Factory Records is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a pair of box-sets and major exhibitions devoted to the legendary independent label from Manchester.

The first box-set, Use Hearing Protection, is named after FAC 1. This was a poster printed yellow on black for gigs scheduled for May and June 1978 at The Factory, Manchester and the featured bands were:

Joy Division, Durutti Column, The Tiller Boys, Cabaret Voltaire, Jilted John, Big In Japan and Manicured Noise.

The collection includes the first 10 records and memorabilia to receive a Factory Records catalogue number, starting with Fac 1.

The tenth item in box-set bearing catalogue number Fac10 is Joy Division’s debut LP Unknown Pleasures.

Fac6 is Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark debut single “Electricity”, while Fac5 is “All Night Party” by A Certain Ratio.

The Factory Sample EP is included as Fac2,  featuring various Factory artists including Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, John Dowie, and The Durutti Column. This was the first official release of material under the name Joy Division, including the tracks “Glass”, and “Digital”.

FAC8 is the legendary feminist Egg timer designed by artist/musician Linder Sterling of the band Ludus.

The egg timer looks like a four-bar abacus, seven beads to the row, with the final five represented as blood-soaked lint.

The egg timer was never released but rather was sketched out as a prototype (which allegedly was actually made), represented in the box-set as an A4 art print (see the drawing in blue ink on the lower right in the image below).

Bonus items included in Use Hearing Protection are a 2CD interview with Joy Division and Factory founder Tony Wilson by journalist Mary Harron conducted in 1979, plus a previously-unreleased 12″ single, “Big Noise From The Jungle” by The Tiller Boys.

The box-set is limited to 4,000 copies and will be released on October 11th.

One exhibition, also titled Use Hearing Protection, is at Chelsea Space in London from September 13th through October 25th. It features exhibitions of the first 50 items in the Factory catalogue until 1982. Entry is free.

An expanded version of the Use Hearing Protection exhibition, developed by The Science And Industry Museum in Manchester. will open in July of 2020.

The second box set is a reissue of the compilation Factory: Communications 1978-1992, which features 63 songs from Factory’s 15-year history.

Factory: Communications 1978-92 was originally released as a 4CD-set in 2009. It will now be available as an 8LP vinyl box.  The compilation box set will be released on November 8th.

Both box-sets are available now to pre-order through Rhino Records

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