To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Factory, Manchester’s most well known record label, Rhino records UK is pleased to announce the release of “A Factory Box Set”. Founded in 1978 when former Granada TV presenter Tony Wilson teamed up with Alan Erasmus, an unemployed actor and band manager, soon to be joined by maverick producer Martin Hannett, The Factory name was first used for a club featuring local bands including The Durutti Column, Cabaret Voltaire and Joy Division. The founder members of the label decided to release an EP of music by the acts who had performed there; “A Factory Sample” – and Factory Records was born.
The first album on the label was Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures', followed by the stand alone and hit single 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. Lead singer Ian Curtis tragically committed suicide, but the rest of the band renamed themselves New Order. In May 1982 Factory and New Order converted a former yacht showroom into The Hacienda nightclub and, to complete the achievement, had Bernard Manning perform the official opening,
Factory was however much more than just its’ headline acts. “A Factory Box Set” celebrates the label from the first release “A Factory Sample” through an extremely diverse roster of acts from the cutting edge post punk of A Certain Ratio, Cabaret Voltaire, The Railway Children, OMD, James and Joy Division to obscurities such as Section 25, Biting Tongues, Crispy Ambulance, Miaow and Swamp Children via early dance culture – ESG(who are sadly not featured due to licensing problems) and 52nd Street, to the full flowering of the ‘Madchester scene’, ending fittingly with the last Factory release, “Sunshine and Love” by Happy Mondays.
Nothing if not idiosyncratic, Factory was also known for the way it catalogued its assets – all the records had catalogue numbers being with FAC, but everything else connected to the label came under the same system. So the poster advertising the nightclub was FAC1, the Hacienda's cat was FAC191, the office sellotape was FAC136 and a bet between two of the partners was even given the number FAC253.