- * Under what is now a parking lot and upscale condominiums.
In addition to being just a perfect song, it was also a glorious physical artifact. I still remember the first time I saw it: the three die-cut holes, revealing not the usual white paper inner sleeve, but weirdly-textured flat black plastic that looked exactly like the surface of a floppy disk. The two little notches at the bottom. No text at all. And the mysterious color code down the right edge. Perfect. No notes.
I have been "borrowing" from the designs of Peter Saville, Factory Records and The Haçienda for the last couple of decades, but this is where it all started.
It remains the best-selling 12" single of all time, and the production costs on the die cut sleeve were so high that it was being sold at a loss, which is just the most Peter Saville / Tony Wilson thing ever.
Here's a good article in The Guardian with some well-chosen musical selections: Who inspired it and who it inspired - they spliced Donna Summer with Ennio Morricone to make a futurist dance smash.
Might I also recommend:
- Designed by Peter Saville (out of print but borrowable on archive.org)
- FAC 461 Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album (also out of print but borrowable)
- 24 Hour Party People -- as I said in my review of it, "It's such a weird movie. How did this even get made? The licensing alone... I always want to recommend it but it comes with such a long list of footnotes. Like, if you don't already know all about these people, it's probably best to watch this movie with me sitting next to you on the couch, yelling."
- The Haçienda - The Club that Shook Britain -- a more straightforward documentary-telling of this story.
Peter Hook: How Not to Run a Club -- the slow motion apocalypse as seen from the New Order side, instead of the Tony Wilson side. It is hilarious, and this book is judging me. Just staring at me and judging.
- Made in Sheffield: The Birth of Electronic Pop -- Cabaret Voltaire, ABC, Human League, etc.
- Synth Britannia: The Emergence of British Synth Pop -- BBC seems to be trying to memory-hole this documentary, so here's a torrent.
Extremely relevant Previouslies:
Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.