25 Apr 2004
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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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