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Welcome to the official Distractions website. We will be aiming to record the history of one of the greatest, but least heralded, of all Manchester beat groups.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shadowplayers

Here's a snippet from James Nice's magnificent and mighty tome, Shadowplayers: The Rise and Fall of Factory Records:


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Wisely returning to the vinyl fray, Factory issued The Distractions' single in September, on 7-inch only. Like the rest of their crafted pop repertoire, both Time Goes By So Slow and flipside Pillow Fight dealt with the vexed subject of love ("ranging from disappointed to hatred"), earning excellent reviews from Paul Morley ("great pop - a modern masterpiece") and John Savage, who discerned "the world's most perfect youth club band". A fine single, FAC 12 was also an atypical Factory record, wrapped in a decidedly average sleeve and untouched by Martin Hannett. Within weeks of its release the group signed to Island, quickly recording an album, Nobody's Perfect, but failing to find mainstream success.

Despite having directed The Distractions to Island A&R scout Nick Stewart, Wilson soon chose to re-cast their departure as a watershed. "That's when my ideas about Factory as a catalyst for getting bands signed to majors changed. I felt quite sad when The Distractions signed to Island. I think a Distractions album brought out on Factory would have made them about three times the first year advance they've got. But I guess they weren't prepared to wait."

In fact this was praxis gone mad. Wilson had encouraged the band to leave Factory, yet declined to manage them, and had contemplated their violent demise in a film [more on that later, maybe!].

(c) James Nice, 2010.


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There's more on The Distractions in the book, which, when it weighs in at 500+ hardback pages, is just one tiny reason why this is an essential purchase for any UK music fan, never mind Manc or Factory heads.


Shadowplayers: The Rise and Fall of Factory Records, James Nice (2010). (c) Amazon.

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