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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, September 2, 2010

The man from Island

An interesting footnote to the history of both Joy Division and The Distractions is revealed in the Notes and Sources to James Nice's Shadowplayers: The Rise & Fall of Factory Records. Imagine the different trajectories the two bands' careers might have taken if Joy Division had gone to Island Records and The Distractions remained on Factory...


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"Nick Stewart joined Island in September 1979 and immediately went to Manchester to meet Factory Records' directors, Tony Wilson, Alan Erasmus and Rob Gretton, with a view to signing Joy Division. Finding Joy Division unavailable, he accepted the directors’ advice and signed The Distractions instead (Nick Stewart author interview, November 2009)."

(c) James Nice, 2010.

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In the book itself is the following passage:

"Grace Jones’s cover of She’s Lost Control appeared on the b-side of Private Life in August 1980. The song was selected by Nick Stewart, along with Private Life and Love Is The Drug.

Interviewed for NME (18 October 1986) by Dave Haslam, Bernard Sumner recalled: ‘Grace Jones wanted to do She’s Lost Control for Island and she wanted to change it to “I’ve Lost Control” and we thought about it and decided we can’t just let her do that. And one night we met a man from Island in a club in Soho and he knew how we felt. He gave us £12; it was like he was just saying, “Go and buy yourselves a drink, lads.”’ The ‘man from Island’ was Nick Stewart (aka The Captain), who had already signed The Distractions to the label."

(c) James Nice, 2010.

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Island Records.

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