By now, we should all know the story of Tony Wilson’s ultimately doomed Factory Records imprint; the rags-to-riches-to-rags story of the design-conscious Manchester imprint, excesses and all, has been written many times over. Strut’s initial FAC. DANCE compilation, curated with love by walking dance music encyclopedia Bill Brewster and released last year, also documented the label’s attempts to court the dancefloor. As that collection proved, the emerging UK club culture of the 1980s was of vital importance to Factory. In many ways, it was written into the label’s DNA. From its early post-punk years to the later dominance of dance-pop kings New Order and the Happy Mondays, the fortunes of Factory Records were intertwined with that of its partner club, the Hacienda. That both were ultimately glorious failures almost makes the Factory story more alluring.
Strut Records will release a second volume of their trawl through the archives of Factory Records, with ESG, A Certain Ratio and Cabaret Voltaire all featuring on FAC DANCE 02.