Tag: The Names


Originally released on 20th November 1980, the deluxe cassette compilation ‘From Brussels With Love’ celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

Writing for NME, Paul Morley said at the time: “The arrival of this thin tape from Belgium provides a reminder – without really trying, without being obvious – that pop is the modern poetry, is the sharpest, shiniest collection of experiences, is always something new”.

It was the first proper music release on Les Disques du Crépuscule, a boutique Belgian label that emerged from Factory Benelux.

FBN was the European Low Countries wing of the iconic Manchester label that at the time was the home to JOY DIVISION, A CERTAIN RATIO, THE DURUTTI COLUMN and SECTION 25. It had primarily been set-up as an outlet for spare tracks by Factory Records acts and one of its later notable releases in Autumn 1981 was the 12 inch remix of NEW ORDER’s ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ which featured the non-album songs ‘Mesh’ and ‘Cries & Whispers’ on the B-side.

But from its inception with direction from head office, the Obscure Records influenced Les Disques du Crépuscule was to be a separate entity despite being run by the same Factory Benelux founding team of Michel Duval and Annik Honoré; the pair had established the Plan K venue in Brussels which hosted two JOY DIVISION concerts to establish the Manchester link.

‘From Brussels With Love’ was notable for featuring the first released recording by the three surviving members of JOY DIVISION following the sad passing of Ian Curtis before they adopted the name NEW ORDER; ‘Haystack’ was a collaboration with Leicester-born singer-songwriter Kevin Hewick. Conceived as a concert journal and curated by Duval, Honoré and radio show host / composer Wim Mertens, as well as a range of international avant-garde and new wave music,  it contained modern classical work from Gavin Bryars and a then-unknown Michael Nyman.

There were also spoken segments including a poetry reading from THE SKIDS’ Ricard Jobson plus interviews with Brian Eno and Jeanne Moreau; the latter featured a beautiful piano background by Claude Coppens to accompany the words of the notable French actress, thus producing an art piece in its own right.

‘From Brussels With Love’ was diverse, varying from exquisite ivory pieces like ‘Children On The Hill’ by Harold Budd to ‘The Music Room’, a Frippish guitar noise experiment from JOY DIVISION producer Martin Hannett accompanied by a drum machine.

But of interest to electronic music enthusiasts were three exclusive jingles by John Foxx and an early rhythm machine backed take on ‘Airwaves’ by Thomas Dolby. Meanwhile from Europe, there was the doomy synth laden post punk on ‘Cat’ by THE NAMES and the quirky electronic Neue Deutsche Welle of DER PLAN’s ‘Mein Freunde’.

To celebrate its 40th Anniversary, ‘From Brussels With Love’ has been reissued as a lavish 10” x 10” 60 page hardback earbook with rare images, posters, sleeve designs and memorabilia, plus a detailed history of the Crépuscule label between 1979 and 1984. The audio features not only the 21 tracks from on the original cassette in 1980 on one CD, but a bonus collection of 18 related tracks from the period on a second CD including those contributions unable to be included due to space considerations.

For John Foxx completists, this set will be essential as it includes two more jingles from the former ULTRAVOX front man, as well as his superb garage robo-funk instrumental ‘Mr No’.

Among the other musical highlights are Bill Nelson’s ‘Dada Guitare’, a Far Eastern flavoured instrumental of glorious E-bow and THE DURUTTI COLUMN’s beautiful ‘For Belgian Friends’, composed by Vini Reilly in honour of Michel Duval and Annik Honoré. Produced by Martin Hannett, his technologically processed techniques made Reilly’s dominant piano sound like textured synthetic strings, complimenting his sparing melodic guitar and the crisp percussion of Donald Johnson.

Also produced by Martin Hannett and another welcome inclusion in the ‘From Brussels With Love’ appendix is THE NAMES ‘Nightshift’ with its chilling synth embellishing the archetypical arty post-punk miserablism of the period. Another Belgian band POLYPHONIC SIZE make an appearance with ‘Nagasaki Mon Amour’, an intriguing minimal tribute to ULTRAVOX with its detached Gallic delivery over buzzing synths and icy string machines produced by Jean-Jacques Burnel of THE STRANGLERS.

Of interest to PROPAGANDA fans will be JOSEF K’s frenetically paced ‘Sorry For Laughing’ which was covered on ‘A Secret Wish’; their front man Paul Haig went on release a number of EPs and albums via Les Disques du Crépuscule including the acclaimed ‘Rhythm Of Life’ and ‘The Warp Of Pure Fun’.

