The Durutti Column > Discography > FACD 274 Obey The Time < FACDO 274 Obey The Time < 8vo < Designers
Vino della Casa Bianco
Written and produced by Vini Reilly
Drums on Art and Freight by Bruce Mitchell
Hypnosis and medications by Sydney Gottlieb
Notes on FACT 274
The 8vo design
"For a couple of years our non-Boymans work was driven by exploring what we could do with the two weights of Helvetica. It wasn't a typeface of choice in fact we haven't used Helvetica on more than one occasion job before working on the Mac stop but as we always said it's not the choice of typeface that what you do with it that's important Helvetica black was used for The Durutti Column 'Obey The Time' album package and related promotional poster Vini Reilly 'Genius'. These would not have ended up looking like they did without working on a computer, but this time it was us in control of the design and not the software dictating terms. The use of layering develops and already established 8vo approach."
- 8vo on the design of Obey The Time in an extract from 8vo: On the outside
The DAT release
Obey The Time was scheduled for DAT release by Factory Records and would have been the third album by The Durutti Column to have been released in this format (following FACT 204D The Guitar and Other Machines and FACT 244D Vini Reilly).
Factory and Durutti design collective 8vo were commissioned to produce artwork proofs for a DAT release alongside the regular LP, CD and Cassette formats. 8vo's Mark Holt has confirmed this and kindly provided photographic evidence (see below). Mark notes that he saw final physical copies of the LP, CD and Cassette, but never saw a final commercial copy of the DAT. While not completely sure, he believes that, even though 8vo created proofs for the DAT, it was never commercially released.
The Vox advertisement
In favour of the argument that a DAT version was released is a rare advertisement placed by Factory in the January 1991 edition of the music magazine Vox (the one with The Sundays on the cover and photos inside of Shaun Ryder, Tim Booth and Electronic by Kevin Cummins).
'Since we started back in 79, Factory have been putting out records by Vini Reilly and The Durutti Column for the very simple reasons: it's fun to work with genius's and Vini is a genius'
... who says?
'Vini Reilly is an alchemist who casts scintillating spells from his guitar; the most refreshing sounds I've heard from Manchester' Holly Johnson
'A tremendous display by Factory's talented and creative maestro. This is the boy for the big occasion and Obey The Time is one of the most impressive 45 minutes I've witnessed for many a season.' Pat Nevin
'What I liked was the extremity of his beauty and the erratic quality; but Vini's not terribly intersted pop music.' Stephen Morrissey
'Vini is a real shit guitarist' Shaun Ryder
... prove it
'Obey The Time'
Artwork for a DAT release of Obey The Time was prepared and its release was announced and advertised. However, there are no confirmed sightings of a commercial release. Even Bruce Mitchell in The Durutti Column does not have a copy. The evidence points strongly towards the release having been pulled at the very last minute, possibly due doubts about DAT's viability as a commercial format having finally been confirmed inside One Charles Street. If anyone does have a DAT copy we would be very interested to see it...
The Q magazine article DAT and Copycode documents the attitude of the music industry to the use of DAT for commercial releases and features the ever-pioneering Factory Records heavily.
Huge thanks to Mike Stein for putting enough doubt into my mind, Mark Holt (ex-8vo) for the photograph of the DAT artwork, Bruce Mitchell for additional info, collector extraordinaire Andrea Bianco, Steven Hankinson and the Twitter multitudes.