Transmission (as made famous by Joy Division)

“Transmission” is a song by English post-punk band Joy Division. It was released in 1979 by record label Factory as the band’s debut single.

“Transmission” was released on 7″ vinyl in October 1979[3] by record label Factory. It was re-released as a 12″ single with a different sleeve in December 1980. The single charted twice in New Zealand, debuting at number 2 in September 1981 and re-appearing again at number 24 in July 1984.

Greil Marcus has a chapter on this song in his book The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs.[4] According to Marcus, “‘Transmission’ is not an argument. It’s a dramatization of the realization that the act of listening to the radio is a suicidal gesture. It will kill your mind. It will rob your soul.”[5] Marcus also quotes the band’s bassist Peter Hook about the importance of this song: “We were doing a soundcheck at the Mayflower, in May, and we played ‘Transmission’: people had been moving around, and they all stopped to listen. I realized that was our first great song.”[6]