For some reason, a long-lost recording of David Bowie singing Joy Division’s classic track “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is makingtherounds this morning on tumblr. Maybe it’s the sudden news of Captain and Tennille divorcing — their 1975 tune “Love Will Keep Us Together” is often cited as inspiring the title of the Manchester post-punk band’s biggest hit, a song named by the NME as the greatest of the past 60 years.
Whatever the reason for its resurfacing, color us skeptical. The story goes that sometime in 1983, three years after Ian Curtis’ suicide, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook were having a drink at the Kings Arms in Salford when they encountered the Thin White Duke.
This alleged quote from Sumner — included everywhere from tumblr posts to the April 2013 YouTube clip posted above — explains the situation “…So we were all there just having a laugh and we joked that he should come n have a jam with us, then next minute – well, it was the next day actually, but i didn’t expect he’d definitely come by – and we were in the practice rooms and we were playing ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and i was like, f%$K we’re playing Love Will Tear Us Apart with David Bowie singing, this is crazy. We never released it – Bowie took a recording of it, and just layered some more vocals on for fun, sent it back to me…”