Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band consisted of singer Ian Curtis, guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris.
Formed by Sumner and Hook after the two attended a Sex Pistols gig, Joy Division transcended their punk roots to develop a sound and style that made them one of the pioneers of the post-punk movement. Their self-released 1978 debut EP, An Ideal for Living, drew the attention of the Manchester television personality Tony Wilson. Joy Division's debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was released in 1979 on Wilson's independent label Factory Records. Aided by Martin Hannett's sparse production, it was a critical success with the British music press. Despite this early acclaim, Curtis experienced severe depression and personal difficulties, including a broken marriage and epilepsy. In particular he found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, during which he often had seizures.
In May 1980, on the eve of the band's debut American tour, Curtis, aged 23, committed suicide. The group's second and final album, Closer, was released two months later; the album and preceding single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" became the band's highest charting release. After Curtis's death, the remaining members continued as New Order, achieving critical and commercial success. Today Joy Division are widely characterized as one of the most influential bands of the late 1970s.