25 Apr 2004
Synopsis 
This extract from the book 'The A-Z of Record Labels' by Brian Southall [ISBN 1-86074-281-5] somewhat bluntly details the history of Factory Records. It also distinctly prematurely records the demise of New Order:

"Following a distinctly unique route which didn't include such traditional record company trappings as contracts and advances, Factory Records emerged out of Manchester's renewed and sometimes hectic music business in 1978. Cambridge graduate turned TV presenter and producer Tony Wilson was the leading light behind Factory Records and the short-lived Factory Club. The Durutti Column - who were managed by Wilson and partner Alan Erasmus - launched the label, but the first taste of success came with Joy Division, OMD, James and New Order, which then led to the opening of the notorious Hacienda Club.

Despite a host of hit records, Factory suffered drastically when their un-contracted bands started to leave, and even though new acts broke through, such as Happy Mondays, the label was in serious financial straits by the early Nineties. While an attempt to sell the label fell through, both New Order and Happy Mondays sold their catalogues before splitting up and Wilson was forced to dissolve the label in 1993, although the sequel, Factory Too, made a brief appearance in the mid Nineties.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column