Factory Records – a business, a partnership, a joke

I’d never seen this – New Order making a documentary about themselves for Channel 4 in 1984 about Factory Records. Interesting interviews, and highlights that the story of Factory Records and Tony Wilson was as much a construct as anything, e.g. evil label boss vs disaffected band members which although constantly moaning still stayed with Factory as they had no contract, which contradicts the Marxist politics in play, well a kind of playful punk approach – let’s take the money and run with doing something unexpected, creative or interesting with it. It’s something I think 24 Hour Party People kind of missed, in part, focusing on the people but missing the dour playfulness and punk politics that were slipped in with the other stuff. The style hid that rather too well, a candy coated pill (rather than PiL, who chose sandpaper instead).

Features a naked Tony Wilson interviewed by Gillian in a bath, a naked Rob Gretton interviewing himself, Rob Erasmus being interviewed on the back of a bike, Cath Caroll & Liz Naylor (who comes over badly and very wrong about Factory, although reflecting some of the ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ nature of the locals) in the gym, Martin Hannett doing the Phil Spector with a pistol, members of Durruti Column, ACR, Section 25 and 52nd Street, Peter Saville in a greasy spoon, people behind Ikon, even Richard Boon (?) & Pete Shelley pop up! And also New Order live shot in the same way as the classic ‘PFL’ Japanese gig.

Also sad to see Hacienda when it was new, and also Hooky and co. getting on well – that didn’t last long. The full playlist is here.

Relatio Clash

Tim B Written by:

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