Released : April 1980 (7"), June 1980 (12")
Format : 7", 12", CD
Recorded : March 1980, Strawberry Studios, Stockport, England
Genre : Post-punk
Length : 3:18
Label : Factory
Producer : Martin Hannett and Joy Division
"Love Will Tear Us Apart" is a song by the British post-punk band Joy Division. It was written in August and September 1979, and debuted when the band supported Buzzcocks on their UK tour in September and October 1979. It is one of the few songs in which singer Ian Curtis played guitar (albeit somewhat minimally). The lyrics ostensibly reflect the problems in Ian Curtis's marriage to Deborah Curtis, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his suicide in May 1980. Deborah Curtis had the phrase "Love Will Tear Us Apart" inscribed on Ian Curtis's memorial stone.
The song was first released in April 1980 and, after Curtis's suicide that May, became the band's first chart hit, reaching number 13 in the UK. It also debuted at #1 in New Zealand in June 1981. The band postponed their US tour after his death, performed a few short sets as The No-Names, then finally renamed the group as New Order. "Love" was re-released in 1983 and reached number 19 on the UK charts and re-appeared at #3 in New Zealand during March 1984. In 1986 the 7" single was released in Poland by Tonpress in different sleeve under license from Factory and sold over 20000 copies. In November 1988, it made one more Top 40 appearance in New Zealand, peaking at #39. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" appears on the Substance compilation album. It was first recorded for a John Peel session in November 1979, then re-recorded in January 1980 and March 1980. It is the latter version that appears on Substance. The January 1980 version originally appeared as the single's B-side.
1. Love Will Tear Us Apart
2. These Days