Joy Division and New Order master tapes go on sale
Former assistant of producer Martin Hannett searching for collector to preserve rare tapes from early 80s.
theguardian.com, Thursday 15 August 2013 07.35 EDT
Joy Division, New Order and Magazine master tapes from the early 1980s are to be sold by a producer's former assistant. Photograph: Chris Mills/Redferns
A former assistant of Martin Hannett is selling dozens of the producer's master tapes, including recordings and outtakes by Joy Division, Durutti Column, New Order and Magazine. Julia Adamson is looking for a collector to preserve the archive before it "deteriorates", claiming that the bands and their labels aren't interested in taking ownership.
Writing on Facebook this week, Adamson claimed that she had "rescued" about 30 tapes from when she worked for Hannett in the early 80s. "I have looked after these tapes for a long time," she wrote. "They are very old and probably deteriorating and should be baked or whatever, nor do I really want to look after them anymore ... When I approached the artists (who were my first port of call) I was subjected to accusations and abuse. So I dont really care anymore. I know they are worth something to a collector ... Anyone interested?"
A photograph shows the reels boxes marked with things like "Joy Division - 'New Order' theme music", "Joy Division Outtakes", "Psychedelic Furs" and "Urban Shakedown". There is also apparently a copy master of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures that "far surpasses the mastering from vinyl over the years". While Adamson tried contacting the surviving members of Joy Division, it was apparently "to no avail". Only Peter Hook answered; "he's not a happy bunny," Adamson said, and it seems he didn't want to buy the tapes either.
Just as buying a CD doesn't confer the right to copy and re-sell that album, purchasing this collection doesn't affect whether or not the buyer could legally release the contents. Nevertheless, there's certainly a market for rare tapes among fans, and some commenters proposed that the Manchester District Music Archive might be interested in acquiring the set.
For now, Adamson is fielding offers. The founder of Invisiblegirl Records, she worked for Hannett from 1981 to 1983, according to Slicing Up Eyeballs, and later spent six years as a member of the Fall.
Hannett, who produced records including New Order's Movement, Magazine's The Correct Use of Soap and both Joy Division albums, died in 1991.