28 May 2017
The History Lesson - Stepping Out 
Stepping Out

The full catalogue of Factory Records FAC numbers is loved by everyone for its patterns and idiosyncrasies. In 1979, the nascent label was planning the first real wave of releases following on from the FAC 2 sampler and various events at The Factory. This flyer, entitled "Stepping Out" provides more detail and whilst some is familiar there's a few curveballs indicating what might've been.

Notably it seems that "instrumental album" by The Durutti Column was once scheduled to be FAC 12 and The Distractions' first single was slated as FAC 14. These would eventually swap and get different titles ("Pillow Talk" was actually "Pillow Fight", the eventual FAC 12 b-side).

FAC 13 was also going to be a badge before turning into "Transmission", the first single by Joy Division. I assume that this was the same badge that came out as FAC 21.

Finally, FAC 15 was originally going to be a single by Elti-Fits but turned into the Leigh Festival/Zoo Meet Factory Halfway event held in Leigh.


FAC 5 A CERTAIN RATIO "All Night Party" 7" 45rpm Out now
FAC 6 ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES "Electricity" 7" 45rpm Out now
FAC 9 FACTORY FLICK "No City Fun" 8' 16mm July
FAC 10 JOY DIVISION "Unknown Pleasures" 12" 33 1/3 rpm July
FAC 11 X-O-DUS "English Black Boys" 7" 45rpm To be mixed
FAC 12 THE DURUTTI COLUMN Instrumental album 12" 33 1/3 rpm August
FAC 13 BADGE Fac thirteen with pin July
FAC 14 THE DISTRACTIONS "Pillow Talk" 7" 45rpm August
FAC 15 ELTI-FITS "Thirty Miles" 7" 45rpm August


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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