A fantastic compilation of the, er, "dancier" records released by the legendary Factory label in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Refreshingly they've bypassed the "big guns" - New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays - and gone for some of the more obscure acts such as The Swamp Children, Blurt and X-O-Dus (I'd forgotten how good their "English Black Boys" was). Listening to this compilation - excellently annotated by compiler Bill Brewster - a number of things become clear: 1. New Order's Bernard Sumner and ACR's Donald Johnson were a formidable production team, as the wonderful tracks by Section 25, 52nd Street, Marcel King, Quando Quango etc attest; 2. Marcel King's sublime "Reach for Love" should have been an absolutely enormous hit; 3. "Cool as Ice" by 52nd Street is up there with "Blue Monday" as a crucial 1980s electro-dance record 4. The quality of Factory/Factory Benelux/Factory US's output during the period was unbelievably high
The quality of the pressing and mastering are extremely good.
Overall, I can't recommend this enough to Factory freaks, Manc maniacs or '80s scholars.
Fans of mainstream 80's fayre are gonna either love this or hate this-I loved it as on this are all the tunes I never bought individually and am glad I now have.All tracks are extended and there are 3 per side.The master seems just right,never forced and plays very comfortably-no jumps or crackles-lovely. There's a great read-up printed inside the fold on one side with the tracks listed on the right side and an insert with a unique mp3 download code for a free digital copy(which was nice). The only downside is that the product is over far too soon.I think this is mainly because we're all so used to listening to endless dance c.ds from the Balearic islands of late. Overall I am very pleased with this vinyl.,all I have to do now is work out how to download the digital copy.
I have to admit that, on purchasing this cd, I got a little carried away by the neat Factory artwork on the cover. Although it's description was there to see, I thought this collection would have a more post-punk approach. It turns out it is a little too "dancy" for my taste, though I suppose that those who know the stuff will find these tracks very good (or so I've read). An album better heard on the dancefloor than at home.
An interesting document of more dancefloor oriented Factory releases, quite a few tracks are (I would say) pretty difficult to like even for a Factory fan, but there are some absolute gems too which more than make up for this- Section 25, 52nd Street, A Certain Ration, Durutti Column etc. Definitely recommended for anyone with an interest in the history of dance music, and worth it if you are curious as to what else came out of this great record label apart from Joy Division and New Order.