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The Durutti Column \ The Guitar and Other Machines [FBN 204 / CD]

Factory Benelux presents an expanded 2xLP and 3xCD edition of The Guitar and Other Machines, the acclaimed sixth album by Manchester ensemble The Durutti Column, originally released on Factory in December 1987.

The origin of The Guitar and Other Machines was the Christmas present given by Factory founder Tony Wilson to Durutti mainman Vini Reilly in 1985. "He gave me another kick and bought me a load of electronic instruments," revealed Reilly at the time. "I never dreamt of getting into this electronic thing, and I struggled and fought and stayed up til half seven in the morning and really worked on it. I know that Tony’s got this vision and I persevered. And I found a way of using a sequencer that isn’t like New Order – it’s my way, and it’s my music."

Produced by Stephen Street (The Smiths; Morrissey), the album also features percussionist Bruce Mitchell and viola player John Metcalfe. Remastered in 2017, this new FBN edition restores all three bonus tracks included on the original Factory CD, being experimental pieces written and recorded with Jez Kerr and Simon Topping of A Certain Ratio.

Disc 2 gathers together a wealth of associated recordings, including the rare Greetings 3 EP (released only in Italy), non-album tracks such as Our Lady of the Angels, LFO Mod, and the exquisite acoustic instrumental Catos con Guantes. Other tracks on Disc 2 include various mixes of When the World (a video single at the time), oddball Jefferson Airplane cover White Rabbit (recorded in LA on a whim with guest vocalist Debi Diamond), and several 'sporadic recordings' which revisit themes first heard on the original album.

Disc 3 (Disc 2 on vinyl) is an in-concert recording of the band taped at the famous Bottom Line club in New York City in October 1986, along with two further live tracks taped at the WOMAD festival in August 1988.

The 3xCD set is housed in a clamshell box with individual interior wallets. A limited edition (x300) double disc edition in clear and silver vinyl was issued in 2019, featuring the core studio album on Disc 1 and live versions of selected album tracks on Disc 2.

3xCD tracklist:

Disc 1

1. Arpeggiator
2. What It Is to Me (Woman)
3. Red Shoes
4. Jongleur Grey
5. When the World
6. U.S.P.
7. Bordeaux Sequence
8. Pol In B
9. English Landscape Tradition
10. Miss Haymes
11. Don't Think You're Funny
12. Dream Topping
13. You Won't Feel Out of Place
14. 28 Oldham Street
15. LFO Mod
16. Catos con Guantes

Disc 2

1. Florence Sunset
2. All That Love and Maths Can Do
3. San Giovanni Dawn
4. For Friends in Italy
5. Our Lady of the Angels
6. Red Shoes (VR vocal)
7. Song for Les Preger
8. For Rebecca
9. Final Cut
10. When the World (Newson Mix)
11. Arpeggiator II
12. Pol in AB
13. 30 Oldham Street
14. When the World (Soundtrack)
15. Our Lady
16. White Rabbit
17. When the World (Version)

Disc 3 (live CD)

1. Prayer
2. Arpeggiator
3. Our Lady of the Angels
4. Pol in B
5. Miss Haymes
6. For Mother
7. Requiem
8. Jacqueline
9. Elevator Sequence
10. The Missing Boy
11. When the World
12. Tomorrow
13. English Landscape Tradition
14. Bordeaux Sequence

2xLP tracklist:

Disc 1

A1. Arpeggiator
A2. What It Is to Me (Woman)
A3. Red Shoes
A4. Jongleur Grey
A5. When the World
A6. U.S.P.
B1. Bordeaux Sequence
B2. Pol in B
B3. English Landscape Tradition
B4. Miss Haymes
B5. Don't Think You're Funny

Disc 2 (live)

C1. Arpeggiator
C2. Our Lady of the Angels
C3. Pol in B
C4. Miss Haymes
D1. When the World
D2. English Landscape Tradition
D3. Bordeaux

Available as a 3xCD box and gatefold double coloured vinyl. Vinyl is currently out of stock. To order any format please select correct shipping option (UK, Europe or Rest of World) and click on Add To Cart button below cover image.

