Universal Music Publishing has extended its worldwide administration deal with pioneering U.K. rock band Joy Division.
The legendary Manchester band first formed in 1977 and achieved cult status with its two studio albums "Unknown Pleasures" (1979) and "Closer" (1980), both released on British independent Factory Records. The group disbanded in 1980 following singer Ian Curtis' suicide. Its remaining members - bassist Peter Hook, guitarist Bernard Sumner and drummer Stephen Morris - went on to form New Order, who achieved a string of international and U.K. hits throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Universal Music Publishing's deal extends the terms of its original 2007 agreement and covers the entire Joy Division catalog.
"Joy Division is one of the most iconic bands that the U.K. has ever produced," said Darryl Watts, Senior A&R and Creative Manager at Universal Music Publishing, in a statement. "Their legacy and influence on contemporary music is huge and we are delighted to be able to represent such an important catalogue," Watts went on to say.
Commenting on the deal, Peter Hook said in a statement: "Universal has worked really hard on our behalf. They are as passionate and enthusiastic about our music as if it was written yesterday."
Sumner and Morris did not comment on the deal, but Rebecca Boulton of Prime Management, who represents them alongside Ian Curtis' widow, Debbie Curtis, said in a statement: "Universal Music Publishing has helped bring the catalogue to a larger audience in a credible and sensitive way. We've worked closely with them over the last 5 years and are really happy to be extending this enjoyable and fruitful relationship."
Famously, relations between Hook and the remaining Joy Division members have deteriorated to the point of animosity in recent years. Last month, Sumner, Morris and New Order keyboard player Gillian Gilbert announced that they were to reform New Order for two charity shows. Peter Hook was not invited to join the band for the benefit gigs, which are due to take place in Brussels on October 17 and Paris the following night, with proceeds contributing towards health care costs for former collaborator and video director Michael Shamberg, who is seriously ill.
In response, Hook, who has recently launched his own label, Hacienda Records, released a statement in which he professed his surprise at the news. "Everyone knows that New Order without Peter Hook is like Queen without Freddie Mercury, U2 without The Edge, [U.K. children's TV characters] Sooty without Sweep," he said, adding, "On a more serious note, I do not understand the decision THE OTHER THREE have taken. I wish they had approached me first. I do not agree with the methods they have used and feel it would have been courteous and professional to have spoken to me in advance of the announcements. It is very sad."
Hook's latest live project, entitled The Light, is due to embark on a 10-date U.K. and European tour this fall, which will see the band perform Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" and "Closer" in full.