Warner Music announces two Factory Records 40th anniversary boxed sets and new exhibition

Warner Music is proud to announce the release of two boxed sets and a special exhibition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of iconic independent label Factory Records. The two boxed sets (Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 – The first 10 numbered records and objects and Factory: Communications 1978-92) gather together rare, unheard and classic material, while the exhibition (Use Hearing Protection FAC 1 – 50 / 40) showcases the label’s hugely influential design heritage.

“It is rewarding to see that the legacy endures and that there is such appreciation of the artefacts” – Peter Saville

Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 contains facsimile editions of the first 10 numbered Factory items: 4 vinyl records, 3 posters, a short film, Factory stationery and an egg-timer design. The early history of the label is traced in a 60-page book with text by James Nice, photos by Kevin Cummins and archival interviews with Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton, Joy Division and more. Oli and Isobel Wilson (Tony’s children) are executive producers.

“Factory Records is one of the most influential record labels of all time and defined culture. It’s an Honour for Rhino records to help celebrate the legacy along with Oli and Isobel Wilson” – Dan Chalmers, President Rhino UK

All 3 original Factory posters are contained in the box as well as the first 4 records: The Factory Sample EP (Fac 2), All Night Party by A Certain Ratio (Fac 5), Electricity by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Fac 6) and classic album Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division (Fact 10).

Bonus items include a white label 12” single by The Tiller Boys (originally intended as Fac 3 but ultimately not released), and a lengthy audio interview with Joy Division, Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton, conducted in August 1979 by journalist Mary Harron, never before heard and now restored across two CDs. Also newly restored, and seldom seen since 1979, is evocative 8mm short No City Fun (Fac 9), featuring music by Joy Division.

The Use Hearing Protection box is strictly limited to 4000 units worldwide and will be released on 11th October…

To commemorate the groundbreaking early works and on-going influence of Factory there will be an exhibition Use Hearing Protection FAC 1 – 50 / 40, taking place at Chelsea Space. The exhibition will tell the story of its formative years from 1978 to 1982 through the first 50 numbered Factory artefacts, including works by Peter Saville, Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, Durutti Column and Linder Sterling. Supported by rare and unseen materials from personal archives, as well as non-Factory period items of influence, these combine to describe a period from which Factory Records was proposed and realised, underpinning its revolutionary cultural impact on the music, art, design and ideas of our times.

Curated by Jon Savage and Mat Bancroft, the Factory exhibition is being featured in this year’s London Design Festival and will be free entry, running from 13th September until Friday 25th October.

More information here

An expanded exhibition, with the Use Hearing Protection, FAC 1-50 objects at its core is being developed by the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. This exhibition will build on the Chelsea Space display and is due to open July 2020, telling the story of Joy Division and the founding of Factory Records in the city.

The second box set, Factory: Communications 1978-1992, surveys the entire 15 year history of the iconic label, with 63 tracks spread over 8 newly remastered vinyl albums. As well as classic cuts from New Order, Joy Division, The Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, Electronic, A Certain Ratio and Section 25, this definitive overview delves deep into Factory’s rich and occasionally wayward recorded catalogue, with X-O-Dus, Marcel King, 52nd Street, Quando Quango, Northside, James, The Railway Children and even Crawling Chaos also included.

Originally issued as a 4 CD box set in 2009, Communications 1978-92 is curated by Jon Savage, with booklet notes by Paul Morley and James Nice.

Factory: Communications 1978-92 will be released on 8th November. Full details below.

Purchase both boxed sets here

The first 10 numbered records and objects


Poster 63cm x 84cm – May/June 1978

‘The Factory Sample’ 2×7” compilation EP in plastic-sealed paper sleeve – January 1979
Joy Division: ‘Digital’
Joy Division: ‘Glass’
Durutti Column: ‘No Communication’
Durutti Column: ’Thin Ice’
John Dowie: ‘Acne’
John Dowie: ‘Idiot’
John Dowie: ‘Hitler’s Liver’
Cabaret Voltaire: ‘Baader-Meinhof’
Cabaret Voltaire: ‘Sex in Secret’

Poster 63cm x 44.5cm – October 1978

Poster 63cm x 44.5cm – December 1978

A Certain Ratio
‘All Night Party’ / ‘Thin Boys’ 7” single, May 1979

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
‘Electricity/Almost’ 7” single, May 1979

Stationary – 1979

Menstrual Abacus aka The Factory Egg Timer – presented on A4 Print

‘No City Fun’ aka The Factory Flick, 8mm film- March 1979
Presented on DVD

Joy Division
‘Unknown Pleasures’ 12” album, June 1979


Bonus 12” single
Tiller Boys
‘Big Noise from the Jungle’ / ‘Slaves and Pyramids’ / ‘What Me Worry?’

2xCD (spoken word)
Joy Division and Tony Wilson interviewed by Mary Harron (1979)



Side 1 (1978-79)
Joy Division – Digital
Cabaret Voltaire – Baader Meinhof
A Certain Ratio – All Night Party
OMD – Electricity
Joy Division – She’s Lost Control
The Distractions – Time Goes By So Slow

Side 2 (1979-80)
Joy Division – Transmission
The Durutti Column – Sketch For Summer
X-O-Dus – English Black Boys
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
A Certain Ratio – Shack Up

Side 3 (1980-81)
Section 25 – Girls Don’t Count
Crawling Chaos – Sex Machine
A Certain Ratio – Flight
The Names – Nightshift

Side 4 (1981)
New Order – Ceremony (original version)
Minny Pops – Dolphin’s Spurt
John Dowie – It’s Hard To Be An Egg
Crispy Ambulance – Deaf
Section 25 – Dirty Disco

Side 5 (1981)
New Order – Everything’s Gone Green
Tunnelvision – Watching The Hydroplanes
The Durutti Column – Messidor
A Certain Ratio – Knife Slits Water (LP version)

Side 6 (1982)
Royal Family and the Poor – Art on 45
Swamp Children – Taste What’s Rhythm
New Order – Temptation

Side 7 (1982-83)
52nd Street – Cool As Ice
New Order – Blue Monday

Side 8 (1982-84)
Cabaret Voltaire – Yashar (John Robie remix)
Quando Quango – Love Tempo
The Wake – Talk About the Past

Side 9 (1983-84)
New Order – Confusion
Marcel King – Reach For Love
Section 25 – Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix)

Side 10 (1984-85)
Stockholm Monsters – All At Once
Life – Tell Me
The Durutti Column – Without Mercy (Duet)
James – Hymn From A Village
Kalima – Trickery

Side 11 (1985-87)
A Certain Ratio – Sounds Like Something Dirty
Quando Quango – Genius
Happy Mondays – Freaky Dancin’
Miaow – When It All Comes Down

Side 12 (1987)
The Railway Children – Brighter
Biting Tongues – Compressor
New Order – True Faith
Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People

Side 13 (1988-89)
New Order – Fine Time
Happy Mondays – W.F.L. (Think About the Future)
Revenge – Seven Reasons

Side 14 (1989-90)
Happy Mondays – Hallelujah (Club mix)
Electronic – Getting Away With It
Happy Mondays – Step On
Northside – Shall We Take A Trip

Side 15 (1990-91)
England New Order – World In Motion
Happy Mondays – Kinky Afro
The Durutti Column – Home
Electronic – Get The Message (DNA remix)

Side 16 (1991-92)
Northside – Take 5
Cath Carroll – Moves Like You (remix)
The Other Two – Tasty Fish
Happy Mondays – Sunshine and Love (Lionrock remix)

Photo credit: Kevin Cummins

About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and House. A man that lives in a world of beats and bass, and total confusion about life!