Factory Records

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"The Factory (music venue)" redirects here. Factory Records_sentence_0

For the arts venue due to open in early 2020, see The Factory (Manchester). Factory Records_sentence_1

Factory Records_table_infobox_0

Factory RecordsFactory Records_header_cell_0_0_0
Parent companyFactory Records_header_cell_0_1_0 Warner Music Group

Because Music (select catalogues)Factory Records_cell_0_1_1

FoundedFactory Records_header_cell_0_2_0 1978; 42 years ago (1978)Factory Records_cell_0_2_1
FounderFactory Records_header_cell_0_3_0 Factory Records_cell_0_3_1
DefunctFactory Records_header_cell_0_4_0 1992; 28 years ago (1992)Factory Records_cell_0_4_1
StatusFactory Records_header_cell_0_5_0 DefunctFactory Records_cell_0_5_1
Distributor(s)Factory Records_header_cell_0_6_0 London/Warner Music (in the UK)

Warner Records (in the US) WEA International (worldwide) Rhino Entertainment (Reissues) Caroline Distribution (select catalogues)Factory Records_cell_0_6_1

GenreFactory Records_header_cell_0_7_0 VariousFactory Records_cell_0_7_1
Country of originFactory Records_header_cell_0_8_0 United KingdomFactory Records_cell_0_8_1
LocationFactory Records_header_cell_0_9_0 ManchesterFactory Records_cell_0_9_1

Factory Records was a Manchester-based British independent record label founded in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus. Factory Records_sentence_2

The label collapsed in 1992 and was bought by London Records. Factory Records_sentence_3

The label featured several important acts on its roster, including Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, the Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, Northside, and (briefly) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and James. Factory Records_sentence_4

Factory also ran The Haçienda nightclub, in partnership with New Order. Factory Records_sentence_5

Factory Records used a creative team (most notably record producer Martin Hannett and graphic designer Peter Saville) which gave the label and the artists recording for it a particular sound and image. Factory Records_sentence_6

The label employed a unique cataloguing system that gave a number not just to its musical releases, but also to various other related miscellany, including artwork, films, living beings, and even Wilson's own casket. Factory Records_sentence_7

History Factory Records_section_0

'The Factory' Factory Records_section_1

The Factory name was first used for a club in May of 1978; the first Factory night was on the 26 May 1978. Factory Records_sentence_8

The club became a Manchester legend in its own right, being known variously as the Russell Club, Caribbean Club, PSV (Public Service Vehicles) Club (so titled as it was originally a social club for bus drivers who worked from the nearby depot) and 'The Factory'. Factory Records_sentence_9

The ‘Factory’ night at The Russell Club was launched by Alan Erasmus, Tony Wilson, and helped by promoter Alan Wise. Factory Records_sentence_10

The name 'Factory' was chosen in homage to the New York club of the same name. Factory Records_sentence_11

As well as attracting numerous touring bands to the area and many upcoming post punk bands, it featured local bands including the Durutti Column (managed at the time by Erasmus and Wilson), Cabaret Voltaire from Sheffield and Joy Division. Factory Records_sentence_12

The club was demolished in 2001. Factory Records_sentence_13

The club was located on the NE corner of the now demolished Hulme Crescents development, on the corner of Royce Rd and Clayburn St (). Factory Records_sentence_14

Peter Saville designed advertising for the club, and in September Factory released an EP of music by acts who had played at the club (the Durutti Column, Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, and comedian John Dowie) called A Factory Sample. Factory Records_sentence_15

1978 and 1979 Factory Records_section_2

As a follow-on from the successful 'Factory Nights' held at the Russell Club, Factory Records made their first release, "A Factory Sample", in January 1979. Factory Records_sentence_16

At that time there was a punk label in Manchester called Rabid Records, run by Tosh Ryan and Martin Hannett. Factory Records_sentence_17

It had several successful acts, including Slaughter & the Dogs (whose tour manager was Rob Gretton), John Cooper Clarke, and Jilted John. Factory Records_sentence_18

After his seminal TV series So It Goes, Tony Wilson was interested in the way Rabid Records ran, and was convinced that the real money and power were in album sales. Factory Records_sentence_19

With a lot of discussion, Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton and Alan Erasmus set up Factory Records, with Martin Hannett from Rabid. Factory Records_sentence_20

