The Durutti Column

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For the militia group of the Spanish Civil War, see Durruti Column. The Durutti Column_sentence_0

The Durutti Column_table_infobox_0

The Durutti ColumnThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_2_0 Greater Manchester, EnglandThe Durutti Column_cell_0_2_1
GenresThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_3_0 Post-punk, ambient, dream pop, post-rockThe Durutti Column_cell_0_3_1
Years activeThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_4_0 1978–presentThe Durutti Column_cell_0_4_1
LabelsThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_5_0 Factory, Artful, KookydiscThe Durutti Column_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_6_0 Simply RedThe Durutti Column_cell_0_6_1
MembersThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_8_0 Vini Reilly

Bruce Mitchell Keir Stewart Poppy MorganThe Durutti Column_cell_0_8_1

Past membersThe Durutti Column_header_cell_0_10_0 Dave Rowbotham

Chris Joyce Phil Rainford Tony Bowers Toby Toman Colin Sharp Tim Kellett Peter Hook Martin Jackson John MetcalfeThe Durutti Column_cell_0_10_1

The Durutti Column are an English post-punk band formed in 1978 in Manchester, England. The Durutti Column_sentence_1

The band is a project of guitarist and occasional pianist Vini Reilly who is often accompanied by Bruce Mitchell on drums and Keir Stewart on bass, keyboards and harmonica. The Durutti Column_sentence_2

They were among the first acts signed to Factory Records by label founder Tony Wilson. The Durutti Column_sentence_3

History The Durutti Column_section_0

Early line-ups The Durutti Column_section_1

In 1978 Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, later partners in Factory Records, assembled a band around the remnants of local punk rock band Fast Breeder, drummer Chris Joyce and guitarist Dave Rowbotham. The Durutti Column_sentence_4

The name was derived from a misspelling of the Durruti Column, an anarchist military unit in the Spanish Civil War, named after Buenaventura Durruti. The Durutti Column_sentence_5

The name was also taken from a four-page comic strip entitled "Le Retour de la Colonne Durruti" ("The Return Of The Durruti Column") by André Bertrand, which was handed out amidst student protests in October 1966 at Strasbourg University. The Durutti Column_sentence_6

On 25 January, Vini Reilly, former guitarist for local punk rock band Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds, joined, followed some weeks later by co-member vocalist Phil Rainford and, by the end of February, bassist Tony Bowers arrived from Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias. The Durutti Column_sentence_7

The line-up was short-lived as Rainford was sacked in July, and replaced by actor Colin Sharp, who also became one of the songwriters. The Durutti Column_sentence_8

Rainford went on to produce for Nico and Suns of Arqa. The Durutti Column_sentence_9

The Durutti Column played at the Factory club (organised by their managers), and cut two numbers for the first Factory Records release A Factory Sample, a double 7" compilation also featuring Joy Division, John Dowie and Cabaret Voltaire. The Durutti Column_sentence_10

On the eve of recording a debut album, the band broke up after a dispute about Wilson and Erasmus's choice of producer, Martin Hannett. The Durutti Column_sentence_11

Rowbotham, Bowers and Joyce went on to form The Mothmen (the latter two becoming members of Simply Red some years later), Sharp went on to form The Roaring 80s, SF Jive, and Glow, and also dedicated himself to acting; only Reilly remained. The Durutti Column_sentence_12

With everyone's departure, The Durutti Column defaulted to Reilly's solo project. The Durutti Column_sentence_13

Other musicians contributed to recordings and live performances as occasioned. The Durutti Column_sentence_14

Former Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias drummer Bruce Mitchell doubled as co-manager with Wilson throughout their career on Factory and for many years afterwards. The Durutti Column_sentence_15

1979–1990: Factory Records The Durutti Column_section_2

The first album, 1980's The Return of the Durutti Column (title inspired by a 1967 Situationist International poster that includes that phrase), was produced by Martin Hannett. The Durutti Column_sentence_16

Reilly: "...he more or less got sounds for me that no one else could understand that I wanted. The Durutti Column_sentence_17

And he understood that I wanted to play the electric guitar but I didn't want this horrible distorted, usual electric guitar sound and he managed to get that." The Durutti Column_sentence_18

