Favorite Indepenent Record Labels #1 - Factory
Colorado Springs, Colorado
January 25, 2017 3:57pm CST
#1 in my Favorite Independent Record Labels is one that was very special to me: Factory Records. Factory was started by the late BBC Television personality Tony Wilson and actor Alan Erasmus in Manchester, England in 1978. At first, Factory provided a home for guitarist Vini Reilly's band The Durutti Column (a favorite of mine,) whom Wilson also managed. Focus shifted, however, once the label signed now legendary post punk band Joy Division, which would later become New Order. With New Order, Wilson opened a Manchester nightclub, the Hacienda, in order to showcase Factory acts. The venture was a financial disaster: New Order's Factory released song "Blue Monday" is the biggest selling twelve inch single in history, yet the band never saw a dime, as all profits were invested into the club in an attempt to keep it afloat. The Wilson-Factory story was told in the film 24 Hour Party People, and plays a part in the Joy Division movie, Control. Additionally, Factory releases were known for cover art designed by artist Peter Saville. In addition to Joy Division, New Order, and The Durutti Column, Factory released albums and singles from great bands such as A Certain Ratio and Happy Mondays, as well as lesser known acts such as Crispy Ambulance. (Fun Fact: Former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook owns six basses made from wood from the Hacienda dancefloor.) I don't see myself ever loving a record label as much as I love Factory. Ever. (Info verified by Wikipedia)
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• United States
It's a shame that the label robbed the artists of their money, though. Certainly not the first time: Hank Locklin told me that he never saw a penny from his #1 song "Let Me Be the One" that he recorded on the Four Star label. You'd think that indie labels wouldn't rip off the artists the way the "big boys" do, but alas. Loved the series.