Factory Records to release 40th anniversary box sets with Joy Division and Happy Mondays

11 August 2019, 17:00 | Updated: 11 August 2019, 17:01

Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 box set
Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 box set. Picture: Warner Music/Press

The legendary Manchester label will mark four decades since its inception with a luxury set that replicates some classic releases.

Factory Records - the Manchester label founded by Tony Wilson and which released seminal albums by Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays - is to celebrate its 40th anniversary with two box sets and a new exhibition.

The first box set, Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 will contain replicas of the first ten “numbered” Factory items. The label’s idiosyncratic approach to catalogue numbers didn’t just apply to records, it was also given to events, posters and other items. The box will include:

Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-79 box set
Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-79 box set. Picture: Warner Music/Press

FAC 1: the original Factory night poster from May 1978 which mentions Joy Division

FAC 2: The Factory Sample double EP on vinyl featuring Joy Division, The Durutti Column, Cabaret Voltaire and comedian John Dowie.

FAC 3: Factory night poster from October 1978

FAC 4: Factory night poster from December 1978

FAC 5: All Night Party by A Certain Ratio on vinyl

FAC 6: Electricity by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark on vinyl

FAC 7: original Factory stationary

FAC 8: Menstrual Abacus aka The Factory Egg Timer – presented as an A4 Print

FAC 9: No City Fun aka The Factory Flick from March 1979 featuring Joy Division

FACT 10: Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album on vinyl.

Peter Saville, Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus outside the original Factory club in 1978
Peter Saville, Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus outside the original Factory club in 1978. Picture: Kevin Cummins

Also included in the set will be a white label 12” by The Tiller Boys, originally intended to be FAC 3 and a huge audio interview with Joy Division, Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton, conducted in August 1979 by journalist Mary Harron, released across two CDs.

The set will be rounded off with a 60 page book on the history of the label, with photos by Kevin Cummins and archival interviews with Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton, Joy Division and more.

The box set is limited to 4,000 units worldwide and will be released on 11 October - you can pre-order it here.

Factory Communications 1978 - 92
Factory Communications 1978 - 92. Picture: Warner Music/Press

A second box set, Factory: Communications 1978-1992, features a collection of tracks from across the entire 15 year history of the label, with 63 tracks spread over eight vinyl albums.

The set includes classic tracks from New Order, Joy Division, The Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, Electronic, A Certain Ratio and Section 25, plus deeper cuts from Factory artists like X-O-Dus, Marcel King, 52nd Street, Quando Quango, Northside, James, The Railway Children and Crawling Chaos.

Factory: Communications 1978-92 will be released on 8 November and can be pre-ordered here.

Tony Wilson - Factory Records head- posed on the set of So It Goes in 1977
Tony Wilson - Factory Records head- posed on the set of So It Goes in 1977. Picture: Gems/Redferns/Getty Images

Alongside these releases, an exhibition titled Use Hearing Protection FAC 1 – 50 / 40 will run at Chelsea Space in London from Friday 13 September until Friday 25 October.

The exhibition will tell the story of Factory in its early years between 1978 and 1982, with the first 50 numbered FAC/FACT artefacts, including items by Peter Saville, Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, Durutti Column and Linder Sterling. The exhibits will be supported by rare and unseen materials from personal archives, as well as non-Factory period items to put this influential label in its historical context.

For more details on the exhbition, see the official site here