Love Will Tear Us Apart, a sardonic and cheeky retort to Neil Sedaka’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” popularized by Captain and Tennille, filmed its music video on April 28th, 1980.
Drawing inspiration from recording in the same Strawberry Studios in Stockport, England as Sedaka, Joy Division crafted a track that, in hindsight, alluded to lead singer Ian Curtis’ crumbling marriage.
The members of Joy Division filmed the video on April 28th, 1980, during a rehearsal at T.J. Davidson’s studio, where they had previously practiced. In the intro, a door marked “Ian C” swings open and closed; a remnant of a spiteful message left by a woman spurned by Curtis’ during the band’s earlier days in the studio.
The video’s unintentional browned-out aesthetic and the absence of Curtis’ signature dance moves, replaced by the frontman strumming on an Eko Vox VI Phantom guitar (with the audio track featuring an unspecified 12-string Eko Vox guitar played by Sumner), contribute to the overall somber tone.
Tragically, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” would be Joy Division’s only promotional video, as Ian Curtis took his life less than three weeks after filming.
Contrary to the account in Touching From A Distance, the video was not filmed on April 25th. On that day, Ian Curtis and the rest of Joy Division were in London, scheduled for a surprise performance at the Factory Records/Final Solution concert night alongside Section 25, Durutti Column, and A Certain Ratio. The gig was canceled because Curtis felt unwell, but the band still attended the show. More details are here.