In the late 80s and early 90s Manchester was the most fashionable place of earth. It was the era of the Haçienda, a music venue/club set up by Factory Records in a former warehouse that played the most eclectic music. And with its no door policy, it attracted the widest variety of people. The Haçienda saw the explosion of cult bands like The Happy Mondays and The Stones Roses, brought the Chicago and Detroit electronic music scene to Europe and played a huge part in defining the acid house and rave movement. Whether its success relied on great records, cheap lager or cheap drugs is, however, open for debate.
This is the third part of the Mancunian Way, a BBC documentary series about Manchester and its music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1, Part 2.
The 3rd part of the Mancunian Way explores the world of the quintessential Manchester record label: Factory Records. Founded in the rise of punk, it lead the way during the post-punk era due to its specific way of working with artists. It soon became the first record company outside London to achieve international succes.
Mark Radcliffe talks to Factory founder Tony Wilson, in-house producer Martin Hannett and many others about record sleeve design, urban angst, raincoat sales and the tremendous influence of the label and its bands such as Joy Division, New Order or the Happy Mondays.