In 1978, Wilson compered the new wave afternoon at Deeply Vale Festival. Factory Records_sentence_21

This was actually the fourth live appearance by the fledgling Durutti Column and that afternoon Wilson also introduced an appearance (very early in their career) by the Fall, featuring Mark E. Smith and Marc "Lard" Riley on bass guitar. Factory Records_sentence_22

The Factory label set up an office in Erasmus' home on the first floor of 86 Palatine Road (), and the Factory Sample EP was released in early 1979. Factory Records_sentence_23

Singles followed by A Certain Ratio (who would stay with the label) and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (who left for Virgin Records shortly afterwards). Factory Records_sentence_24

The first Factory LP, Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, was released in June. Factory Records_sentence_25

1980s Factory Records_section_3

In January 1980, The Return of the Durutti Column was released, the first in a long series of releases by guitarist Vini Reilly. Factory Records_sentence_26

In May, Joy Division singer Ian Curtis committed suicide shortly before a planned tour of the USA. Factory Records_sentence_27

The following month saw Joy Division's single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" reach the UK top twenty, and their second album Closer was released the following month. Factory Records_sentence_28

In late 1980, the remaining members of Joy Division decided to continue as New Order. Factory Records_sentence_29

Factory branched out, with Factory Benelux being run as an independent label in conjunction with Les Disques du Crepuscule, and Factory US organising distribution for the UK label's releases in America. Factory Records_sentence_30

In 1981, Factory and New Order opened a nightclub and preparations were made to convert a Victorian textile factory near the centre of Manchester, which had lately seen service as a motor boat showroom. Factory Records_sentence_31

Hannett left the label, as he had wanted to open a recording studio instead, and subsequently sued for unpaid royalties (the case was settled out of court in 1984). Factory Records_sentence_32

Saville also quit as a partner due to problems with payments, although he continued to work for Factory. Factory Records_sentence_33

Wilson, Erasmus and Gretton formed Factory Communications Ltd. Factory Records_sentence_34

The Haçienda (FAC 51) opened in May 1982. Factory Records_sentence_35

Although successful in terms of attendance, and attracting a lot of praise for Ben Kelly's interior design, the club lost large amounts of money in its first few years due largely to the low prices charged for entrance and at the bar, which was markedly cheaper than nearby pubs. Factory Records_sentence_36

Adjusting bar prices failed to help matters as by the mid-1980s crowds were increasingly preferring ecstasy to alcohol. Factory Records_sentence_37

Therefore the Haçienda ended up costing tens of thousands of pounds every month. Factory Records_sentence_38

In 1983 New Order's "Blue Monday" (FAC 73) became an international chart hit. Factory Records_sentence_39

However, the label did not make any money from it since the original sleeve, die-cut and designed to look like a floppy disk, was so costly to make that the label lost 5 pence on every copy they sold. Factory Records_sentence_40

Saville noted that nobody at Factory expected Blue Monday to be a commercially successful record at all, so nobody expected the cost to be an issue. Factory Records_sentence_41

1985 saw the first release by Happy Mondays. Factory Records_sentence_42

New Order and Happy Mondays became the most successful bands on the label, bankrolling a host of other projects. Factory Records_sentence_43

Factory, and the Haçienda, became a cultural hub of the emerging techno and acid house genres and their amalgamation with post-punk guitar music (the "Madchester" scene). Factory Records_sentence_44

1986 saw Mick Middles' book Joy Division to New Order published by Virgin Books (later being reprinted under the title Factory). Factory Records_sentence_45

In 1989 the label extended its reach to fringe punk folk outfit To Hell With Burgundy. Factory Records_sentence_46

Factory also opened a bar (The Dry Bar, FAC 201) and a shop (The Area, FAC 281) in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Factory Records_sentence_47

1990s Factory Records_section_4

Factory's headquarters (FAC 251) on Charles Street, near the Oxford Road BBC building, were opened in September 1990 (prior to which the company was still registered at Alan Erasmus' flat in Didsbury). Factory Records_sentence_48

In 1991, Factory suffered two tragedies: the deaths of Martin Hannett and Dave Rowbotham. Factory Records_sentence_49

Hannett had recently re-established a relationship with the label, working with Happy Mondays, and tributes including a compilation album and a festival were organised. Factory Records_sentence_50