The record featured a sandpaper sleeve (like the title of the record, inspired by a Situationist joke, a book – Guy Debord's Mémoires – with a sandpaper cover to destroy other books on the shelf). The Durutti Column_sentence_19

"I didn't even know it was going to be an album. The Durutti Column_sentence_20

It was just the case of jumping at the chance of being in the studio. The Durutti Column_sentence_21

I actually didn't get up in time, Martin had to physically get me out of bed to get me to the studio – that's how little I believed it would happen. The Durutti Column_sentence_22

I was still doing late night petrol station shifts. The Durutti Column_sentence_23

I was even more amazed when Tony presented me with a white label. The Durutti Column_sentence_24

I was completely baffled. The Durutti Column_sentence_25

'What, this is really going to be an album? The Durutti Column_sentence_26

You must be insane! The Durutti Column_sentence_27

No-one's going to buy this!' The Durutti Column_sentence_28

And then Tony got the idea from the Situationists about the sandpaper book, and decided to do some with a sandpaper sleeve. The Durutti Column_sentence_29

It was Joy Division that stuck the sandpaper onto the card. The Durutti Column_sentence_30

I was mortified." The Durutti Column_sentence_31

The music was unlike anything else performed by post-punk acts at the time. The Durutti Column_sentence_32

Reilly rooting himself in "new wave" with "...an attempt at experimental things"; the record contained nine gentle guitar instrumentals (later releases occasionally feature Reilly's soft and hesitant vocals) including elements from jazz, folk, classical music and rock. The Durutti Column_sentence_33

Reilly: "...I had a lot of classical training when I was young, guitar and formal training, the scales I write with and the techniques I use are classical techniques and scales – a lot of minor melodic and minor harmonic scales, which generally aren't used in pop music. The Durutti Column_sentence_34

Usually it's pentatonic". The Durutti Column_sentence_35

Hannett's production included adding electronic rhythm and other effects, including birdsong on "Sketch for Summer". The Durutti Column_sentence_36

The album was accompanied by a flexidisc with two tracks by Hannett alone. The Durutti Column_sentence_37

LC ("Lotta Continua", Italian for "continuous struggle"), released in 1981, was recorded without Hannett, and introduced percussionist Bruce Mitchell, Reilly's most frequent musical partner and occasional manager. The Durutti Column_sentence_38

It was recorded on a four-track cassette deck at home (while it was slightly padded in the studio, the tape hiss is intact); among the first crisp, professionally released recordings made cheaply at home. The Durutti Column_sentence_39

The EP Deux Triangles, released in 1982, contained three instrumentals, with piano emphasised over guitar. The Durutti Column_sentence_40

Another Setting (1983) was again Reilly and Mitchell; in 1984 the band was expanded to include Richard Henry (trombone), Maunagh Fleming (cor anglais and oboe), Blaine Reininger (of Tuxedomoon; violin and viola), Mervyn Fletcher (saxophone), Caroline Lavelle (cello), and Tim Kellett (trumpet). The Durutti Column_sentence_41

The album Without Mercy, arranged by John Metcalfe, was intended as an instrumental evocation of the poem La Belle Dame sans Merci by John Keats. The Durutti Column_sentence_42

Say What You Mean was a departure from roots with the addition of deep electronic percussion. The Durutti Column_sentence_43

Kellett and Metcalfe remained (Metcalfe playing viola); they also appear alongside Reilly and Mitchell on Circuses and Bread (Factory Benelux in 1985) and Domo Arigato. The Durutti Column_sentence_44

The latter is a live album recorded in Tokyo and the first pop album released in the UK solely on the relatively new compact disc format (and also available on VHS and LaserDisc.) The Durutti Column_sentence_45

Kellett left to join Simply Red, but guested on The Guitar and Other Machines (1987), the first new UK album to be released on Digital Audio Tape (as well as the usual media of LP, audio cassette and CD). The Durutti Column_sentence_46

The Guitar and Other Machines has a far more direct sound than earlier records, with guest vocals from Stanton Miranda and Reilly's then partner, Pol, and the use of a sequencer and drum machine in addition to Mitchell's drumming. The Durutti Column_sentence_47

