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Factual: 546 pages by Factory Records' unofficial curator,
This review is from: Shadowplayers: The Rise and Fall of Factory Records (Hardcover)
Balanced, well-paced, candid. If you've ever read the liner notes of any LTM Records (the author's own label) releases then you'll know exactly what to expect from this - and you won't be disappointed. James Nice expands these strands to 546 densely printed pages.
Wisely, Nice avoids re-telling the stories everyone already knows (Ian Curtis's suicide, Blue Monday sleeve, blah blah). Instead, he studiously assembles nuggets of information from previously published articles (some of which you will remember, some of which you won't) and his own interviews.
James himself admits that he is a fanboy, albeit a connected one - having worked for euro-Factory's sister-label Les Disques du Crepuscule. But when a fanboy writes as well as this, who needs what passes for so-called journalism?
Criticisms? Well, the black and white pictures in the middle of the book aren't up to much - I've seen most of them elsewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr Nice has lots more Alan Erasmus photos lurking in Bonusprint envelopes in his Welsh dresser drawers. "A Factory Pictorial" should, perhaps, be his next project? Also, although you already know the ending, it's still a bit of a downer. There's no attempt to provide any pseudo-philosophical uplifting summation of the label's legacy by way of a conclusion: no big deal, just a bit depressing. The reader is left to make up his own mind.
My own opinion on the label (for what it's worth)? Commerce and uncompromising art didn't mix and the end result was that a lot of artists and suppliers who put their faith in Factory, went unpaid. That was wrong - irrespective of how immaculate the finished product appeared to be.
If you're a fan of the label then you need this book. If you're an obsessive, why not order the (possibly) forthcoming solid marble cover, Peter Saville/Ben Kelly-designed edition with sandpaper pages and then...don't pay for it? Revenge.
Apart from Bernard Sumner's memoirs (and, of course, not forgetting my aforementioned pictorial idea?), there surely can't be many more books about Factory Records/Joy Division/New Order that need to be published?
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Initial post: 8 Nov 2010 23:35:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Nov 2010 23:36:08 GMT
Gerry O'D says:
"there surely can't be many more books about Factory Records/Joy Division/New Order that need to be published?"
How about the stories of Alan Erasmus, Vini Reilly, Gillian Gilbert.
But as Da Mayor says in Do The Right Thing: "Those who know won't tell, and those who tell won't know"
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