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Olivia Stock
11 May 2023, 11:31

Women at the heart of Factory Records and The Haçienda celebrated in new book, I Thought I Heard You Speak

The book is described as “an oral history that reveals the true cultural reach of the label and its staying power in the twenty-first century”

THe cover of I Thought I Heard You Speak. A yellow cover with black italicised text. The words "Women At Factory Records" are underlined in pink

A new book celebrating the women behind the emergence of Factory Records has been released, titled I Thought I Heard You Speak. Published by White Rabbit, it offers the first in-depth history of the label told from the perspective of the women who have been integral to its cultural significance.

Factory Records was founded in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, and the label’s long history has been previously celebrated through films, visual catalogues, memoirs, and exhibitions. However, the story has not always included and recognised the contribution of several women right from the start to the legacy that continues today.

I Thought I Heard You Speak is told entirely in those women’s voices and features contributions from Gillian Gilbert, Gina Birch, Cath Carroll, Penny Henry, and over 50 more interviewees.

The book’s author, Audrey Golden, is the station manager at Louder Than War Radio, where she is also a DJ and presents the weekly show Breaking Glass that spotlights women in music. She describes Factory Records as “one of women's work at nearly every turn: recording music, playing live gigs, running the label behind the scenes, managing and promoting bands, designing record sleeves, making films and music videos, pioneering sound technology, DJing, and running one of the most chaotic clubs on the planet, The Haçienda.”

Amongst those sharing praise for the novel is DJ Paulette, winner of DJ Mag’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement award. She wrote: “I Thought I Heard You Speak is not simply an essential addition to Factory Records' archive of books, films, and exhibitions, it is recommended reading. Period.”

The book is available to purchase from White Rabbit here