Over four decades on, the catalogue of Les Disques du Crépuscule included artists like Anna Domino, Isabelle Antena, Alan Rankine, Winston Tong, Blaine L Reininger, John Cale, Helen Marnie and Zeus B Held as well as bands such as TUEXDOMOON, MARINE, CABARET VOLTAIRE, MIKADO, THE PALE FOUNTAINS, ULTRAMARINE, MARSHEAUX and LES PANTIES.

Sophisticated and exhibiting a tasteful visual aesthetic, Les Disques du Crépuscule established itself as a cosmopolitan and culturally significant artistic outlet with a distinct identity that outlasted its parent company Factory Records. ‘From Brussels With Love’ was the start of a story that continues today.

In memory of Annik Honoré 1957 – 2014

‘From Brussels With Love’ is released on 6th November 2020 by Les Disques du Crépuscule as a deluxe 40th Anniversary 10” x 10” 60 page hardback earbook with 2CDs, available direct from https://www.lesdisquesducrepuscule.com/from_brussels_with_love_twi007.html

It is also reissued as a limited edition facsimile cassette package in PVC wallet and gatefold double LP set featuring first disc in black vinyl and the second in white; both come with a download key





Text by Chi Ming Lai
20th October 2020

With an identifiable post-modern aesthetic and idealistic ethos, Factory Records was one of the most iconic record labels that emerged post-punk.

Founded in 1978 by Granada TV presenter Tony Wilson and actor Alan Erasmus, noted record producer Martin Hannett and graphic designer Peter Saville were also part of the original directorship, along with JOY DIVISION manager Rob Gretton.

A respected television journalist, Wilson became more widely known for his TV series ‘So It Goes’ which featured acts such as BLONDIE, THE SEX PISTOLS and BUZZCOCKS, so was seen as a champion of new music.

The Factory name was first used for a club venture which showcased bands like THE DURUTTI COLUMN, CABARET VOLTAIRE and JOY DIVISION. All three featured on the label’s debut double EP release ‘A Factory Sample’. The combined run-out groove messages read: “EVERYTHING – IS REPAIRABLE – EVERYTHING – IS BROKEN”. The release was given the catalogue number FAC2, as FAC1 had been allocated to a poster designed by Peter Saville for the club.

FAC1 was famously not printed in time for the opening event but despite his reputation for not meeting deadlines, Saville’s style was to become a highly coveted and he was head-hunted in early 1980 to work for boutique Virgin subsidiary Dindisc Records who had signed OMD following their debut on Factory.

Factory Records was initially based in Alan Erasmus’ flat at 86 Palatine Road in Didsbury, Manchester. It was very much a home-based operation, with members of JOY DIVISION once being roped in to glue together the striking sandpaper sleeves for ‘The Return of THE DURUTTI COLUMN’… inspired by Situationist Guy Debord’s book ‘Mémoires’, the album was intended to destroy the records next to it but as Factory used wallpaper paste rather than glue, the sleeves later themselves fell apart!

Factory were known for their extravagant packaging, off-the-wall promotional gimmicks and in-jokes like the Menstrual Abacus (FAC8), Martin Hannett’s legal settlement (FAC61) and Rob Gretton’s dental work (FAC99). Pop magazine Smash Hits even joked that they would be doing a NEW ORDER poster magazine, but it would be baked inside a cake and made available only in the Channel Islands.

Factory’s first LP ‘Unknown Pleasures’ by JOY DIVISION was released in June 1979 to wide acclaim. But the success was later clouded by tragedy when their charismatic singer Ian Curtis took his own life in May 1980 prior to the release of the single ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and second album ‘Closer’. With the future uncertain for Factory, hopes rested on A CERTAIN RATIO. Together with Alan Erasmus, Tony Wilson managed the doomy post-punk funk merchants, but the band polarised audiences.

JOY DIVISION’s remaining members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris recruited Gillian Gilbert to become NEW ORDER. Although their sombre 1981 debut album ‘Movement’ was generally panned, the quartet reinvigorated themselves by taking an interest in the New York club scene. This led to Factory and NEW ORDER’s decision to open a nightclub in Manchester. Legend has it that Rob Gretton (himself a former DJ) wanted to have a place where he could “ogle women”.

