3 Oct 2013
Facs In The Attic Part 3 
After exploring the vaults of Factory Records in both Part 1 and Part 2, the third chapter in our Facs In The Attic series deals with the first overseas releases. We'll have a peek at Factory Benelux issues, old and new, plus round up a few interesting related items released on Belgian cousin Les Disques du Crepuscule.

Factory Benelux

Recently revived as part of the LTM empire (though run as a separate entity), Factory Benelux was a comparatively short-lived project that ran initially for eight years from 1980 to 1988. It could be argued that some of the label's earlier exclusive releases were superior to those issued by the same acts on Factory. Regardless, the value of most of the Benelux catalogue is encouraging - clearly the availability of many of the original FBN releases proved to be scarce in the UK at best, impossible at worst, making the label a hit with collectors.

Factory Benelux

The earliest singles by A Certain Ratio (Shack Up 7" - FBN 1-004), The Durutti Column (Lips The Would Kiss/Madeleine 7"/12" - FBN 2-005) and Section 25 (Charnel Ground / Haunted 7") all fetch around £15-£20 depending on seller, while further later exclusives by Crispy Ambulance (Live On a Hot August Night 12" - FACBN 4), Section 25 (Je Veux Ton Amour 7" - FACBN 5) and Crawling Chaos (Gas Chair LP - FACBN 6) weigh in from anything between £20 and £50 (for the latter) - these need to be in mint condition to achieve those prices.

Other highlights from the catalogue (now with a shorter FBN prefix) include The Names' sprightly Calcutta 7"/12" at around £15-£20, two further Section 25 releases, Key Of Dreams LP (FBN 14 - £35) and Crazy Wisdom 12" (FBN 45 - £25), two Minny Pops records, Time 7" (FBN 11 - £30) and Sparks In a Dark Room (FBN 15 - up to £50!), two Stockholm Monsters 12" singles Miss Moonlight (FBN 19 - £15) and How Corrupt Is Rough Trade? (FBN 46 - £15) and the original pressing of Durutti Column's wistful Deux Triangles 12" EP (FBN 10 - £30), all of which were only pressed in the Low Countries.

Remaining releases from the initial tenure can be found priced upwards of £10, even those that seemingly match Factory UK singles and albums. However, such as in the case of Swamp Children's So Hot LP (FBN 21 - £20) and Quando Quango's Love Tempo (FBN 23 - £20-£30), a different sleeve can increase collectibility somewhat.

The new, all-sparkly, Factory Benelux label, revived in 2013, has already notched up one rarity - the limited 1000 copies edition of Durutti Column's Short Stories For Pauline (FBN 36) has already prompted a few chancers on Discogs to charge upwards of £30 for a copy.

Les Disques du Crepuscule

Cousin Les Disques du Crepuscule (originally based in Brussels) didn't release a lot of music by Factory artists but occasionally licensed material by a few of the acts and vice versa.

Les Disques du Crepuscule

Wim Mertens

You may remember one Wim Mertens from Part 2 of our Facs In The Attic series - £200 for a cassette version of Educes Me should jog your memory. His Belgium catalogue is extensive to say the least but his early Crepuscule releases are also worth a small bankroll (most have admittedly been re-issued on EMI, but original vinyls still command decent prices). For vinyl issued under the collective name Soft Verdict, you can expect to cough up a small mortgage for The Power Of Theatrical Madness 12" (TWI 283 - £50), Maximizing The Audience on 12" (12 TWI 580 - £25), its attendant double-album of the same name (TWI 480 - £20 upwards) and the debut-album For Amusement Only (TWI 049 - £50 upwards). Albums under the Wim Mertens moniker aren't a lot cheaper with perhaps the scariest value being attributed to his (count 'em) 6 CD set Play For Me (TWI 831-2 - £100 average) and the 13 CD set Moment (TWI 1980 - £400).

Anna Domino

Rather more modest is Anna's fine catalogue of dark earthy and intelligent pop. Original vinyl versions of the albums East Meet West (TWI 187) and This Time (TWI 777) can fetch £10 upwards, while her 7" single Trust In Love (TWI 177) hits £15 regularly online, sometimes more.

Cabaret Voltaire

Providers of FAC 82 (Yashar), Cabaret Voltaire issued rather more records for their Belgian friends, including the landmark Three Crepuscule Tracks 12" EP, which includes Sluggin' Fer Jesus (TWI 007 - £10), Fools Game/Gut Level (TWI 120 - £10), the bleeptastic What Is Real on CD single (TWI 948-2 - £12) and the not dissimilar mini-album Percussion Force on CD (TWI 951-2 - £20).

Devine & Statton

OK, not strictly a Factory artist but the Ludus/Young Marble Giants-related pair have a connection - their acoustic cover of New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle, issued as a 12" EP in 1989. TWI 908 was pressed in seemingly short supply and promptly deleted, just as it started to pick up airplay on Radio 1 evening shows. It's worth around £15 in mint condition.

The Durutti Column

Vini Reilly's music probably appeared on more Crepuscule compilations than actual headlining releases but DC did issue a couple. Both on CD, Fidelity (TWI 976-2) and a re-jigged Circuses and Bread (previously issued on Factory Benelux FBN 36 and Factory FACD 154, now called Bread and Circuses) (TWI 988-2) can raise you about £10-£15.

The Names

Responsible for one of Factory's most-revered 7" (Nightshift), The Brussels-based outfit not surprisingly booked themselves a place on their home-label with two releases. The Names' Martin Hannett-produced Swimming LP (TWI 065) can earn you £20-£25 for a top copy while the 12" The Astronaut (TWI 111) came in two colours, black and green vinyl. The former is worth about £10, the green about double.

Thick Pigeon

The quirky outfit's Two Crazy Cowboys album on Factory isn't their only money-spinner worth seeking out - two of their 7" singles are too. Subway (TWI 023) is one of the label's defining moments and is worthy of a £20 note while Dog/Tracy and Pansy (TWI 108) is worth around £10.

Various Artists

There isn't enough space to mention the Crepuscule compilations blessed with the presence of a Factory artist but we'll mention just one that is seriously worth having. From Brussels With Love (TWI 007 and TWI 008, depending on version) sports tracks by The Durutti Column, Martin Hannett (solo track), The Names, A Certain Ratio and a collaboration between Kevin Hewick and New Order. Early copies cost £25 on average (it's a double album) or as little as a tenner for a re-press (or the LTM CD reissue). The original cassette in PVC pouch with booklet is upwards of £25.

Prices quoted are from Discogs, eBay, sightings in shops and other online sources.

You can find new releases and further information on forthcoming projects on Factory Benelux here and Les Disques du Crepuscule here

The final part of Facs In The Attic will deal with other international releases and non-audio Facollectables!

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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