Various Artists

Different Colours, Different Shades...

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Different Colours, Different Shades is subtitled as "The Factory Story, Part Two," which isn't hard to confuse with the similarly subtitled Palatine series of compilations from 1991; that series divided the label's history into four parts. Six years after that series (and box set combining its four discs), London (in conjunction with Factory) issued a two-disc series covering some highlights and relative obscurities in the Factory catalog, much like the Palatine discs. As with the preceding Too Young to Know, Too Wild to Care, this disc ranges from the label's beginning to its (initial) ending in 1992; also, there's a fair amount of overlap between the ground covered here and the ground covered in the Palatine series. But this smaller "series" is a bit handier and, as a result, less costly if more selective. Some obvious highlights are rolled out in the form of OMD's "Electricity," Joy Division's "Decades," New Order's "Everything's Gone Green," and the Happy Mondays' "Donovan." This disc corrects a slight mistake made by the Palatine set by including the Names' "Night Shift," a highlight of the label's early days when practically everything the label released was unfairly compared to Joy Division. Another curiosity is the absurdist humor of "Sex Machine" by Crawling Chaos, which isn't a James Brown cover but a sinister exercise in punk electronics comparable to Cabaret Voltaire's "Nag Nag Nag" and the Normal's "Warm Leatherette." This disc, which also includes the Distractions, A Certain Ratio, the Stockholm Monsters, the Durutti Column, and Cabaret Voltaire, holds a significant edge over the first half of the series.

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