Sex pistol

Celebrating Tony Wilson, the founder of Factory Records

To many people Tony Wilson was a bigmouth Mancunian, brash music impresario and jobbing television presenter. But to the generation that came of age in the late 20th century he was a guide to the future. We have him to thank for ushering in the strangest, most revelatory pop music to the cultural mainstream. Wilson was among the first to spot the significance of catalytic bands such as the Sex Pistols, Joy Division and Happy Mondays and to champion them through his countless media projects. Factory, the scrappy record label he co-founded in 1978, produced some of the biggest-selling records of the 1980s, with a spirit of ‘subversion through inefficiency’.