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Factory Records: Communications 1978-92 (Standard) Box set, Limited Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Jan. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B001E1GXP0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,938 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Digital
  2. Baader Meinhof (Remastered)
  3. "All Night Party (Remastered 7"" version)"
  4. "Electricity [Remastered Original 7"" version]"
  5. She's Lost Control [12-Inch Version]
  6. Time Goes By So Slow
  7. Transmission
  8. Sketch For Summer (Remastered)
  9. English Black Boys
  10. Love Will Tear Us Apart
  11. Shack Up (Remastered)
  12. Girls Don't Count
  13. Sex Machine (Remastered)
  14. Flight (Remastered)
  15. Night Shift
  16. "Ceremony [Original 7"" Single Version]"
  17. Dolphin's Spurt
  18. It's Hard To Be An Egg
  19. Deaf
  20. Dirty Disco

Disc: 2

  1. "Everything's Gone Green [12"" Version]"
  2. Watching The Hydroplanes
  3. Messidor
  4. Knife Slits Water (Remastered)
  5. Art on 45
  6. Taste What's Rhythm
  7. "Temptation [Remastered Original 12"" Version]"
  8. Cool As Ice
  9. "Blue Monday [12"" Version]"
  10. Yashar [John Robie Remix]
  11. Love Tempo
  12. Talk About The Past

Disc: 3

  1. "Confusion [Remastered Original 12"" Version]"
  2. Reach For Love
  3. Looking From A Hilltop [Megamix]
  4. All At Once
  5. Tell Me (Remastered)
  6. Without Mercy [Duet] (Remastered)
  7. Hymn From A Village
  8. Trickery (Remastered)
  9. Sounds Like Something Dirty (Remastered)
  10. Genius
  11. Freaky Dancin'
  12. When It All Comes Down
  13. Brighter
  14. Compressor
  15. True Faith
  16. 24 Hour Party People

Disc: 4

  1. Fine Time
  2. W.F.L. [Think About The Future Mix - Remastered version]
  3. Seven Reasons
  4. Hallelujah [Club Mix - Remastered version]
  5. Getting Away With It
  6. Step On
  7. Shall We Take A Trip?
  8. World In Motion (Album Version)
  9. Kinky Afro
  10. Home
  11. Get The Message (DNA Mix)
  12. Take Five
  13. Moves Like You [Remix]
  14. Tasty Fish
  15. Sunshine And Love [Lionrock Remix]

Product Description

Product Description

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BBC Review

While not meaning to under appreciate the importance of Factory records as a worthy model of independence, Communications does seem to underline a simple fact (ha!): that Tony Wilson's bespoke cottage industry devoted to promoting the excellence of its Mancunian stable really could get it awfully wrong at times. Besides the unimpeachable jewels of say Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire or even early James this box set contains some right old duffers. Mind you, when Anthony H and co. got it right, they REALLY got it right.

It seems hardly worth going on about the thoroughly documented, canonised and even biopic-ed Ballardian miserabalists, Joy Division. Martin Hannett's productions will always defy time. But let's face it, Curtis et al were, like Mike Oldfield with Virgin, almost the sole reason that Wilson's label became as iconic as it did. And New Order's forsquare disco tendencies floated them through the rest of the 80s. But there's plenty more here to make you believe that, at least for a spell, factory showed unwavering taste. The Durutti Column's spidery ambient guitars; A Certain Ratio's now-hipper-than-hell white boy funk; Section 25's minimal thunder; and let's not forget marvellous one-offs like...erm, Crispy Ambulance?

Factory's rather arch insistence on labelling not only their records but their venues and various multimedia offshoots with sequential catalogue numbers meant that while they traded under the banner of envelope pushing, they were also appealing in the main to a male fanbase who loved to COLLECT stuff. In truth the roster, which often, more by luck than judgement, captured some seminal acts at the earliest parts of their careers (The Fall, Cabaret Voltaire, James, OMD) could also reflect on what the label was missing out on.

While the late 80s dance 'n' pills revolution found a spiritual home in the Northern metropolis, its purveyors here now seem remarkably lumpy. We'll gloss over travesties like Northside, but even The Happy Mondays seem a little clodhopping in retrospect, despite their Ibizan roots. Factory may have had the Hacienda as their temple of clubbing, but you'll find no 808 State or the like here.

