Peter are no longer on speaking terms which is why New Order is touring without Hook who’s performing New Order and Joy Division songs with his band The Light.

The former decedent of Herman Melville is doing his family and the legacy of Joy Division and Ian Curtis honor with his eloquently dynamic tribute of “New Dawn Fades.” Don’t be afraid, he’s not just a raving disc jockey; Moby brings the power and the majesty to this rendition of “New Dawn Fades.” I wouldn’t say Moby’s song is better than the original, I believe simply his cover of “New Dawn Fades” is amazing tribute to Joy Division’s immaculate vocalist and his former ‘best-friend’ – Ian Curtis.

Moby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBNwTbPA-iA

Joy Division: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsT_PvMR4j4

Moby & New Order: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynA1dO9Kx8s

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