The Factory Legacy #3 : The music

August 6, 2011

I’ll skip the Joy Division/New Order legacy – it’s a well told tale we all know by heart. But what about those other Factory bands? The ones who played Bolton Wanderers to New Order’s Man Utd.

It used to be a tired music press cliche that the rest of the Factory stable were pale JD/NO imitators. Having seen most of them live I never went along with this lazy journalism and listening to the retrospective box set what strikes me is the diversity on offer. Yes there’s some crud – Crawling Chaos and Royal Family and the Poor – but show me the record label that doesn’t have crud in its back catalogue. But most of the bands here deserved more than their indie obscurity that was guaranteed by Factory’s obtuse (lack of ) promotion. Durutti Column, ACR,  Stockholm Monsters, Section 25 all deserved more. James did get more but only by breaking away. Happy Mondays were the only other Factory band to make it big without leaving.

Most of it still sounds great and I hear echoes of Factory bands today in Belle and Sebastian, Delphic and Hurts. Here’s my 10 favourite non JD/NO Factory tracks in no particular order:

Flight – A Certain Ratio – music from another universe, sparse, atmospheric, nearly but not quite danceable.

My Country – Durutti Column – probably the Factory act I still listen to the most. I have dozens of favourite tracks, but this is todays – mainly because of the ace Monarchy remix that I can’t stop playing

Moves Like You (remix) – Cath Carroll – readers of this blog will know how I feel about Cath. BEST. SONG. EVER.

Brighter – The Railway Children Pure pop. Should have been a hit, but you can’t blame Factory. They left and still didn’t make it despite the lead singers pop star good looks. Shame.

The Presence – Crispy Ambulance. Surely the crappest name in the history of music. What did they do – stick a pin in a dictionary? Great track though – 10 glorious minutes of sublime Hannet production. I always used to fall asleep drunk to this and wake up with it still playing on a loop in the middle of the night.

Miss Moonlight – Stockholm Monsters best track from the best band to come out of Burnage. Haunting vocals and trumpet.

Inspiration – Section 25 Like New Order, Section 25 discovered dance and sequencers and made a great album (From the Hip). My favourite track.

Hymn From a Village – James. Not their best song, but their best on Factory.

Miaow – When it all Comes Down Purrfect pop from Cath again. Far too breezy to get lumped in with the C86 lot

Happy Mondays – Kuff Dam – Dam Kuff – genius


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