Of course, it was Wilson's 80% bull spouting ratio that made Factory more alluring than 'quieter' yet just as important labels like Rough Trade, Mute or 4AD. Northern arrogance led him to proclaim about reinventing the musical wheel at least twice a month. For this reason alone this lump of nostalgia seems somehow misplaced. But for those that were there, Communications will undoubtedly bring a lump to the throat. --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
A lot of people have made mention that the 'Communications' box set is simply a rehash of the 'Palatine' box set. This isn't strictly true (though there is some overlap). I searched all over on the net to find a definitive list that showed what tracks the two box sets shared, and what tracks were exclusive to each set. I wasn't able to find the information, so I made the list myself since I own both box sets on CD. Here's the list for those who are interested:

Joy Division / Transmission (3:36)
Durutti Column, The / Sketch For Summer (3:00)
X-O-Dus / English Black Boys (4:46)
Joy Division / Love Will Tear Us Apart (3:26)
A Certain Ratio / Shack Up (3:14)
Marcel King / Reach For Love (5:27)
52nd Street / Cool As Ice (7:48)
Cabaret Voltaire / Yashar (John Robie Remix) (7:31)
Quando Quango / Genius (6:25)
Happy Mondays / 24 Hour Party People (4:38)
Tunnelvision / Watching The Hydroplanes (3:52)
Distractions, The / Time Goes By So Slow (3:21)
Wake, The / Talk About The Past (6:25)
Railway Children, The / Brighter (4:55)
Miaow / When It All Comes Down (3:30)
Revenge / Seven Reasons (4:09)
James / Hymn From A Village (2:53)
New Order / True Faith (5:54)
Happy Mondays / W.F.L.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you already own "Palatine" of course (which this reviewer doesn't - his younger self saw compilations as a sell out!) you might not want to bother with this release. Many have already commented (Amazon reviews and elsewhere) upon the similarity between this and that aforementionmed previous Factory box set but, in his compiler's note to "Communications" Jon Savage admits that "Palatine" was a starting point on which he was trying to improve - so one way to approach this is as "Palatine" mk 2.

No doubt some fans will have seen the track listing and felt disappointment that some crucial artists are missing (Abecedarians? The Wendys?) but, as Savage goes on to point out "to include everything would be impossible as well as barely listenable".

I may as well get my other gripes out of the way now: Section 25, Durutti Column and A Certain Ratio were three of the best bands of all time, never mind on Factory but this collection doesn't always showcase their best material - and is a wasted opportunity in that respect. Also there are a few pointless inclusions on here - how many people purchasing this will not already own "Blue Monday"? Zero. And "Get the Message (DNA Mix)"? The beginning of the end for Factory that one if you ask me.

Anyway, these are minor criticisms - this really is a rather well put together package - sleeve notes by Paul Morley at his more readable (no "Why are New Order?"-type stuff), 100+ words on each and every track by LTM's James Nice. And then there's the music...I think I'll let that speak for itself but here are a few hidden gems: "Baader Meinhof" (unless you're already a member of the Fac-2 Owners' Club), "English Black Boys (hadn't realised Dennis Bovell had ever done anything for Factory?), "Reach for Love" (of course,...
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Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent compilation which reeks and an alternative universe of different hits happened some time ago. There's a satisfaction in digging through substantial, and frequently subversive works of also rans. The turnover of bands unsigned (he he) by Factory is suggested here although i'm sure that aficionados or (ahem) snobs will have preferred some other obscure tracks/artists to appear.

This is a justifiable view. And perhaps to state the obvious this compilation would have truly fulfilled its purpose if it had leaned a little less on too many classic but familiar tracks by the Factory big three and only once or twice there's relief, when listened in sequence to get to a more "commercially appealing" tune.

Meanwhile and curiously, James and OMD, often forgotten in their association in retrospect fit quite neatly into the Factory canon if only for the endearing minimalistic production values.

The physical size, and style of the boxset,itself is to be commended as more condensed, wieldly and sturdy than the Heart And Soul or Retro boxsets, for two. Such issues often ignored or underrated with boxsets(!),

Overall, for reasons already given- near perfection.
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Format: Audio CD
I think its about time for a good factory records round up. Palatine was a while ago and hasn't been available for ages so why not. The tracklisting is a tad familiar with the usual new order/joy division tracks but there are definitely some hidden gems in there. Definitely worth a purchase by any new fans unfamiliar with the rest of the factory back catalogue.
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