The Flexi-pop of Factory Records – Tony Wilson

My first encounter with Factory Records was in 1980 when I was given a flexible plastic single by the band Joy Division. It was a little different than the punk rock I was listening to. Mainly at that time of my life I was buy Rough Trade singles no matter what they were.

Factory Records was founded by Tony Wilson who took the Final Taxi at the age of 57.Final Taxi Logo

Born Anthony H. Wilson on February 20, 1950 in Salford, England, he went on to become a renowned broadcast journalist, band manager, record label executive and nightclub owner.

As the Factory Records boss, he was responsible for signing legendary bands including Joy Division and New Order to his label.

Also, as owner of the renowned Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, he played a key role in the Madchester scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s that mixed indie rock and dance music and included artists such as Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses.

Wilson reportedly became involved in the Manchester music scene in the 1970s when hosting the culture and music program ‘So It Goes’ on Granada Television.

After covering a Sex Pistols performance in June 1976, he described the experience as “nothing short of an epiphany.” According to popular accounts, the bands Joy Division,
the Fall, the Smiths and the Buzzcocks were all formed by people who had attended that same Sex Pistols concert. Wilson booked the Pistols for one of the first television broadcasts of British punk rock.

From signing the likes of Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays, to being a general support of exciting an innovative music, Wilson established himself as a true indie music hero.

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