She's Lost Control (4:45)

Cover of The Best Of Joy Division

From The Best Of Joy Division and 53 other releases

“She’s Lost Control” is a song by British post-punk band Joy Division. It first was introduced in a concert in June 1978. Two separate recordings have been released: a guitar-dominated version appearing on the band’s 1979 debut album Unknown Pleasures, and a heavier and more electronic version first released in 1980 on a 12” single, coupled with “Atmosphere”. This version also sports an additional verse, not present in the earlier one.

The song centers on Peter Hook’s cool, droning, minimalist bassline formed over a methodical and mechanistic drum beat courtesy of Stephen Morris. In dramatic contrast, Bernard Sumner’s guitar work is sharp and clipped, and bears a striking resemblance to Dave Davies’ work on early Kinks singles such as “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All Night”. Ian Curtis’ lyrics concern a girl having an epileptic seizure (i.e. “losing control”), a condition which Curtis himself suffered from, and Curtis’ delivery is nervy and paranoid, reflecting the ominous music. Many indie bands have covered it, as well as Siobhan Fahey and Grace Jones.

The name of the song is referenced in the title of Control, a biopic of Ian Curtis, which includes the incident inspiring the song, and also the recording of the song, showing Morris using an aerosol can sprayed into a microphone as percussion.


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