The album was produced by Stephen Street, who also produced Morrissey's solo album Viva Hate (1988), on which Reilly played guitar. The Durutti Column_sentence_48

Reilly has said he was neither properly credited nor compensated for composing most of the music on Viva Hate. The Durutti Column_sentence_49

Vini Reilly (1989), also produced by Reilly and Street, features extensive use of sampling, with looped samples of vocalists (including Otis Redding, Tracy Chapman, Annie Lennox and Joan Sutherland) used as the basis for several tracks. The Durutti Column_sentence_50

Initial copies came with a 7" or CD single, "I Know Very Well How I Got My Note Wrong", credited to "Vincent Gerard and Steven Patrick", in which a take of the Morrissey B-side "I Know Very Well How I Got My Name" dissolves into laughter after Reilly hits a wrong note. The Durutti Column_sentence_51

On Obey the Time (1990) Mitchell played on only one track, the album being otherwise a solo recording by Reilly, heavily influenced by contemporary dance music. The Durutti Column_sentence_52

The album's title is a phrase uttered by the titular character of William Shakespeare's Othello toward his fiance, Desdemona in Act One, Scene Two: "I have but an hour of love, of worldly matters and direction, To spend with thee: we must obey the time." The Durutti Column_sentence_53

An accompanying single, "The Together Mix", featured two reworkings of album tracks by Together, Jonathon Donaghy and Suddi Raval (Donaghy was killed in a car crash in Ibiza before the single was released). The Durutti Column_sentence_54

This was to be the last Durutti Column record released by Factory, in early 1991. The Durutti Column_sentence_55

1990 onwards: after Factory The Durutti Column_section_3

For the first few years after the demise of Factory, the only Durutti Column album releases were Lips That Would Kiss (a 1991 collection of early singles, compilation contributions and unreleased material on the separate label Factory Benelux), and Dry (1991) and Red Shoes (1992), Italian collections of alternate versions and unreleased outtakes. The Durutti Column_sentence_56

Former member Dave Rowbotham was killed by an unknown assailant in 1991. The Durutti Column_sentence_57

He was later memorialised by the Happy Mondays in the song "Cowboy Dave." The Durutti Column_sentence_58

In 1993 Tony Wilson attempted to revive Factory Records, and Sex and Death was the first release on Factory Too (a subdivision of London Records). The Durutti Column_sentence_59

The album was once again produced by Stephen Street, with Mitchell and Metcalfe, and it included, on the track "The Next Time", Peter Hook of New Order. The Durutti Column_sentence_60

Time Was Gigantic ... The Durutti Column_sentence_61

When We Were Kids, which followed in 1998, was produced by Keir Stewart, who also played on the album and has frequently worked with Reilly since. The Durutti Column_sentence_62

Fidelity was released between these albums in 1996 by Les Disques du Crépuscule and was produced by Laurie Laptop. The Durutti Column_sentence_63

The eight albums recorded for Factory (The Return of the Durutti Column, LC, Another Setting, Without Mercy, Domo Arigato, The Guitar and Other Machines, Vini Reilly and Obey the Time) were re-released with additional material by Factory Too/London, under the banner Factory Once, between 1996 and 1998. The Durutti Column_sentence_64

In 1998, Durutti Column contributed "It's Your Life Baby" to the AIDS benefit compilation album Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon produced by the Red Hot Organization. The Durutti Column_sentence_65

Factory Too effectively ended in 1998, and subsequent Durutti Column albums have been on independent labels Artful Records (Rebellion , Someone Else's Party , Keep Breathing , Idiot Savants ) or Kookydisc (Tempus Fugit , Sunlight to Blue . The Durutti Column_sentence_66

. The Durutti Column_sentence_67

. The Durutti Column_sentence_68

Blue to Blackness ). The Durutti Column_sentence_69

Kookydisc has also released two further volumes of The Sporadic Recordings (along with a slightly edited re-release of the first volume from 1989), remastered versions of two very scarce LPs from the early 1980s (Live At The Venue and Amigos Em Portugal ), and two subscription-club discs of rare and unreleased material. The Durutti Column_sentence_70

A download-only release, Heaven Sent (It Was Called Digital, It Was Heaven Sent), first appeared in 2005 via Wilson's project F4, which was marketed as the fourth version of Factory Records. The Durutti Column_sentence_71

