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Songs and Lyrics
 
Failures

This page contains the following information about this Joy Division song:
  • details of every known studio recording and every official release;
  • my transcription of the song lyrics, noting any significant variations;
  • known cover versions by other artists, and any other interesting facts.
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Track history
Recorded in December 1977 at Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham
Released on An Ideal For Living, on Substance and on Heart and Soul
Recorded on May 3rd/4th 1978 at Arrow Studios, Manchester; released on Warsaw

Lyrics
Don't speak of false messiahs - a failure of the modern man
To the centre of our life's desires - as a whole not an also ran
Love in a hollow field - break the image of your father's son
Drawn to an inner feel - he was thought of as the only one
He was thought of as the only one [in the Warsaw version only]

He no longer denies - all the failures of the modern man
He no longer picks sides - sees the failures of the modern man
Wise words and sympathy - tell the story of our history
New strength gives a real touch - sense and reason make it all too much
With a strange fatality - break the spirits of a lesser man
Some other race could see - in his way he was the only one
In his way he was the only one [in the Warsaw version only]

He no longer denies - all the failures of the modern man
No, no, he can't pick sides - sees the failures of the modern man
Now that it's right to decide - in his time he was a total man
Taken from Caesar's side - kept in silence just to prove who's wrong
No, no, he can't pick sides - all the failures of the modern man
No, no longer denies - all the failures of the modern man
[the previous two lines are slightly different in the Warsaw version]
All the failures of the modern man [in the Warsaw version only]

Other information
The title of this song sometimes appears as Failures of the Modern Man
Cover versions by:  Released on:
Alias GalorWarsaw (El Colectivo Karma 011 1998)
The BombMean It Man (Thick Records 2005)
The Destructors12.12.12 (Ragnarok) (Rowdy Farrago 2012)
Peter Hook
  and The Light
Unknown Pleasures: Live in Australia (Pylon 20 2011)
  (available on a limited edition vinyl version only)
So This Is Permanence: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2015)
Closer: Live in Manchester (Westworld 105 2017)
MonacoAvailable on various bootlegs of live performances

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