This rare 4-track Single contains interpretations by Michael Gira and Jarboe of the 1980 Joy Division gem Love Will Tear Us Apart (Again). Written by Ian Curtis, the lyrics - if autobiographical - imply an extremely vulnerable, even hyper-sensitive personality with a deterministic disposition. Two tracks from the 1987 Swans album Children of God serve as perfect companions.
Michael's "Red Version" with its expressive guitar patterns is a surprisingly melodic & rhythmic rendition of the mournful masterpiece. On the "Black Version", the torch/blues approach of Jarboe's voice is supported by sensitive keyboards and subdued acoustic guitars. This style reflects her restrained vocals on the dreamier side of World Of Skin whose unhinged cover of Nick Drake's Black Eyed Dog is the exception proving the rule. There is also a live version Of Love Will Tear Us Apart on her album A Mystery of Faith.
Both of these interpretations are - oddly enough in view of Swans' many painfully slow and morbid songs - more melodic and multi-tonal than the Joy Division original in which the melody is to a certain degree obscured by the monotone vocals. These differences in timbre do not in any way undermine the emotional impact of the song's theme and imagery.