Monday, September 05, 2011


One of the recent books I have finished, is " Shadowplayers " by James Nice. The story of Factory records from it's early beginnings in Manchester to it's eventual financial collapse after years of mis management in the Nineties.

The story veers from mirth inducing stupidity to dark thought provoking actions. It is well written & researched with an almost obsessive attention to detail, featuring interviews with just about everyone who came in to contact with the company no matter how slight their level of involvement.

My favourite sub plot was the interaction of founding director Peter Saville & his evolving career that began with Factory but has since encapsulated so much more. Readers will recognise some of his work without knowing it, such as the iconic cover for Joy Division's " Unknown Pleasures ".

This collection is a non negotiable permanent listing in my all time top ten albums. Later he produced this work for New Orders " Blue Monday ".

Younger readers will need the concept of the Five & one half inch floppy disc explaining to them. Some of his most recent work has gone way beyond album design and moved in to more esoteric area's, here is the Peter Saville Designed London Showroom for Kvadrat.

In true Factory style Peter was notorious for never delivering artwork on time, which eventually triggered a fall out with fellow directors Tony Wilson & Alan Erasmus, as the cash strapped company had to keep missing release dates. Although to be fair the writing was on the wall for Factory long before then. It is not a book for anyone, it is too specialised for that but it is worth investigation.

No comments: