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Songs and Lyrics
 
Novelty

This page contains the following information about this Joy Division song:
  • details of every known studio recording and every official release;
  • details of any live performances which appear on an 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 on May 3rd/4th 1978 at Arrow Studios, Manchester; released on Warsaw
Recorded in July 1979 at Central Sound Studios, Manchester (but not released)
Live performance on July 13th 1979 at The Factory released on Heart and Soul
Recorded in July-August 1979 at Strawberry Studios, Stockport
This version originally released as B-side of Transmission single
Also released on Substance, on Permanent and on Heart and Soul

Lyrics
When the people listen to you, don't you know it means a lot
'Cause you've got to work so hard for everything you've got
Can't rest on your laurels now - not when you've got none
You'll find yourself in the gutter, right back where you came from

Someone told me being in the know is the main thing
We all need the security that belonging brings
Can't stand on your own in these times against all the odds
I don't want to act uncool like all the other sods
[or in the later version:
  You'll just fall behind like all the other sods]

In the Heart and Soul live version the previous verse is replaced by:
  Where you gonna run to now? where you gonna hide?
  All the dreams you ever had are tied up deep inside
  Staring in the mirror now, with everything you've seen
  Looking back and telling the crowd just what might have been

You slap our backs and pretend you knew
About all the things that we were gonna do
What ya gonna do, what ya gonna do when it's over?

You're all on your own now - don't you think that it's a shame
But you're the only one responsible to take the blame

The original version concludes:
When ya gonna grow up and act, and be yourself
Cause pretty soon you'll find yourself nailed to the shelf
Grab it while you can, but don't ever relax
Cause there's always someone gonna stab your back
What ya gonna do, what ya gonna do when it's over?

The later versions conclude:
So what ya gonna do when the novelty has gone?
Yeah, what ya gonna do when the novelty has gone?
[or in the H&S live version: "when the novelty fades away"]
You slap our backs and pretend you knew
About all the things that we were gonna do
What ya gonna do, what ya gonna do when it's over?

Other information
This was a very early Joy Division song which evolved through several lyric changes
The unreleased Central Sound version has variations from the above lyrics
This version includes the following two lines not found in other recordings:
  Thinking on your own of the past, of every small mistake
  Never took a chance at all, with everything at stake
Cover versions by:Released on:
Peter Hook
  and The Light
So This Is Permanence: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2015)
Closer: Live in Manchester (Westworld 105 2017)
Radio DramamineLive version recorded in 2008 but not released

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