Ian Curtis’ tragic death meant Joy Division’s body of work was only small. Therefore the release of any further material has been warmly welcomed by fans and no doubt the unveiling of a new live album, recorded only three months before Curtis committed suicide, will be just as alluring.

Particularly given the recording, a remastered version of a Joy Division concert at the University of London Union in 1980, has been uploaded – not by a diehard fan – but by a qualified mastering engineer, Drew Crumbaugh.

According to ​Spin, Crumbaugh, who is also responsible for updating The Smiths’ Rough Trade singles, has placed the new recordings online via his personal blog, ​The Power of Independent Trucking. The engineer says he was unhappy with other remasters he submitted in 2007 for ​re-releases of Joy Division compilation ​Still and their final album,​ Closer​.

“I listen to the stuff I turned in to the band and [record label] Rhino in late 2006 and essentially cringe,” he says. “Not because it’s bad, because it’s not, but with where I’ve advanced to today, my 2006 work sounds amateur to these ears. And while it’s out there for the world to enjoy (and the two sets I did, for Closer and Still, all got great reviews), I can no longer listen without wishing for a mulligan.”

The recording is from a show on February 8, 1980 and includes songs such as “Dead Souls”, “Isolation” and their most famous single, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (the full tracklisting can be viewed below).

The mastering engineer is far more confident about these remasters, writing, “They are spectacular. Not to toot my own horn, but these now simply crush what was used on the 2007 releases. Even the most hearing-challenged of listeners can tell the difference, and not just by minutiae.

“Cymbals ring, drums go THWACK and not ‘thwop,’ guitars slice through the murk.” Crumbaughs adds: “If there were any justice in this world, Rhino would pull the 2007 sets off the market and reissue with these masterings. One can dream…”

Crumbaugh was denied access to work on R.E.M.’s IRS records material earlier in the year so it’s unlikely that the ​Closer ​and ​Still​ reissues will be updated anytime soon. Crumbaugh has also revamped material by the pre-Joy Division group, Warsaw and an array of other releases.

Joy Division, Live At University Union London is available for free download ​now.

Joy Division, Live at University of London Union track list:

1. “Dead Souls”
2. “Glass”
3. “A Means To An End”
4. “Twenty Four Hours”
5. “Passover”
6. “Insight”
7. “Colony”
8. “These Days”
9. “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
10. “Isolation”
11. (Encore break)
12. “The Eternal”
13. “Digital”

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