21 April 2009

"The Real Atrocity" by Joy Division

See that we're the real atrocities
Author, Imagist, Visionary, J.G. Ballard is dead. In the course of his long career, from the surrealist science fiction of The Crystal World, through his explorations of the psycho-sexual geography of the city (Concrete Island, High Rise, Crash), and his later autobiographical forays into his own past (Empire Of The Sun), Ballard's work defined a generation with its apocalyptic imagery of drained swimming pools, car crashes, and bodily mutilation. His was the poetry of Auschwitz, the Kennedy assassinations, and the unspeakable violence at the intersection of two walls. Condensed, compressed, and ruthlessly logical, it constituted nothing less than a new mythology by which we might experience the twentieth century.

Ballard's influence in post-punk music is wide and deep. Simon Reynold's encyclopedic history of the period, Rip It Up And Start Again, includes no fewer than twenty references to his novels, and even those barely scratch the surface. Ultravox, John Foxx, Gary Numan and The Normal all borrowed heavily from Ballard, and not simply as a resource for song titles, lyrics, and themes. Ballard gave them something more, a kind of musical grammar that paired a cool, clinical detachment with an unflinching emotional honesty, a combination which was perhaps most deeply realized in the work of the late Ian Curtis.

Here, as our tribute to Ballard, is an exclusive mix of Joy Division's "Atrocity Exhibition," the song Curtis named after a Ballard short story. This version is previously unreleased in any form.


The Real Atrocity

01 Atrocity Exhibition [Real Atrocity Version] (4:14)


  1. Wow, this is quite excellent- I am glad I stumbled upon this blog! Looking through the other posts here as well, definitely my kind of music...

  2. Excelent blog. I have a link of The Same Mistakes in my blog Wet Dreams: http://stahlfabrik.blogspot.com/


  3. Ballard was one of the greats.
    Fitting tribute.

  4. Not so long as we're here, he's not!

  5. well, that was fantastic. did you do this re edit? sounds like piccadilly radio session mixed with closer version , very clever. this mix is far closer to the live song. the monster guitar riff is back where it belongs. great respect to hannet but why did he neuter the guitar on closer? great job thanx

  6. Atrocity Exhibition was a novel, not a short story, for those paying attention, and as there s no download link available now, why is this post still here?

  7. "The Atrocity Exhibition" was first published as a short story in New Worlds (September 1966, issue #166), and this story later lent its title to the collection of similar experiments that was published in 1970 by Jonathan Cape. Indeed, all of the pieces that make up the collection known as The Atrocity Exhibition had been published earlier as short stories, though Ballard began to refer to them as "condensed novels."

    The link is fine, but the vinyl record download graphic seems to have disappeared (which is why you'll see an exclamation mark on some posts). It has been repaired here.

  8. FILE NOT FOUND T^T thanks for posting this anyway! =D