This song by UK’s Joy Division never appeared on a studio album from the band. It was released on a sampler EP from the Factory Records label. Sure, it ultimately ended up on two retrospective collections – the 1997 box set Heart and Soul and the compilation Still, but it wasn’t on their debut album Unknown Pleasures or their second and final studio album Closer.
It’s also the last song Joy Division ever played. The band reportedly closed with it at a May 2, 1980, gig at Birmingham University (the whole gig features on the Still compilation) and were due to head off on their first US tour later that month. But singer Ian Curtis would commit suicide on May 18, hanging himself in the kitchen. The following month the single most remember Joy Division for – Love Will Tear Us Apart – was released and went on to become an alternative classic.
The remaining members of Joy Division would pick up the pieces and form the band New Order in 1980.
This one snuck under my guard a bit – I never thought it took the name of a song. That’s because there’s a more obvious explanation for the use of the word “Digital”. The label touted it as an “open source beer” and pointed people to the Yeastie Boys website for a copy of the recipe. It even had a QR code linking on the label linking to their website that you could scan with your mobile phone. Now, linking the beer to the digital realm seemed to explain the “Digital” name to me.
The reason, from Yeastie Boys’ Stu McKinlay:
Finally, a non Australian name with Joy Division’s Digital providing the inspiration for this beer.
It was originally released in NZ, as a keg only beer, under the name Motueka Warrior (one of a few collaborations we did with Liberty Brewing in our early days). We packaged part of that batch into bottles for the US market and then decided (through fear of lynching) that we better release it in New Zealand as well.
The rhythm of Ian Curtis’ lyric delivery in this song somehow really gelled with the idea of the balance of the malt and hops in IPA. Don’t ask me why, however, as I have no idea… and, of course, the multiple repeats of “don’t ever fade away” that close out the song will resonate with every hop-loving IPA drinker.
I also love the idea that this beer was one of the world’s first open-source recipes. People can download digital music but the closest you can get with beer is to download the recipe.
Categories: Yeastie Boys Mix Tape