While hunting around in his personal archives for material for the recent Joy Division reissues, Bernard Sumner came across something rather astonishing: a Super-8 reel of the lads, three sheets to the wind, running through a very sloppy version of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" during the recording sessions for "Closer" at Brittania Row studio in March of 1980. Even more astonishing? Handling vocals on this boozy cover version is none other than visionary producer (and notorious cough syrup abuser) Martin Hannett.
On the video's Youtube description, Barney had this to say: "Marty had us running through 'Atrocity Exhibition' for eight hours straight. The whole time he kept humming that stupid song, and by 3 am taking a stab at it made sense. It worked out well for Ian, Marty wasn't able to give him shit about his vocals for the rest of the recording."
It's easy to get wrapped up in the gloomy, romantic myth of Joy Division, but any serious fan knows that the band had their laddish, goofy side. Here's more proof that, even while recording one of the darkest albums ever put to tape, these Manc boys maintained a sense of humour.
Joy Division, "Don't Bring Me Down"