All the FACs / Factory Records box sets

Factory Records is to be celebrated with two new box sets.

The Manchester-based label Factory Records celebrates 40(ish) years with a pair of new box sets covering its entire catalogue.

The two boxes, titled Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 and Factory: Communications 1978-92 cover the label’s 15 year output from its beginnings as some sort of Warholian wonky art project begun by Tony Wilson, via the success heights of New Order and Happy Mondays through to it’s baggy, bankruptcy-forced ending.

Executively produced by Oli and Isobel Wilson (Tony’s children), Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 (The first 10 numbered records and objects), contains facsimile editions of the first ten numbered Factory items: four vinyl records, three posters, a short film, a bit of Factory stationery and an egg-timer design.

The early history of the label is also detailed 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.

The four vinyl records are the ‘The Factory Sample EP’ (Fac 2) which was a 2×7 inch set with tracks from Joy Division, Durutti Column, John Dowie and Cabaret Voltaire; ‘All Night Party’ by A Certain Ratio (Fac 5), ‘Electricity’ by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Fac 6) and the Unknown Pleasures album by Joy Division (Fact 10).

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

The set’s recreated posters (Facs 1, 3 and 4) date from May, October and December 1978, stationery (Fac 7) and an A4 print of a design for the, um, Menstrual Abacus aka The Factory Egg Timer was given the catalogue number of Fac 8. The box is limited to 4000 copies worldwide.

The second box set Factory: Communications 1978-1992, focuses on the actual record label, with 63 tracks spread over eight newly remastered vinyl albums. It’s effectively a new vinyl edition of the 2009 four-CD box set that Jon Savage put together, which featured notes from Paul Morley.

Alongside the obvious key numbers and hits by New Order, Happy Mondays, Joy Division, The Durutti Column and Electronic, the lesser likes of Crispy Ambulance, Royal Family and the Poor, Quando Quango, Marcel King and Cath Carroll. While not definitive, you get a good overview of a label that had space for both X-O-Dus and the England football team.

Black vinyl is the standard version, but a silver-coloured vinyl edition is limited to 500 copies and is exclusive to the Rhino store. There’s no mention of whether the original CD box will be reissued, or any news of download codes, as yet.

The Use Hearing Protection box appears to be completely exclusive to the Rhino store, so you can find that here.

As a bonus, 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 is due to open July 2020. So that’s something to look forward to.

Use Hearing Protection: Factory Records 1978-1979 is released 11 October 2019, Factory: Communications 1978-1992 follows on 29 November 2019 (was 8 Nov).

Compare prices and pre-order

Various Artists

Factory Communications 1978-1992 8LP vinyl



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)



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Anyone know if this has a download code?


Does anyone know if this version of New Order’s “Temptation” will be the 7 minute version from “Trainspotting”?


The unboxing video is now on youtube from Rhino. Possibly to boost pre-orders? Its only confirmed my own belief that its too expensive for what it contains. Bring it down to £120 and I’ll have it, at £180 no thanks.

Doug Miller

My first thought about the “Use Hearing Protection Set” was: are the posters shipped rolled? Or are they really in the box? (and hence, folded, so the promotional picture would be a lie).

I contacted Rhino for clarification. They couldn’t tell me. All I got was this nonsense: “We have asked our management team and we cannot confirm how the posters are packaged. This is a decision that is taken when each individual order is dispatched.”

Andrew Sellers

posters are folded (sadly) and the book is a softcover, not hardback as shown. That said – its a lovely set – the detail on the releases are lovely!

David Bassin

Given the title of Box #1, they should have included the FACT earplugs given out at Christmas in 1979.

Mark G

That “Use hearing” box seems crazy price, but then again I’ve got a “Factory Sample” set, so maybe that is the main draw.

I wonder if it’s the same “wrap” sleeve construct…?

Paul Thomson

Also ordered the Use Hearing Protection box. I have no free will when it comes to Factory and all my original merch is long gone unfortunately.

Dr Volume

The 8LP Box looks a bit ungainly – esp with those garish multi-coloured sleeves – the track listing is great though and anyone curious about Factory or wanting to look beyond Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays could do a lot worse – although the 4CD might be a less risky investment than a massive slab of Vinyl.

‘Use Hearing Protection’ looks like a curiously tempting thing. The Tiller Boys single did eventually come out but on the New Hormones label and features an uncredited Pete Shelley on guitar. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the MOSI exhibition anyway.

Fac heads with any pennies left I’d also highly recommend a new 5 LP set from Section 25 on Factory Benelux as well – 70 quid including postage – it’s confusingly badged as an ‘Always Now’ SDE but actually includes the first 3 LPs including the cassette only Illumina release as well as live tracks and singles.


Rhino expect UK buyers to foot more money to have this vastly overpriced £180 box set posted with tracking. It should be included with the price.
A box of a few bits of vinyl and paper with a thin book can’t cost so much to manufacture? Unless they’ve replicated everything exactly- Braille for the OMD 7”, stickers and plastic wrap for Fac2? Nothing’s been said about it.
Not too sold on the outer box design itself either, looks ugly with the stripes IMO. Did Saville do this?

Ian Hartley

I am old enough (and lucky enough) to have a fair few of the originals of the things in “Use Hearing Protection”. I will now have to consider selling a few of them to buy this ! Art, myth, music, legends.! And a few things, like the Linda Sterling design were NEVER available unless you knew the factory insiders, so I think this is worth it for those, like me that really want it !


Good God…the rhino version works out at roughly 2UKP/track. And when some of those tracks are by Quango Quango, neine Danke!

Martyn Alner

Too FAC’ing expensive! :)

SDE Hall of Fame



Out of curiosity, is the interviewer the same Mary Harron who later went on to write and direct American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol and The Notorious Bettie Page (and almost certainly several other things which have escaped my mind but which wouldn’t get made now Marvel have annexed all cinema)?


Wot no Vermorel?

Steve F

Dear Santa, I have been a very good boy this year…


I purchased a Factory 10 inch from Discogs which only has one track from the set. It’s enough for me.


As a big Factory Records fan I was really looking forward to the “Hearing Protection” box but £180 is excessive for the contents. £100 -£120 would be more realistic. Hopefully the book will be released on its own later.


After a few lean weeks there’s been some great announcements today


I’ve contacted Rhino UK and Rhino USA about these releases. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been less than helpful. Is any label less interested in customer service? The only shipping option (courier) from Rhino UK to the US is £93. They won’t budge on it either, saying it’s out of their control. I contacted Rhino USA and they can’t give me any indication as to whether they’ll be selling either of them. I suppose I’ll just buy the black vinyl 78-92 box and skip the other. Would’ve been buying it for the DVD mainly anyway.

Liam Bastick

Dear Paul, please stop putting all these expensive box sets on your website. My credit card is no longer talking to you :-) To be fair to the reader above, GBP 93 does seem high when I managed to order two copies of the 8LP box set to Australia for GBP 103. Unless they’re all being shipped from Rhino Tasmania..?


Hi Liam, Can I ask where you ordered the 2 copies of the 8 LP box set for £103?


I think Liam was referring to shipping on two sets to Australia being £103, not purchase price.

Liam Bastick

No the postage was GBP 103. Sorry to be ambiguous!

Timm Davison

Yeah, unfortunately the exclusives are limited to the Rhino UK store. I ordered the Use Hearing Protection box set – and the postage was stupid expensive – but not the silver vinyl overview set. I have most of those tracks already, but the Use Hearing Protection box is, for me, one of the few things I’m willing to pay shipping from the UK.