Love Will Tear Us Apart (3:25)

Cover of Substance

From Substance and 135 other releases

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” is a song by the British post-punk band Joy Division. The lyrics were written by the band’s vocalist, Ian Curtis, who committed suicide in May 1980, a month after the song was released as a single. The song was then re-promoted in 12” format in June 1980.

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” was written in August and September of 1979 and was debuted when the band supported Buzzcocks on their UK tour in September and October 1979, and it is one of the few songs in which Ian Curtis played guitar (albeit somewhat minimally). The title of the song is a play on the title of a Neil Sedaka song “Love Will Keep Us Together” made popular by The Captain & Tennille in 1975. [1] The lyrics are perceived to reflect the problems in Ian Curtis’ marriage to Deborah Curtis, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his suicide. Deborah Curtis had the phrase “Love Will Tear Us Apart” inscribed on Ian Curtis’ memorial stone.

The song was first released in April 1980 and, after Curtis’ suicide that May, became the band’s first chart hit, reaching number 13 in the UK. It also debuted at #1 in New Zealand in June 1981. The band broke up after his death and reformed as New Order. “Love” was re-released in 1983 and reached number 19 on the UK charts and re-appeared at #3 in New Zealand during March 1984. In November 1988, it made one more Top 40 appearance in New Zealand, peaking at #39. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” appears on the Substance compilation album. It was first recorded for a John Peel session in November 1979, then re-recorded in January 1980 and March 1980.

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