Saturday, January 10, 2009

variations on a theme: Martin Hannett part II, the music

As promised, some works that honor the legacy, genius and talent of the legendary Manchester producer Martin Hannett....

Martin piddled around in Manchester with several acts, helped establish the Manchester Musicians Collective in the late 1970s, did some booking and engineering, until falling in with Factory Records impresarios Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus in 1978. Martin was considered one of the label's co-founders, and envisioned himself becoming the house engineer and chief A&R man. He worked with most of the Factory roster until he left the label's employ in 1982, suing the label over lost royalties (and he was convinced Factory wasted everything opening the Hacienda, his idea was to spend it all on a Fairlight instead).

Martin was lost in the wilderness during the mid-80s, lost in a sea of drink and drug. Only occasionally did he pop up, most notably with the Stone Roses (complete nobodies at the time) to record a debut album which finally saw the "official" light of day in the late 90s as a semi-official release entitled Garage Flower. His work with the Roses was largely ignored/forgotten for two reasons: 1) it wasn't very good, frankly, and 2) the Roses were quickly moving on into a more melodic realm that dated even further what they were doing with Martin.

Surprisingly coming back into the Factory family via his work with Happy Mondays, Martin enjoyed a sudden resurgence of work and popularity, if you will, in the late 1980s/early 90s. Starting with the Mondays, Martin then produced several other acts that were drawn to him for his legend and genius, culminating with two Manchester acts New Fast Automatic Daffodils and The High, the last two acts he worked with until his sudden untimely death via heart attack in April 1991.

Martin was a genius. His legendary use of digital delay, coming milliseconds after the initial snare hit, has influenced hundreds of recording engineers to this day (see the entire Joy Division catalog for an example). An autocrat, he nevertheless encouraged the best work out of the acts he worked with (bar the Stone Roses as above), and his imprint on music, on Manchester, on a generation of music fans, will continue forever.

Onward to the music - that's what we're here for, right?

MARTIN: The work of record producer Martin Hannett
FACD 325
1991 Factory Communications Ltd.

01 BUZZCOCKS / Breakdown
02 SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS / Cranked Up Really High
03 JOHN COOPER CLARKE / Suspended Sentence
04 JOY DIVISION / She's Lost Control
05 JILTED JOHN / Jilted John
08 U2 / 11 O'Clock Tick Tock
09 NEW ORDER / Everything's Gone Green
10 HAPPY MONDAYS / Lazyitis
11 WORLD OF TWIST / She's A Rainbow
13 THE HIGH / More

Released in 1991, this album was Factory's celebration of his life and work. All proceeds went to his family - and if this album were still in print, I wouldn't have it here to download because of that.

-------------- analog loyalist's compilation ---------------

I was going to do the list-each-song-and-download-separately bit but I know how annoying RapidShare is so I made my own compilation instead. Single download gets it all!

"Produced by Martin Hannett"
compiled by the Analog Loyalist

01 JOY DIVISION / Digital (1978)
Side 1, track 1 of the Factory Sample FAC2. Martin finds it here.

02 A CERTAIN RATIO / All Night Party (1979)
Funky even without the original funky drummer DoJo.

03 DURUTTI COLUMN / Sketch For Summer (1979)
04 DURUTTI COLUMN / First Aspect Of The Same Thing (1979)
"Sketch" finds Martin inventing bird noises with various electronica, and "First Aspect" is Martin flying solo - he wrote it and performed it entirely alone.

05 A CERTAIN RATIO / Flight (1979)

I'm not certain the Joy Division comparisons aren't entirely due to Martin's signature production work here...

06 JOY DIVISION / Atmosphere (1979)

The first genuine classic here, the band thought this was the best job Martin had ever done for them. Beautiful, beautiful.

07 KEVIN HEWICK with NEW ORDER / Haystack (1980)
Factory sends the surviving Joy Division members into the studio shortly after Ian Curtis' death, to back fledgling Factory artist Kevin Hewick on a couple tracks. An audition, perhaps, for the vocal spot vacated by Ian and soon filled by Bernard Sumner? One never knows... New Order's first studio effort after Ian's death.

08 NEW ORDER / Ceremony (1980)
09 NEW ORDER / In A Lonely Place (1980)
Both sides of FAC33 straight from mint vinyl, New Order recording in New Jersey with Martin, before Gillian joined. Classics both, IALP is less thunderclappy compared to the remixed version on Substance.

10 SECTION 25 / New Horizon (edit) (1981)

Factory's Blackpool contingent, obviously JD influenced (or is it that Hannett sound?). I edited down the interminably long intro.

11 THE STONE ROSES / I Wanna Be Adored (1985)

Martin's lost years, the Madchester classic in its original form - Leckie's 1988 re-recording obviously perfected it.

12 HAPPY MONDAYS / WFL (Think About The Future) (1988)

Remixed by Paul Oakenfold, pure utter genius this track. Welcome back, Martin.

13 THE HIGH / Up & Down (1989)
Part of a series of demos The High recorded with Martin in fall 1989, this band was the last band Martin recorded before his April 1991 death. Nice jangly song, Andy Couzens presented this song to the Stone Roses while he was still a member.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Western Works. Re: Cabs am still looking for elusive "Shaft" cover (Fac Benelux). As for Hannett, see also