UK/US rift over Joy Division branded Zune

Joy Division Zune - a tribute to authentic art?
Joy Division Zune - a tribute to authentic art?

Microsoft is set to launch the Joy Division branded Zune later this month, with a mixed reception from fans of Manchester’s favourite miserablists.

The 80GB Joy Division Zune features an adaption of Peter Saville’s classic artwork for the band's Unknown Pleasures album.

The Zune also comes loaded up with a copy of Joy Division, a documentary that chronicles the life of the seminal band, with a limited edition run of only 500 being manufactured

A shared story of innovation

“Joy Division and Peter Saville share a story full of innovation,” Tom Atencio, producer of the Joy Division documentary, told

“The band made history with their pioneering digital music. Peter Saville placed the music and the band in a visual context equally as innovative. It is completely in character for the film to be a debut Zune preload.”

Tribute to authentic art?

“Zune’s involvement with the Joy Division documentary is a way of saying ‘Thank You’ to the band for doing what they did, and is not only a tribute to them but to an entire musical journey through Factory Records and the artists and movements it spawned,” Chris Stephenson, GM Global Marketing, Zune, told

“It’s a tribute to deep respect for graphic design that lives on through artists like Peter Saville, and to independent film-makers that believe in more than just commercial success. Ultimately it’s a tribute to the self-belief and self-expression that inspires true authentic art.”

Mixed reception in UK

The reception to the news in the UK has been slightly less celebratory.

“The day the music died… Joy Division was once a cool edgy band for cool edgy kids - and now it's just marketing tool for corporate America,” spat the ever-venomous Gary Cutlack over on Tech Digest when the news of the Joy Division Zune first emerged.

Even more malicious was The Inquirer’s take on the news, with their rather ‘spiky’ observation that: “One has to wonder if someone who likes Joy Division would want to be seen dead with a Zune, or would they rather string themselves up from the rafters in a terraced house in Manchester.”

The Joy Division Zune will cost $399 (£200) and will be available on the Zune Originals site in the US on June 17.

Adam Hartley