The debut single from A Certain Ratio sounds unlike anything else they would ever release during their recording career for the simple reason that it doesn’t feature Donald Johnson on percussion or drums. Indeed, this September 1979 release is one which will be of huge appeal to the raincoat-wearing brigade, particularly those whose tastes encompassed Joy Division or Bauhaus, featuring that brooding guitar sound which producer Martin Hannett was beginning to refine in his work with the former and a vocal that was goth-lite.

mp3 : A Certain Ratio – All Night Party

Echorich, very bravely, had this open up his ACR ICA back in February 2017 and I don’t think there’s any way of topping (pun intended) his description of it:-

“All Night Party has a soulless urgency that just builds and builds until it stops. It is certainly night music, but the only party it would soundtrack would likely occur in a mausoleum.”

FAC5 confounded the critics, albeit Jon Savage in a review in Melody Maker said the band displayed ‘rudimentary skills with more panache and imagination than most since the Sex Pistols’

Here’s yer equally downbeat, brooding, industrial and funkless b-side:-

mp3 : A Certain Ratio – The Thin Boys

Neither track was helped much by the cheap pressing afforded to the recording but such has become the modern-day demand for vinyl of this vintage that you can expect to pay £50 for a copy of a 7″ single that’s in decent nick as only 5,000 were pressed….there’a a lot of Factory obsessives out there you know.

The addition of the new drummer and percussionist, allied to the other members own tastes, took them down a road in which funk, dub and disco played their parts in making them quite unlike any other on the Manchester label. It’s hard to imagine they would have lasted that long if they hadn’t shifted direction, but there’s just something I find alluring and very appealing about the debut.



  1. I definitely stand by what I said and I think when looking back at the history of the band, and that history as it relates to Factory, ACR were willing participants in a development that impacted them as it helped define the label. This is born out by the fact that the voice of Tony Wilson’s sets the band’s latest offering in motion.

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