On 7 September 2009, Colin Sharp died from a brain haemorrhage. The Durutti Column_sentence_72

Reilly suffered a stroke in 2011, following which he was left unable to play the guitar the way he did before. The Durutti Column_sentence_73

Audience The Durutti Column_section_4

The film 24 Hour Party People shows Vini Reilly playing to an empty Haçienda (58:30 on the DVD). The Durutti Column_sentence_74

On the commentary track, however, Tony Wilson makes it clear that this is a "bit unfair" because Vini had a "real audience": "you can take him to Portugal and you get two thousand people, you can take him to Paris and you get eight hundred people, and in Manchester you get five or six hundred". The Durutti Column_sentence_75

Discography The Durutti Column_section_5

Chart placings shown are from the UK Indie Chart. The Durutti Column_sentence_76

Primary recordings The Durutti Column_section_6

The Durutti Column_unordered_list_0

  • The Return of the Durutti Column (Factory FACT 14, 1980) – original LP sleeve made of sandpaper – 1996 CD issue has same track listing and running order as the original sandpaper sleeve 'B1' and later black sleeve 'B3' vinyl pressings (and is missing the extra track from the black sleeve 'B2' LP release) (No. 7)The Durutti Column_item_0_0
  • Lips That Would Kiss EP (FAC BN 2-005, 1980)The Durutti Column_item_0_1
  • LC (Factory FACT 44, 1981) (No. 12)The Durutti Column_item_0_2
  • Deux Triangles EP (Factory Benelux FBN10, 1982)The Durutti Column_item_0_3
  • Another Setting (Factory FACT 74, 1983 – all CD issues have incorrect track listings) (No. 4)The Durutti Column_item_0_4
  • Short Stories For Pauline (Though recorded in 1983 and despite being given a catalogue number at the time, this album was not released in its originally intended form until 2012. Previous to this, tracks had been shared between the 1991 'Lips That Would Kiss' compilation and the LTM reissue of Circuses and Bread. In 2013 it was reissued again by LTM with 'Live in Bruxelles 13 August 1981' as a second CD.The Durutti Column_item_0_5
  • Amigos Em Portugal (Fundação Atlântica, 1983 – reissued on CD by Kooky in 2005) (No. 11)The Durutti Column_item_0_6
  • Without Mercy (Factory FACT 84, 1984) (No. 8)The Durutti Column_item_0_7
  • Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say EP (Factory FAC 114, 1985 – added to CD issues of Without Mercy) (No. 5)The Durutti Column_item_0_8
  • Circuses and Bread (Factory Benelux FACD 154, 1986 – reissued in 1993 with new artwork on Les Disques Du Crepuscule, titled "Bread and Circuses") (Reissued on LTM in 2008 with original artwork and 9 'bonus' tracks LTMCD 2510)(No. 11)The Durutti Column_item_0_9
  • "The City of Our Lady" (Factory Fac 184/A, 1986) with Debi Diamond (No. 46)The Durutti Column_item_0_10
  • Greetings Three EP (Materiali Sonori MASO 70003)The Durutti Column_item_0_11
  • The Guitar and Other Machines (Factory FACT 204, 1987 – also available as the first commercially released pre-recorded DAT) (No. 13)The Durutti Column_item_0_12
  • Vini Reilly (Factory FACT 244, 1989) (No. 5) – reissued in 2011 as a double CD by Kookydisc, featuring an extra 9 track disc of previously unissued demos and sketches.The Durutti Column_item_0_13
  • Obey the Time (Factory FACT 274, 1990)The Durutti Column_item_0_14
  • Sex and Death (Factory Too/London, 1994)The Durutti Column_item_0_15
  • Fidelity (Les Disques Du Crepuscule, 1996)The Durutti Column_item_0_16
  • Time was Gigantic... When we Were Kids (Factory Too/London, 1998)The Durutti Column_item_0_17
  • Rebellion (Artful CD40, 2001)The Durutti Column_item_0_18
  • Someone Else's Party (Artful CD49, 2003)The Durutti Column_item_0_19
  • Tempus Fugit (Kooky kookydisc019. 2004)The Durutti Column_item_0_20
  • Heaven Sent (It Was Called Digital. It Was Heaven Sent) (F4, 2005 – six tracks, download only)The Durutti Column_item_0_21
  • Keep Breathing (Artful CD52, 2006)The Durutti Column_item_0_22
  • Idiot Savants (Artful CD62, 2007) with guest vocalist, Poppy RobertsThe Durutti Column_item_0_23
  • Sunlight to Blue... Blue to Blackness (Kooky kookydisc027, 2008)The Durutti Column_item_0_24
  • Treatise on the Steppenwolf OST (LTMCD 2518, 2008) (incidental music to theatre performance – mostly reworkings of recent material)The Durutti Column_item_0_25
  • Love in the Time of Recession (Artful CD64, 2009)The Durutti Column_item_0_26
  • A Paean To Wilson (Kooky, kookydisc 29/1 & 29/2, 2009 mail order, 2010 retail)The Durutti Column_item_0_27
  • Chronicle (Kooky, 2011)The Durutti Column_item_0_28
  • Chronicle XL (Kooky, 2014)The Durutti Column_item_0_29