The move infuriated Martin Hannett, who had wanted to purchase a recording studio with a Fairlight CMI, and threatened to wind-up the company. With the Factory catalogue number of FAC51, The Haçienda opened in May 1982 and was a loss making enterprise for the next five years.

Even when the advent of acid house in 1987 filled the club every weekend thereafter, the crowds’ preference for illegal Ecstasy and therefore water, rather than the licensed and more profitable alcohol meant that Factory’s cashflow was tenuous to say the least. Problems with the Inland Revenue, Police and local gangsters meant the writing was on the wall.

However, Factory still went ahead with a move out of Palatine Road into the rather expensive FAC251 building on Charles Street in September 1990. But a major UK property slump occurred soon after and was set to cripple the label even further. By the beginning of 1992, both HAPPY MONDAYS and NEW ORDER were over budget and late in delivering their respective new albums ‘Yes Please’ and ‘Republic’.

London Records entered negotiations to take over Factory, but the deal fell through when it was discovered the label did not actually own many of its master recordings. So Factory was left to collapse in November 1992, while NEW ORDER signed a separate deal with London. When asked by Q Magazine what he was getting with London that was different from Factory, Sumner sheepishly replied “PAID!” But Factory had never been a conventional A&R led company.

It had let OMD and JAMES leave for major deals, and passed on THE SMITHS, THE STONE ROSES and BLACK BOX. It was not very business minded either, with the elaborate die-cut packaging for NEW ORDER’s ‘Blue Monday’ initially costing more than the per unit net profit.

The label’s idealistic ethos meant commercially unviable acts like MINNY POPS and STOCKHOLM MONSTERS had a platform to release records, but it also meant there was seldom enough capital coming in, other than monies from sales of JOY DIVISION and NEW ORDER. However, much of that was being syphoned off to keep The Haçienda afloat which had its own troubles relating to drug dealing, police clampdowns and rival factions of gun-toting gangsters.

In ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s view, while JOY DIVISION and NEW ORDER undoubtedly had a huge influence on music, Factory perhaps did not have a wider back catalogue that was as strong as Virgin or Mute. Smash Hits’ independent scene columnist Red Starr once said Factory’s artwork was often better than the records they contained.

But Factory’s visual presentation has made its presence felt in popular culture from Next to Givenchy, while other observers relished Tony Wilson’s cool credentials (to quote HAPPY MONDAYS’ Bez in the Factory Records edition of BBC2’s ‘Rock Famility Trees’) as “a Red on the quiet” and his undoubted ability to give a good quote.  Sadly today, many of Factory’s major players like Wilson, Rob Gretton and Martin Hannett are no longer with us.

So via its great and not so good, using a restriction of one song per artist moniker, presented here is ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s take on Factory Records’ arty, but chaotic adventure…

OMD Electricity (1979)

FAC6 was the first single released on Factory. Tony Wilson has often been credited with discovering OMD, but it is also said that he was largely oblivious to their charms. The instigation to release ‘Electricity’ on Factory came from his then-wife Lindsay Reade. According to her memoir ‘Mr Manchester and the Factory Girl’, the former Mrs Wilson reckoned that the decision to allow OMD to sign to Dindisc was a tit-for-tat response to spite her in their fractious marriage.

Available on the OMD album ‘Peel Sessions 1979-1983’ via Virgin Records


JOY DIVISION Decades (1980)

‘Atmosphere’ was JOY DIVISION’s greatest song, but was originally released on Sordide Sentimental rather than Factory as part of the ‘Licht Und Blindheit’ package. ‘Decades’ was the sonic cathedral that Martin Hannett had been striving for in the studio. With layers of ARP Omni processed through a Marshall Time Modulator and percussion enhanced through an AMS Digital Delay, it provided a solemn but beautiful Gothic backdrop for Ian Curtis’ elaborate musical suicide note.

Available on the JOY DIVISION album ‘Closer’ via London Records


A CERTAIN RATIO Shack Up (1980)

Originally issued on Factory’s Benelux arm which acted as an outlet for spare recordings by Factory bands, ‘Shack Up’ was a cover of a cult club favourite by BANBARRA and showcased A CERTAIN RATIO’s new funkier direction. Other subsequent exclusive releases via Factory Benelux included NEW ORDER’s superior 12 inch remix of ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ and the instrumental ‘Murder’. ‘Shack Up’ was given a more accessible ELECTRONIC makeover in 1994.

