Joy Division ‘Live In Amsterdam 1980’ Japanese CD [Alive The Live / King Street, INGCD4174, 2020]

I tend not to feature live Joy Division recordings on VersionCrazy because… well… where will it end?! There are simply so many of them released over the years – official, semi-official, unofficial… and as for the sound quality. I shouldn’t be too harsh as it is from an era where documentation of every movement was not the norm it seemingly is now… and with the ease of finding recordings online, who even needs physical versions? But once in a while a release comes along that is worth celebrating, if you still crave a physical copy. If you come across this one, you will be in for a treat as sonically, this is as good as you can expect from the era… and the packaging, while no Peter Saville production by any means, does a decent job.

Joy Division 'Live In Amsterdam 1980' 2020 Japanese CD front cover design with OBI.
^ Joy Division ‘Live In Amsterdam 1980’ 2020 Japanese CD front cover design with OBI.

The gig in question is from 11th January 1980 at The Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You can read more about the gig and its unique background on why there were two Joy Division sets on the treasure trove of info that is the wonderful Joy Division Central website. Its one of the most bootlegged gigs and has also ‘officially’ been re-issued, though somewhat cack-handedly, on the ‘official’ versions here and here. There is a forum discussion about live recordings of the gig on the interactive message board area of the site dedicated to the gig and you’ll find plenty of discussion as well as links to online YouTube recordings of the 2010 high quality recording from which its likely this is sourced from too. Continue reading “Joy Division ‘Live In Amsterdam 1980’ Japanese CD [Alive The Live / King Street, INGCD4174, 2020]”

Side by side: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Electricity (FAC 6)

The impossibly stylish sleeve design to the debut single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, ‘Electricity’, was an opening statement of intent by Factory Records, one so unusual to produce that it set the production presses on fire, with the result that the intended press run was left incomplete, apparently. It’s thermographed print was at one time de rigueur for stylish business cards – though black-on-black print as found here was perhaps a little more unusual. Whatever, this release in its original form has been a much sought after item and one you wouldn’t have imagined seeing again in its original form. However, 2019 saw the release of a boxed set of facsimile recreations of the first ten Factory Records artefacts to commemorate 40 years of the label, ‘Use Hearing Protection – Factory Records 1978-1979’ by Rhino Records. Let’s look at the original and recreation side by side…


The 1979 original

The beautifully minimal original cover – it has survived 42 years in good shape now. My copy of the vinyl is OK, hardly blemish free – also, it is a mis-press as it has the side A label on the B side too. Ooops! As for the music… famously, despite having re-recorded both songs at Cargo Studios with Martin ‘Zero’ Hannett as producer, the band insisted that their original somewhat low-fi and wonky version (recorded on the Winston 4-track recorder and produced by the band and then manager Paul Collister (aka Chester Valentino) in the latter’s garage, christened ‘Henry’s’), was used for the A side. But Tony Wilson insisted that the lush re-recording of ‘Almost’ was used on the B side.

This original ‘Electricity’ as released on Factory FAC 6 can be found on CD in the unlikely source of the ‘Peel Sessions 1979-1983’ CD released back in 2000. Meanwhile, ‘Almost (Hannett/Cargo Studios Version)’ can be found on the 2003 CD re-issue of the band’s debut album.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Electricity (FAC 6) 1979 original - front cover
^ Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Electricity (FAC 6) 1979 original – front cover

Continue reading “Side by side: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Electricity (FAC 6)”

Year by Year: The Durutti Column – 1979

The first post in a long-running arc that will look in some depth across one of my long-standing, enduring favourites, The Durutti Column. A fascinating discography to dig into – as well as the prime album releases there is a rich variety of quality work that first saw light of day on obscure compilations, one-off releases with a variety of friendly labels and the like. Unlike the Cocteau Twins, I wasn’t there from the off and it wasn’t until 1982 that I started to buy Durutti Column records – but been collecting from then forward, on and off. So, I am no expert – along the way I’ll likely learn much, so if the band is one you’ve never quite known, but you are curious, this may be a good beginners guide – I’m sure I’ll learn a lot of new things too as I delve back into researching some more of the weird and wonderful releases.

I expect to dip in and out and feature whichever versions of the release I may have – over the years, along the way, some of my original copies have parted company, including a lovely copy of the original sandpaper cover debut album pressing, when it could still be had for a decent price second-hand… (sighs)… But The Durutti Column have been a well loved musical obsession and there have been many re-issue programmes over the years which have brought previously difficult to find works back to the light.

An assemblage of Durutti Column releases from over the years
^ An assemblage of Durutti Column releases from over the years

Lets start then with where it began, a release that in its original format is near impossible to find in mint quality and, even if you did find it, the price would doubtless be eye-watering… Continue reading “Year by Year: The Durutti Column – 1979”

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: ‘Music 1977-80’ book (UK, Dinsong Ltd, 1980)

How far Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark progressed from the time they released that first limited edition 7″ pressing on Factory records in the summer of 1979 so swiftly. A re-release of the single on the new Virgin-backed label DinDisc by September alongside a high-profile support act slot for Gary Numan on his first solo live tour. The Gramophone Suite studio and release of their second single and debut album in the early months of 1980. And then by Spring, the big breakthrough with the lush re-recording of ‘Messages’ and first singles chart success. Hardly time to take breath before Autumn and even bigger, international success with ‘Enola Gay’ and, on its way, their second album, ‘Organisation’. Whew!

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Music 1977-80 book cover
^ Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Music 1977-80 book cover

Continue reading “Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: ‘Music 1977-80’ book (UK, Dinsong Ltd, 1980)”

Button badge goodness: Assorted record company logo pins

For no reason other than on my travels over the years I have come across these and I do love a nice little enamel lapel pin, here are a few record company logo badges. The most unusual is probably the Genetic Records badge – Martin Rushent’s label back in the day. The Capitol and Parlophone ones came via an early Record Store Day goodie bag courtesy of London’s fine Sister Ray records on Berwick Street.

Various record company logo badges
^ Various record company logo badges

Continue reading “Button badge goodness: Assorted record company logo pins”