Rowbotham was one of the first musicians signed by the label; he was an original member of the Durutti Column and shared the guitar role with Vini Reilly; he was murdered and his body was found in his flat in Burnage. Factory Records_sentence_51

Saville's association with Factory was now reduced to simply designing for New Order and their solo projects (the band itself was in suspension, with various members recording as Electronic, Revenge and the Other Two). Factory Records_sentence_52

By 1992, the label's two most successful bands caused the label serious financial trouble. Factory Records_sentence_53

The Happy Mondays were recording their troubled fourth album Yes Please! Factory Records_sentence_54

in Barbados, and New Order reportedly spent £400,000 on recording their comeback album Republic. Factory Records_sentence_55

London Records were interested in taking over Factory but the deal fell through when it emerged that, due to Factory's early practice of eschewing contracts, New Order rather than the label owned New Order's back catalogue. Factory Records_sentence_56

Factory Communications Ltd, the company formed in 1981, declared bankruptcy in November 1992. Factory Records_sentence_57

Many former Factory acts, including New Order, found a new home at London Records. Factory Records_sentence_58

The Haçienda closed in 1997 and the building was demolished shortly afterwards. Factory Records_sentence_59

It was replaced by a modern luxury apartment block in 2003, also called The Haçienda. Factory Records_sentence_60

In October 2009, Peter Hook published his book on his time as co-owner of the Haçienda, How Not to Run a Club, and in 2010 he had six bass guitars made using wood from the Haçienda's dancefloor. Factory Records_sentence_61

2000s Factory Records_section_5

The 2002 film 24 Hour Party People is centred on Factory Records, the Haçienda, and the infamous, often unsubstantiated anecdotes and stories surrounding them. Factory Records_sentence_62

Many of the people associated with Factory, including Tony Wilson, have minor parts; the central character, based on Wilson, is played by actor and comedian Steve Coogan. Factory Records_sentence_63

Anthony Wilson, Factory Records' founder, died on 10 August 2007 at age 57, from complications arising from renal cancer. Factory Records_sentence_64

Colin Sharp, the Durutti Column singer during 1978 who took part in the A Factory Sample EP, died on 7 September 2009, after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Factory Records_sentence_65

Although his involvement with Factory was brief, Sharp was an associate for a short while of Martin Hannett and wrote a book called Who Killed Martin Hannett, which upset Martin's surviving relatives, who stated the book included numerous untruths and fiction. Factory Records_sentence_66

Only months after Sharp's death, Larry Cassidy, Section 25's bassist and singer, died of unknown causes, on 27 February 2010. Factory Records_sentence_67

In early 2010, Peter Hook, in collaboration with the Haçienda's original interior designer Ben Kelly and British audio specialists Funktion-One, renovated and reopened FAC 251 (the former Factory Records headquarters on Charles Street) as a nightclub. Factory Records_sentence_68

The club still holds its original name, FAC 251, but people refer to it as "The Factory". Factory Records_sentence_69

Despite Ben Kelly's design influences, Peter Hook insists, "It's not the Haçienda for fucks sic sake". Factory Records_sentence_70

The club has a weekly agenda, featuring DJs and live bands of various genres. Factory Records_sentence_71

In May 2010, James Nice, owner of LTM Recordings, published the book Shadowplayers. Factory Records_sentence_72

The book charts the rise and fall of Factory and offers detailed accounts and information about many key figures involved with the label. Factory Records_sentence_73

FAC numbers Factory Records_section_6

See also: Factory Records discography Factory Records_sentence_74

Musical releases, and essentially anything closely associated with the label, were given a catalogue number in the form of either FAC, or FACT, followed by a number. Factory Records_sentence_75

FACT was reserved for full-length albums, while FAC was used for both single song releases and many other Factory "productions", including: posters (FAC 1 advertised a club night), The Haçienda (FAC 51), a lawsuit filed against Factory Records by Martin Hannett (FAC 61), a hairdressing salon (FAC 98), a broadcast of Channel 4's The Tube TV series (FAC 104), customised packing tape (FAC 136), a bucket on a restored watermill (FAC 148), the Haçienda cat (FAC 191), a bet between Wilson and Gretton (FAC 253), a radio advertisement (FAC 294), and a website (FAC 421). Factory Records_sentence_76

