Factory Records celebrates 40th anniversary with box-sets and major exhibitions

You can even own a Factory Records egg timer (sort of)

Legendary record company Factory Records is celebrating its 40th anniversary with two box-sets and two major exhibitions devoted to the label.

Factory was home to bands such as Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, James and The Durutti Column.

The first box-set, ‘Use Hearing Protection’, compiles the first 10 records and memorabilia to receive a Factory Records catalogue number. The second box, ‘Factory: Communications 1978-1992’, features 63 songs from Factory’s 15-year history.


One exhibition, also titled Use Hearing Protection, is at Chelsea Space from September 13-October 25. It features exhibitions of the first 50 items until 1982 with a Factory catalogue number, including works by Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio and The Durutti Column, as well as Factory’s acclaimed designer Peter Saville. Entry is free.

An expanded version of the Use Hearing Protection exhibition will open in July next year. It’s currently being developed by The Science And Industry Museum in Manchester.

The 10 items in the ‘Use Hearing Protection’ box-set include Joy Division’s classic album ‘Unknown Pleasures’. Given the catalogue number Fact10, the album recently reached No 5 when it was reissued separately. The other records are successful ’80s band OMD’s single ‘Electricity’, ‘All Night Party’ by Factory staples A Certain Ratio and ‘The Factory Sample EP’ featuring various Factory artists including Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, John Dowie and The Durutti Column.

It also contains three Factory posters, including FAC1, which was a poster advertising the label. FAC8 was a Factory Records egg timer, represented in the box-set as an A4 art print. The box is limited to 4,000 copies.


Bonus items in ‘Use Hearing Protection’ are a 2CD interview with Joy Division and Factory founder Tony Wilson by journalist Mary Harron in 1979, plus a previously-unreleased 12″ single, ‘Big Noise From The Jungle’ by The Tiller Boys. The box-set is released on October 11.

The second box-set, ‘Factory: Communications 1978-92’ was originally released as a 4CD-set in 2009. It will now be available as an 8LP vinyl box. It includes hits ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ by Joy Division, New Order’s ‘Temptation’, ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Confusion’, ‘True Faith’ and ‘World In Motion’, James’ ‘Hymn From A Village’, Electronic’s ‘Getting Away With It’ and Happy Mondays’ ‘Step On’, ‘WFL’ and ’24 Hour Party People’. It’s released on November 8, with sleevenotes by Paul Morley and James Nice.

The box-sets are available to pre-order here.