14 Feb 2010
Factory also have to pay the producer 
Given that Factory's venue (mis)management skills were detailed in a book entitled How not to run a club, approaching them for advice on running a record label does not, with the benefit of hindsight, seem like a good idea.

Similarly, using Happy Mondays as an example of good music business would seem almost negligent.

Back in the latter half of 1988, though, the outlook was different.

Factory had reached the ten year mark, business at the Hacienda was picking up (even if the reason for it was played down), New Order and Happy Mondays were busy 'recording albums', Dry was around the corner and Factory were still playing with the imagery of multinational corporations rather than believing - disastrously - they actually were one.

In this context, Factory's contribution to the Granada TV youth educational program - I.T. - recently posted in two parts on a famous video website, makes perfect sense.

Aired in early 1989 and narrated by Bob Greaves, with a youthful cast (in order of appearence) that included: John Pennington, Martin Hannett, Happy Mondays, Tony Wilson, Nathan McGough, Tina Simmonds, Chris Smith, Tony the Greek, Matt and Pat, Keith Jobling, Richard Heslop, Jeff Barrett and Kevin Cummins, and taking in locations such as Strawberry Studios, 86 Palatine Road, 48 Princess Street, CSD in Stevenson Square and Heaven in London, the program follows the recording, production, launch and promotion of the album Bummed.

Do any of the participants look like they know what is about to hit them?

Would Granada TV have produced such a programme - aimed at children of an impressionable age - if they knew?

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Peter Saville colour wheel
Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column