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Factory Records

From Academic Kids

Factory Records was a Manchester, England based record label, started in 1978 and managed by Tony Wilson, which featured several prominent musical acts, such as Joy Division, New Order, The Durutti Column, The Happy Mondays, and (briefly) James and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Like the label 4AD, Factory Records used a creative team (most notably record producer Martin Hannett and graphic designer Peter Saville) which gave the label, and the artists recording for it, a particular sound and image. The label employed a unique cataloguing process that saw every album, piece of art or item of property (including their famous nightclub The Haçienda and its resident cat) labelled with 'FAC' and an appropriate number (the nightclub was FAC51; the cat was FAC191).

The 2002 film 24 Hour Party People (see 2002 in film), is an allegedly fact-based satire about Factory Records' people and bands, and the infamous, often unsubstantiated anecdotes and stories surrounding them.

"The Haçienda" was a world-famous nightclub that was started as a Factory Records venture. It became a cultural hub in Manchester as the center of the emerging techno and acid house genres in the late eighties and early nineties. It closed in 1997, and has since been demolished to make way for city centre apartments.

Factory Records spawned a number of affiliated labels abroad, the most prominent of which was Brussels-based Factory Benelux.

It is worth comparing and contrasting the fortunes of Factory Records with their London based contempories, independent label Rough Trade run by Geoff Travis. Rough Trade signed Manchester's The Smiths in the early 80s, who, led by Morrissey, later went on to huge success, and helped to bring Manchester's amazingly creative music scene to a wider audience.

Bands on Factory Records:

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