40 Years Of Factory Records

40 Years Of Factory Records

joy division factory records
Ian Curtis of Joy Division, 1980 (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images)

Factory Records was a Manchester-based British independent record label, started in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, who signed and released several prominent musical acts such as Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, the Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

Factory Records used a creative team (most notably record producer Martin Hannett and graphic designer Peter Saville) which gave the label and artist roster a particular sound and image. The label employed a unique cataloguing system that gave a number not just to its musical releases, but to artwork and other objects too. 

The 40th Anniversary of the legendary Factory Records will be celebrated with an 8LP set, Factory Communications: 1978-92, featuring rare and unheard material. You can view the full tracklist and pre-order here, ahead of the November 8 release.   

"It is rewarding to see that the legacy endures and that there is such appreciation of the artefacts,” says Peter Saville. 


factory records vinyl set

Originally released as a limited edition four-CD collection in 2009, Factory Communications: 1978-92 is a tribute to the label as well as a dedication to the founder, the late Tony Wilson. The project celebrates arguably the most important label in UK pop history, collating rare and obscure tracks from a diverse range of acts.  It features 63 tracks including cuts from New Order, Joy Division, The Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, Electronic, A Certain Ratio, Section 25 and many others and includes sleeve notes written by Paul Morley.

The first 10 numbered records and objects will feature in an exhibition in London, titled Use Hearing Protection FAC 1 – 50 / 40, showcasing the iconic imagery, curated by Jon Savage and Mat Bancroft. 

Take a look at the videos from some of the now iconic bands from the Factory Records roster on our 'Best of Factory Records' YouTube playlist, here. 





Read more: 8 Top Albums Straight Out Of Manchester

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