“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 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. 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.” 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.”