Tracks the rise and fall of Factory Records in Manchester, England from the late 70’s until the 90’s.
I love bands from Manchester, like New Order, Stone Roses, Charlatans, and Happy Mondays. I wanted to see this movie since I love the city and it was going to talk about the guy that started the record label for New Order and Happy Mondays. He also started the Hacienda club, which I read about in Rolling Stone in 1989. It’s where the rave culture started before it got over to the U.S. It wasn’t dumb kids wearing pacifiers and listening to techno though. They still did lots of drugs over there, but they listened to better music. I wanted to go over there and check it out, but I was only a freshman in high school.
This movie started out really well with the future record label guy seeing the Sex Pistols for one of their first shows. It interspersed real footage with the movie so that was neat. It showed him discovering Joy Division and signing them to his record label that he was starting. It dealt with the death of Ian Curtis and how that ended Joy Division. Then the movie just shifted. After that New Order was pretty much ignored. A little mention was made here and there. I wanted to hear more about them, but nope!
Then the rest of the movie was pretty much devoted to the Happy Mondays. I enjoyed them, but they weren’t the best group of the bunch from that city. Not according to the record label guy. He loved them. It was funny how the band kept screwing him over since he loved them so, but they were a bunch of drugged out fuck-ups. I was surprised he made no mention how they were never able to tour the U.S. since they couldn’t get their visas due to their drug problems. I know this because I had tickets to see them once and it was canceled due to that reason. Nothing about that at all.
The movie did talk about the Hacidenda a good amount. I wished that more of the movie spent time on the other Manchester bands, or at the very least New Order that were also on the label rather than spending so much time on Happy Mondays. I was a tad disappointed by that. Also, the movie spent too much time on record label guy’s life, even though he kept mentioning the movie wasn’t about him, but his love of Manchester. That was hard to tell when it was him, him, and Happy Mondays.