Available on the A CERTAIN RATIO album ‘Early: A Definitive Anthology Of ACR Recordings From 1978-85’ via Soul Jazz Records


THE NAMES Night Shift (1981)

Led by Michel Sordinia, Belgian band THE NAMES were archetypical of the post-punk miserablism that Factory was signing in the wake of JOY DIVISION. Better than most of their contemporaries with the icy synth embellishing the cacophonic Martin Hannett produced soundtrack, ‘Nightshift’ was a promising release, although unlikely to crossover beyond alternative circles. Their debut album ‘Swimming’ came out on Les Disques du Crepuscule in 1982.

Available on THE NAMES album ‘Swimming’ via Factory Benelux


NEW ORDER Your Silent Face (1983)

‘Your Silent Face’ was dubbed the “KRAFTWERK one”, the ultimate homage to their romantic ‘Trans-Europe Express’ era. With the replication of the Synthanorma sequence and Vako Orchestron strings from ‘Franz Schubert’ using a SCI Polysequencer and Emulator, this was the stand-out from NEW ORDER’s second album. The original artwork package featuring a cryptic colour alphabet code saw Peter Saville spell the title incorrectly as ‘Power, Corrruption & Lies’!

Available on the NEW ORDER album ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’ via London Records



Returning to the Factory fold for a one-off interim release before moving on to their much lauded Some Bizzare / Virgin phase, ‘Yashar’ launched the more club friendly direction of CABARET VOLTAIRE. The single went down particularly well on the New York club scene. A track originally from their 1982 album ‘2X45’, it was extended and remixed to nearly eight minutes by John Robie who had worked with Arthur Baker on AFfrika Bamaataa’s ‘Planet Rock’.

Available on the compilation album ‘Of Factory New York’ (V/A) via Factory Benelux


SECTION 25 Looking From A Hilltop (1984)

In a change of direction where founder member Larry Cassidy stated “you can’t be a punk all your life”, Factory Records stalwarts SECTION 25 recruited vocalist Jenny Ross and keyboardist Angela Cassidy to go electro. Produced by Bernard Sumner and Donald Johnson, the clattering drum machine, accompanied by ominous synth lines and hypnotic sequenced modulations, dominated the mix of FAC108 to provide what was to become a much revered cult club classic.

Available on the album ‘From The Hip’ via Factory Benelux


AD INFINITUM Telstar (1984)

This cover of ‘Telstar’ for FAC93 was rumoured to be NEW ORDER. This curio certainly had a number of distinct elements like the Hooky bass and the drum programming which recalled ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’. Peter Hook was indeed involved, as was Andy Connell who went on to form SWING OUT SISTER. Fronted by Lindsay Reade, her intended new lyrics for ‘Telstar’ were vetoed by The Joe Meek Estate, so a version with more abstract vocals was released instead.

Available on the compilation album ‘Fac Dance 02’ (V/A) via Strut Records


THE WAKE Talk About The Past (1984)

THE WAKE were what NEW ORDER would have continued to sound like had they not discovered the joys of the dancefloor. A dour Scottish four-piece who also had a female keyboard player Carolyn Allen, their music could be claustrophobic. ‘Talk About the Past’ however showed a brighter side with scratchy rhythm guitar, shiny synths, melodica flourishes and barely audible vocals. Featuring Vini Reilly of THE DURUTTI COLUMN on piano, FAC88 was their career highlight.

Available on THE WAKE album ‘Here Comes Everybody’ via Factory Benelux


MARCEL KING Reach For Love – New York Remix (1985)

Another Bernard Sumner’s production with Donald Johnson, ‘Reach For Love’ featured the late Marcel King, a member of vocal group SWEET SENSATION who won ‘New Faces’ and had a No1 with ‘Sad Sweet Dreamer’. A vibrant electro disco tune, HAPPY MONDAYS’ Shaun Ryder remarked that if this had been released on a label other than Factory, it would have been a hit! The beefier New York Remix was issued on a second 12 inch.

Available on the compilation album ‘Of Factory New York’ (V/A) via Factory Benelux


SHARK VEGAS You Hurt Me (1986)

Mark Reeder was Factory Records’ German representative from 1978 to 1982. Reeder often sent records to Bernard Sumner from the emerging electronic club scenes around the world. His own Deutsche musical journey started with DIE UNBEKANNTEN, who mutated into SHARK VEGAS and delivered this Factory release. ‘You Hurt Me’ was produced by Sumner and characterised by the New York disco sequence programming that made NEW ORDER famous.