Secondary recordings The Durutti Column_section_7

The Durutti Column_unordered_list_1

  • The Sporadic Recordings (TTTTTTTTT CD, 1989 – demos and unreleased material – credited to Vini Reilly, not DC)The Durutti Column_item_1_30
  • Dry (Materiali Sonori, 1991 – collection of previously unreleased mid and late 1980s material)The Durutti Column_item_1_31
  • Red Shoes (Materiali Sonori, 1992 – collection of previously unreleased mid 1980s material and Greetings Three EP)The Durutti Column_item_1_32
  • Return of The Sporadic Recordings (Kooky, 2002 – double CD – abridged reissue of above 1989 Sporadic title with new disc of rare and previously unreleased material)The Durutti Column_item_1_33
  • Sporadic Three (Kooky, 2007 – another CD release of rare and previously unreleased material)The Durutti Column_item_1_34

Live recordings The Durutti Column_section_8

The Durutti Column_unordered_list_2

  • Live At The Venue London (VU, 1983 – recorded in the UK, 1983 – original vinyl ltd. to 4000 copies – reissued on CD in 2004)The Durutti Column_item_2_35
  • Domo Arigato (live) (Factory FACT 144, 1985 – recorded in Japan 4/85 – the first pop compact-disc only release)The Durutti Column_item_2_36
  • Live at the Bottom Line New York (US ROIR - cassette only release in 1987, CD issued in 1993 – CD reissue in 1999 re-titled "A Night In New York" with bonus track but mistakes in track listing)The Durutti Column_item_2_37
  • Live in Bruxelles 13.8.1981 (LTM LTMCD 2499, 2008, including radio interview with Vini Reilly)The Durutti Column_item_2_38

Compilations The Durutti Column_section_9

The Durutti Column_unordered_list_3

  • Valuable Passages (Factory FACT 164 UK/Relativity US, 1986 – double LP, single CD)The Durutti Column_item_3_39
  • The First Four Albums (Factory, 1988 – 4-CD set of Return Of, LC, Another Setting and Without Mercy/Say What You Mean... – Return Of disc matches the full 10 tracks of the 'B2' black sleeve vinyl pressing, rather than the 9 tracks of the original sandpaper sleeve 'B1' or later black sleeve 'B3' LP pressings)The Durutti Column_item_3_40
  • Lips That Would Kiss (Factory Benelux CD, 1991 – early 1980s single and compilation tracks with previously unreleased material)The Durutti Column_item_3_41
  • The Best Of The Durutti Column (WEA UK, 2004 – double CD)The Durutti Column_item_3_42
  • Four Factory Records (Kooky – 6-CD box set of first four Factory albums plus two discs of demo & live material – limited edition of 1175 copies, August 2009)The Durutti Column_item_3_43
  • The Durutti Column 2001–2009 (Fullfill, November 2009 – 5-CD box set of the Artful albums with 7 bonus tracks - bonus tracks also available as a separate EP)The Durutti Column_item_3_44
  • M24J (Anthology) (Factory Benelux, 2018)The Durutti Column_item_3_45


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Durutti Column.