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, who signed the group to his independent label, Factory Records. Joy Division's debut album, Unknown Pleasures, recorded with producer Martin Hannett, was released in 1979 to critical acclaim. During this period, Curtis, who suffered from personal difficulties that included severe depression, a broken marriage, and epilepsy, found it increasingly difficult to perform at live concerts, during which he often collapsed into seizures.
In May 1980, on the eve of the band's first 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 and achieved critical and commercial success. Although their career spanned less than four years, Joy Division have come to be regarded as one of the most influential rock groups of the 1970s.