Ian Curtis and editors Deborah Curtis and Jon Savage (Faber/Random House) 2014, 274pp, RRP $49.99

One for the Joy Division fan who has everything, this collection of a handwritten song fragments, archival JD advertising and more opens with the expected foreword by Deborah Curtis, widow of the band’s driving force Ian Curtis (1956 – 1980), in which she discusses his magnetism and creative brilliance and, just perhaps, hints at how cold and nasty he could be (especially when she can’t help but acknowledge that their best-known track, Love Will Tear Us Apart, is almost definitely about their marriage). So This Is Permanence - Ian Curtis - Faber - Random House - The Clothesline

After that there’s a longer introduction by punk expert Jon Savage (who doesn’t quite know when to stop), and then we’re into 100+ pages of lyrics scribbled in Ian’s own hand, many of which are almost unreadable and require extensive deciphering, and they include Warsaw, Ice Age, Glass, Shadowplay, The Only Mistake, A Means To An End, Twenty Four Hours, Colony and more. And, to cap things off, appendices offer songs that never were, idle notes, flyers promoting JD gigs, photocopied fanzines and the covers of Ian’s favourite books, with sometimes infamous titles including A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, The Idiot, Steppenwolf, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Photomontages Of The Nazi Period.

And they wonder why he was always so damn depressed…

Dave Bradley

This title is available through Random House Books Australia

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