To keep things moving during this colossal vinyl-ripping project, I often just take a favorite song or two from an album. Not today. Double album 'Valuable Passages' (FACT 164) by the Durutti Column is a compilation from 1986 that gathers songs from albums, singles and EPs on Factory Records from 1980-1986. It has been much too long since I have spent time with this collection, and I'm struck today by how there is simply nobody like the Durutti Column on my shelf. Those in the know understand the genius of Vini Reilly, but I feel an awesome responsibility to represent his work well here because there are bound to be those who stop by who have never heard a note.
I'm tempted to start with one of the early pieces produced by Martin Hannett but have opted for Reilly's tribute to fallen comrade Ian Curtis. From second album 'LC,' here is "The Missing Boy." 'LC' was recorded in five hours on a four track and mixed at a studio in two hours. Now that's DIY and a good day's work. Many of Reilly's most well known and revered works are instrumentals, but this song shows his timid vocals can be effective and quite moving.
By 1983 and 1984, Reilly's compositions had become complex and flamboyant affairs complete with strings, brass, woodwinds and massive percussion. Fourth album 'Without Mercy' is best described as neo-classical and, I imagine, a shock to fans of Factory at the time. The two sides of the album were simply titled "Without Mercy I" and "Without Mercy II." Better to spend less time trying to describe it and just let you get to it.
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