Similar numbering was used for compact disc media releases (FACD), CD Video releases (FACDV), Factory Benelux releases (FAC BN or FBN), Factory US releases (FACTUS), and Gap Records Australia releases (FACOZ), with many available numbers restricted to record releases and other directly artist-related content. Factory Records_sentence_77

Numbers were not allocated in strict chronological order; numbers for Joy Division and New Order releases generally ended in 3, 5, or 0 (with most Joy Division and New Order albums featuring multiples of 25), A Certain Ratio and Happy Mondays in 2, and the Durutti Column in 4. Factory Records_sentence_78

Factory Classical releases were 226, 236 and so on. Factory Records_sentence_79

Despite the demise of Factory Records in 1992, the catalogue was still active. Factory Records_sentence_80

Additions included the 24 Hour Party People film (FAC 401), its website (FAC 433) and DVD release (FACDVD 424), and a book, Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album (FAC 461). Factory Records_sentence_81

Even Tony Wilson's coffin received a Factory catalogue number; FAC 501. Factory Records_sentence_82

Factory Classical Factory Records_section_7

In 1989, Factory Classical was launched with five albums by composer Steve Martland, the Kreisler String Orchestra, the Duke String Quartet (which included Durutti Column viola player John Metcalfe), oboe player Robin Williams and pianist Rolf Hind. Factory Records_sentence_83

Composers included Martland, Benjamin Britten, Paul Hindemith, Francis Poulenc, Dmitri Shostakovich, Michael Tippett, György Ligeti and Elliott Carter. Factory Records_sentence_84

Releases continued until 1992, including albums by Graham Fitkin, vocal duo Red Byrd, a recording of Erik Satie's Socrate, Piers Adams playing Handel's Recorder Sonatas, Walter Hus and further recordings both of Martland's compositions and of the composer playing Mozart. Factory Records_sentence_85

Successor labels Factory Records_section_8

In 1994, Wilson attempted to revive Factory Records, in collaboration with London Records, as "Factory Too". Factory Records_sentence_86

The first release was by Factory stalwarts the Durutti Column; the other main acts on the label were Hopper and Space Monkeys, and the label gave a UK release to the first album by Stephin Merritt's side project the 6ths, Wasps' Nests. Factory Records_sentence_87

A further release ensued: a compilation EP featuring previously unsigned Manchester acts East West Coast, the Orch, Italian Love Party, and K-Track. Factory Records_sentence_88

This collection of 8 tracks (2 per band) was simply entitled A Factory Sample Too (FACD2.02). Factory Records_sentence_89

The label was active until the late 1990s, latterly independent of London Records, as was "Factory Once", which organised reissues of Factory material. Factory Records_sentence_90

Wilson founded a short-lived fourth incarnation, F4 Records, in the early 2000s. Factory Records_sentence_91

In 2012, Peter Saville and James Nice formed a new company called Factory Records Ltd., in association with Alan Erasmus and Oliver Wilson (son of Tony). Factory Records_sentence_92

This released only a vinyl reissue of From the Hip by Section 25. Factory Records_sentence_93

Nice subsequently revived the Factory Benelux imprint for Factory reissues, and for new recordings by Factory-associated bands. Factory Records_sentence_94

In 2019 Warner Music Group marked the 40th anniversary of Factory as a record label with a website, exhibition, and select vinyl editions including Unknown Pleasures and box set compilation Communications 1978-1992. Factory Records_sentence_95

Factory Records recording artists Factory Records_section_9

The bands with the most numerous releases on Factory Records include Joy Division/New Order, Happy Mondays, Durutti Column and A Certain Ratio. Factory Records_sentence_96

Each of these bands has between 15 and 30 FAC numbers attributed to their releases. Factory Records_sentence_97

Retrospective Factory Records_section_10

An exhibition took place celebrating the 20th anniversary of the closing of Factory Records (1978–1992) and its musical output, at the Ice Plant, Manchester, between 4 and 7 May 2012. Factory Records_sentence_98

The exhibition was called FACTVM (from the Latin for 'deed accomplished'). Factory Records_sentence_99

In October 2019 a new box set was released containing both rarities and the label’s releases from its first two years. Factory Records_sentence_100

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factory Records.