Archive for the ‘Factory’ Category

New Order – ‘Confusion’ UK Promo 7″ (Factory FAC93, 1983)

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

A unique 4’08” edit of ‘Confusion’, released as a promo-only 7″ contemporary with the original release of the single, which commercially was only available on 12″, released August 1983. This 4’08” ‘re-structure’ is to be found on both sides of the single, same labels each flip too and it all comes housed in a plain black sleeve. Somewhat plain in comparison to the now somewhat iconic 12” sleeve design.

New Order - Confusion UK promo 7" single

^ New Order – Confusion UK promo 7″ single

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Joy Division – ‘Unknown Pleasures’ UK CD (Factory FACD10, 1986)

Monday, October 28th, 2019

Sometimes it is enough just to celebrate something for what it is without needing to explore any obscure variations. With this post, I focus on the first time Joy Division’s wonderful ‘Unknown Pleasures’ made an appearance on CD and where Factory attempted to overcome the tyranny of the ’80s CD jewel case and somehow tap into the spirit of the original sleeve design.

For starters, the ‘car carry case’ – a miniaturised revision of the original sleeve design. Shorn of any need to include the tracklisting on the reverse, it kept things minimal. The tracklisting was provided only on one of the jewel case inserts. Yes, in addition to the carry case, the CD jewel case comes with not one but two inserts. Both of which come printed on similar ‘textured’ card stock to that used on the original album sleeve and the car carry case this time round. I hope that the photos help to capture the textured card stock so you can see for yourself.

One odd thing about it though – at some point in the design process, it looks like the photograph from one side of the inner sleeve has gone awol from this redesign – the originally uncredited photo, ‘Hand Through a Doorway‘ by Ralph Gibson.

Joy Division 'Unknown Pleasures' original UK CD car carry case - front.

^ Joy Division ‘Unknown Pleasures’ original UK CD car carry case – front.

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Joy Division – ‘Substance’ cassette (Factory FACT250C, 1988)

Friday, June 28th, 2019

‘Substance’ was the second compilation album of Joy Division non-album tracks released on Factory, dating from July 1988. Along with 1981’s ‘Still’, it gathers up many of the tracks that first appeared on the band’s single and EP releases, none of which were featured on either ‘Unknown Pleasures’ or ‘Closer’. (Well, other than a different version of ‘She’s Lost Control’, I suppose.)

^ Joy Division – ‘Substance’ cassette – Factory FACT250C, 1988, front case design.

I have chosen to feature the cassette version, since this hails from my pre-CD buying days and therefore was the only access I had to the full version of the release. You see, the vinyl LP version only came with ten tracks, whereas the cassette version came with those same ten tracks on side 1 and an ‘Appendix’ on side 2 that added an additional seven tracks. (The CD version also came with the full seventeen tracks.) Somewhat annoyingly, rather than present everything in chronological order, the ‘Appendix’ device ensures that things get mixed up. Which is quite a thing considering some of the recordings are rough and ready productions hailing from Joy Division’s first EP release, ‘An Ideal For Living’, compared to the cleaner, far more meticulous later Martin Hannett productions. This is the cassette I bought when it was first released, which comes in a black plastic shell. Apparently there are version where the cassette is in a clear plastic shell, still with paper labels though. (more…)

Peter Hook ‘Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division’ UK audio book 8 CD set (AudioGO, ISBN 978 1471 318535, 2012)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

With an advertised running time of 8 hours and 25 minutes, this whopping 8 CD set brings you the voice of Peter Hook himself reading his in parts amusing and unpretentious take on his days as one quarter of Joy Division. Any conceptions of the mythic, pained, sullen and mysterious image of Joy Division as a band is taken in hand and dismantled by Hook. You’d be hard pressed to balance the immature, laddish wind-ups and downright cruel ‘japes’ played on one another by the band with the somewhat sombre yet brutal grace of the music they made, as told by Hooky. There’s a recurring retrospective regret to proceedings as the inevitable end of Ian Curtis unfolds. A good many ‘why didn’t we see what was happening?’ or ‘why didn’t we take a break?’ questions arise as one event after another that should have rung the klaxon of concern takes shape, is absorbed, patched up or glossed over and everything proceeds relentlessly all the same. All too often the urge to forget the implications and move on seemingly from Ian Curtis himself. Hook jokes about naming his book ‘He Said He Was All Right So We Carried On’ and you have to chuckle, darkly.

Peter Hook 'Unknown Pleasures' audio book front cover design

^ Peter Hook ‘Unknown Pleasures’ audio book front cover design

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A Certain Ratio – ‘Waterline’ (Factory, FAC 52) UK 12″ single

Monday, September 30th, 2013

What a brilliant single this was – an absolutely killer bassline, thumping and skittering around and anchoring this along with Donald Johnson’s crisp, precise drums and percussion workout. Atop was some seriously haunted horns and tape echo/electronic manipulations, with the dual vocals of the short-lived Martha Tilson bringing an ‘almost there’ presence and (presumably) Simon Topping in vocodered form. Something of a lost gem though – it hails from the same sessions as the ‘Sextet’ album, recorded late 1981 and released early 1982, but in somewhat typical Factory fashion of the time, it did not appear on that LP. Curiously, it has proved elusive in later reissues too – it can be found on 2002’s ‘Early’ CD compilation, but oddly was neglected from the ‘Old and the New’ compilation and various re-issues of ‘Sextet’.

A Certain Ratio - 'Waterline' 12 inch single, front design

^ A Certain Ratio - 'Waterline' 12 inch single, front design

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