Song Of the Day: November 7, 2005
Factory Records 45, 1984
For years, this was the most mysterious record I owned. I bought this single at Ralph's Records in Lubbock, Texas the summer before my senior year in high school, simply because it was on Factory Records, at the time a label I bought on faith. There are no copyright dates, and no names on this single's lovely, minimalist sleeve, except for the art designer. (Designer Mark Farrow does deserve props; even when Peter Saville wasn't in charge, Factory had absolutely the best graphic design of the '80s.) It's only been in the last few years, since the development of the impressively thorough Factory discographies available online, that I've learned anything at all about the participants, and even then, it's not much: it was released in July 1984, it was produced by Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert of New Order (the credit reads "A Bemusic Production," which was the semi-anonymous credit that New Order members took when working on outside projects), and...well, actually, that's it. There is literally no other information available on this single or its 1985 followup "Better." I've come to suspect that this is an early solo experiment by Morris and Gilbert, with Gilbert as the appealingly artless lead singer, although this brand of summery, swirling indie pop has little in common with New Order's dancefloor experiments of this era. Instead, think of the underrated Fall offshoot the Adult Net, whose Brix Smith worked this same intersection of indie jangle and glossy synth for the latter half of the '80s.