Certain Songs #824: Joy Division – “Twenty Four Hours”

Album: Closer
Year: 1980

This is all about the contrasts. Light and dark, fast and slow, floating and driving. The way that Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris fall apart during the slow parts and come together during the fast parts.

I’m sure that to some of you, the words are important. But I’ll be honest here, I’ve listened to “Twenty Four Hours” countless times in the last 35-plus years and I couldn’t quote you a single line.

I can, however, sing you Hook’s bassline during both the slow and fast parts, and marvel at the perfectly precise drum rolls that Stephen Morris gets off every few bars during his double-times on the fast part.

And listen to Sumner’s guitars, glistening and glowing and growling during the fast parts and skidding to a halt and hiding behind the bass during the slow parts.

The sense of dynamics throughout “Twenty Four Hours” is utterly breathtaking, and honestly, transcends any kind of analysis by the likes of me. Instead, I’ve always tended to let it just wash over me, grand and mysterious all at once.

“Twenty Four Hours”

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