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The Guitar and Other Machines [FBN 204]
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"Arpeggiator is a stunningly bold statement of intent - it's like the hitherto frail, musical Durutti corpus has been augmented into some six-million-dollar bionic body. Longtime Durutti Columnist John Metcalfe's viola, plucked and bowed, swoops over a scintillating torrent of synths, before the track erupts into power chords and molten lead guitar. Tony Wilson had often despaired of Reilly's reluctance to spend more than a couple of days in the studio, but producer Stephen Street seems to have persuaded him of the virtues of a more diligent approach - it's like the home movies or chamber pieces of the early albums have suddenly been recast in cinemascope… This exemplary reissue augments the original LP with a number of fugitive pieces from the Durutti discography: notably the Greetings 3 EP, plus a handful of tracks cut in LA and released as the City of Our Lady EP - remarkable for a barmy cover of White Rabbit" (Uncut, 2/2018)

"The eleven core pieces (three with guest vocals) are as sonically adventurous as anything Reilly has ever attempted. While remaining inside the group's traditional parameters, this ambitious record increases his emotional reach" (Trouser Press)

"So named because of Reilly's choice to explore and use newer instruments, specifically a Yamaha Sequencer and a DMX drum machine among others, while also trying out new approaches with his guitar playing, first signalled on Circuses and Bread. Opening track Arpeggiator gives a sense as to the result. There's a more straightforwardly soaring lead guitar line; quick, gently perky synth loops; a heavy drum punch; additional strings; and other touches to fill out the busy but strong arrangement. While technology in general was no stranger to the band, these instruments and approaches were, resulting in a generally lusher record than most recorded by Durutti before it, with more rather than fewer instruments being the key motif while still retaining an economy of performance. Both Metcalfe and Kellett appeared on an album highlight, When the World, recalling the band's mid-'80s highlights while Reilly turns in a surprisingly loud, kick-ass solo, contrasting his acoustic work on the immediately following USP. Otherwise, a variety of other performers assisted the duo as needed, including producer Stephen Street, who sat in on bass on English Landscape Tradition, and guest singers Stanton Miranda and Pol (a high point of When the World who ironically enough doesn't appear on Pol in B). Rob Gray's mouth organ work adds a nicely rootsy feel to What Is It to Me (Woman) and Jongleur Grey, a notable contrast against Durutti's generally futurist approach. Continuing the string of excellent Durutti reissues, its 1996 reappearance included several other studio tracks done around that time, notably the moody and mysterious LFO Mod, which only appeared on the Valuable Passages compilation in the U.S., and Dream Topping, featuring a reunion with A Certain Ratio singer Jeremy Kerr. Concluding the reissue are four further tracks from a performance at Peter Gabriel's WOMAD festival, with guest appearances from Chinese opera singer Liu Sola and Swing Out Sister keyboardist Andy Connell, both of whom would feature on the Vini Reilly album" (AllMusic Guide)

"If The Guitar and Other Machines came to represent a change of tack for Durutti Column, it was neither planned or at the expense of Vini Reilly's original vision. Perhaps that's why it worked so well. Tony Wilson, who had been the band's leading advocate and fan since day one, supplied Vini with some electronic instruments as a Christmas present. He also applied a fatherly boot to his rear, as he thought it was high time DC became a little more successful, seeing as New Order had invaded the national and dance charts regularly with their sequencer and synth-enhanced efforts. So good (if not entirely altruistic) intentions were at play. Reilly worked tirelessly one night to master these strange items and by the morning had found a way to encompass the new sounds into something that was at the same time both fresh sounding, but still in the Durutti style... This new reissue gives a full view of the state of Durutti Column in 1987 - a time of change, but also managing to play to their strengths. Long time fans will be pleased one of their most fondly remembered LPs has been given this deluxe treatment, with the usual love, care and attention you would expect from Factory Benelux. A delightful way to start the new year" (Louder Than War, 01/2018)

"This album is a reminder of so much. Of long-lost singularity in new music maybe, and of Tony Wilson's near-suicidal tendency to the non-commercial. And, of course, Vini Reilly's filigreed virtuoso genius... The proto neo-classicism of tracks such as Bordeaux Sequence, and the skittering, glittering instrumental Arpeggiator, make for gloriously satisfying rediscovery. Extraordinary things happened on this album, things that for some have yet to register" (Electronic Sound, 01/2018)

The Guitar and Other Machines [FBN 204]