Available on the MARK REEDER album ‘Collaborator’ via Factory Benelux



Led by Gary Newby, THE RAILWAY CHILDREN showed promise by taking the more guitar driven aspects of NEW ORDER to the next level. Produced by ’Low-life’ engineer Michael Johnson, their second single ‘Brighter’ took a marimba sample and sequenced it as the backbone to a marvellous melodic number that could compete with THE SMITHS. However, despite releasing a full-length album on Factory, THE RAILWAY CHILDREN departed to Virgin Records.

Available on THE RAILWAY CHILDREN album ‘Reunion Wilderness’ via Ether



Having shown his atmospheric credentials with the beautiful ‘For Belgian Friends’ in 1980, the latest technology was perfect foil for the most Factory of the label’s artists Vini Reilly aka THE DURUTTI COLUMN. Finally convinced to stop singing, the instrumental ‘Vini Reilly’ album opened the musician’s texture palette with the dreamy ‘Otis’ being the pivotal track. Over a hypnotic sequence, samples of the late soul singer were flown in as Reilly improvised along on his six-string.

Available on THE DURUTTI COLUMN album ‘Vini Reilly’ via Kookydisc


HAPPY MONDAYS WFL – Vince Clarke remix (1988)

With a name inspired by NEW ORDER’s ‘Blue Monday’, HAPPY MONDAYS would emerge as Factory’s other best-selling act although they began as something much more ordinary. But when they merged acid house with indie guitar rock, Shaun Ryder, Bez and Co would become flagbearers for the Ecstasy fuelled mini-movement known as ‘Baggy’ along with THE STONE ROSES. The Vince Clarke electronic remix of ‘Wrote For Luck’ from ‘Bummed’ aided the crossover process.

Available on the HAPPY MONDAYS album ‘Bummed’ via Rhino UK


ELECTRONIC Getting Away With It (1989)

Frustrated with the conflicts within NEW ORDER, Bernard Sumner planned a solo album. But on bumping into Johnny Marr who had just departed THE SMITHS, it became a collaborative project with the occasional guests. ELECTRONIC not just in name but also in nature, the first offering was the very PET SHOP BOYS-like ‘Getting Away With It’ featuring additional vocals and lyrics by Neil Tennant and a beautiful string arrangement by Anne Dudley.

Available on the ELECTRONIC album ‘Electronic’ via EMI Records


REVENGE Slave (1990)

The appropriately named REVENGE was Hooky’s response to ELECTRONIC but it was not well-received by the music press. A slightly messy track in its original album incarnation, the superior New York disco oriented single remix by Daddy-O also featured a surprise rap. It enhanced the song’s lyrical slant which with the well-documented joyless division between himself and Sumner, appears now to be a veiled attack on his bandmate. Hook’s project later morphed into MONACO.

Available on the REVENGE album ‘One True Passion V2.0’ via LTM Records


THE OTHER TWO Tasty Fish (1991)

the other twoNot to be left out of the NEW ORDER side project game, Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris formed the ironically named THE OTHER TWO. Amusingly titled after a Fish and Chip shop near Stockport, ‘Tasty Fish’ was a catchy electropop single with a confident vocal from Gilbert that should have been a hit. However, Factory was beginning to enter a state of turmoil by this point.

Available on THE OTHER TWO album ‘And You’ via LTM Records


CATH CARROLL Moves Like You (1991)

Previously a member of MIAOW, Cath Carroll was treated like a future star by Factory. Mixed by Martyn Phillips who had also worked with THE BELOVED, ‘Moves Like You’ was a fine example of the blissful house influenced pop of the period and could have been a major hit. With expensive studio and photo sessions lavished on her, she is often held up as a symbol of why Factory eventually collapsed.

Available on the CATH CARROLL album ‘England Made Me’ via LTM Records


Dedicated to the memories of Larry Cassidy, Ian Curtis, Rob Gretton, Martin Hannett, Marcel King, Jenny Ross and Tony Wilson

Special thanks to James Nice at Factory Benelux

A varied selection of the Factory catalogue can be found on the 4CD box set ‘Factory Records: Communications 1978-92’ via Rhino Records

The DVD ‘Shadowplayers: Factory Records 1978-81’ directed by James Nice is released by LTM





Text by Chi Ming Lai
21st September 2015, updated 9th May 2020