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Rock - Released November 13, 2015 | Durutti

Factory Records boss Tony Wilson was Vini Reilly's first manager, his biggest supporter, and his close friend. After Wilson's 2007 death, numerous public events commemorated his accomplishments, but Reilly sought to honor him by focusing on the person he knew outside the media spotlight. He felt the best way to do this was to create a musical suite his friend would have liked. A Paean to Wilson was the result. Reilly underscores the album's conceptual unity by using Wilson's voice to frame it, opening with a 1980 sound byte of Wilson playfully quizzing Martin Hannett about his production work and concluding with a politically charged excerpt from one of his last television appearances. The music between these bookends celebrates Wilson's friendship and, fittingly, also looks back on Reilly's own work: the two were inextricably linked, and Reilly recognized that he might have never made his music were it not for Wilson. Consequently, Paean takes stock of the Durutti Column's multifaceted, genre-defying sound over the years, straddling rock, folk, electronica, flamenco, classical, and the avant-garde. Given Wilson's well-known antipathy towards Reilly's singing, this is an instrumental album, with minimal vocal parts covered largely by samples, most notably from Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." The material ranges from the contemplative and elegiac ("The Truth" and "Along Came Poppy") to the surprisingly harsh electric guitar squalls of "Requiem," where Reilly trades melancholy for raw anger at his friend's passing. Interestingly, the retrospective feeling is also reinforced by the way several pieces rework elements of earlier tracks ("Catos Revisited"; "Duet with Piano"; "Requiem"). Ultimately, while Reilly was clearly left with an acute sense of loss and absence, this beautiful work gives his friend's spirit a continued presence. Not only is this a worthy tribute to Wilson, it's also the Durutti Column's strongest release in some time. © Wilson Neate /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 13, 2015 | Durutti

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2004 | London Music Stream - Because Music

A very different compilation with little or no overlapping material could just as easily earn the right to be titled The Best of the Durutti Column. Vini Reilly's discography is so deep that any track selection would look somewhat arbitrary. Despite that, this two-disc set, released in 2004, does an admirable job of distilling over 20 years of material into a digestible introduction. Even most of Reilly's longtime, fanatical followers would have to agree -- with some reservations, perhaps -- that this is a representative way to gain an understanding of one of the most prolific and unique individuals to have started during the punk era. If this set should happen to hit all the right nerves with you, there are no less than ten good to spectacular studio albums waiting to be devoured. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 6, 2006 | FullFill

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Rock - Released June 19, 2012 | Factory Benelux

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Rock - Released January 1, 1986 | LTM Recordings

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Rock - Released May 31, 2006 | FullFill

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Rock - Released May 6, 2016 | Les Disques du Crepuscule

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Rock - Released April 2, 1996 | LTM Recordings

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Rock - Released November 13, 2015 | Durutti

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Rock - Released November 13, 2015 | Durutti

That the Durutti Column are still releasing albums three decades after their original formation is remarkable, given sole constant Vini Reilly's well-known personal difficulties. Sunlight to Blue...Blue to Blackness is Reilly's first release since the death of his mentor and biggest champion, Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, and almost as if in tribute, it's in many ways a return to the sound of the Durutti Column's early Factory releases. Vocals, keyboards, and drum machines make only sporadic appearances, with Reilly's typically elegant, impressionistic guitar taking center stage throughout. Indeed, on the opening track, "Glimpse," snatches of tunes from 1979's The Return of the Durutti Column waft through Reilly's nylon-string solo, and "Never Known Version" updates a tune from 1981's LC with a thoroughly modern hip-hop-influenced rhythm track that shouldn't work nearly as well as it does. Not that this is a surprise, since that phrase is a workable précis of the Durutti Column's entire career. Other highlights include the eight-minute reverie "Head Glue" and the somber piece for piano and sustain pedals "Ananda," both of which feature Reilly's newest foil, pianist and singer Poppy Morgan. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 18, 2016 | Durutti

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Rock - Released May 31, 2006 | Artful Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 4, 2008 | LTM Recordings

This release is comprised of studio recordings of pieces performed as live accompaniment for Treatise on the Steppenwolf, a 2003 theatrical adaptation of Hermann Hesse's 1927 novel, Steppenwolf. The production was staged by Twelve Stars, a Glasgow-based company, whose work often explores the experimental intersections of music and theater. Twelve Stars' interest in the dramatic possibilities of music, like their connection with Vini Reilly, was not coincidental: the project's artistic directors, Gerard McInulty and Carolyn Allen, were members of the Wake, erstwhile Factory labelmates of the Durutti Column. Reilly's soundtrack displays his familiar eclecticism, as unaccompanied ethereal guitar kaleidoscopes ("The Title on the Cover") sit comfortably alongside more percussion-driven material, occasionally infused with electronic dance beats ("A Wolf of the Steppes"). Although Reilly sings on one track (something his late manager, Tony Wilson, always discouraged), the most compelling numbers integrate others' vocals sampled from pop and opera, sometimes blending the two within the same track: "Interlude," "Magic Theatre," and "Divided" are sublime examples. Two live segments are also included. One of these ("Lullaby") incorporates a monologue spoken by Carolyn Allen, giving some insight into the way music and the dramatic text worked together in the original theatrical context. Durutti Column fans will recognize many of these tracks: "Mello" was first heard on 2001's Rebellion; versions of "Stupid Steppenwolf" and "A Beautiful Thought" feature on Someone Else's Party (2003) as "Woman" and "Drinking Time," respectively (the latter also appearing on 1998's Time Was Gigantic...When We Were Kids as "Drinking Song"); and "Harry Dreams the Dream" was reincarnated as "Lullaby 4 Nina" on Tempus Fugit (2004). Given this crossover with Reilly's other releases and given that this music was intended as one component of a broader artistic spectacle, Treatise on the Steppenwolf isn't a stand-alone Durutti Column album. However, that's not to deny the quality of the material presented here. © Wilson Neate /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 2, 2009 | Artful Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 18, 2016 | Durutti

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Rock - Released August 16, 2003 | Reachout International Records, Inc.

This is the CD reissue of Live at the Bottom Line New York, which was originally released on cassette in 1987 and is presented here with one bonus track added and tape hiss subtracted. The Durutti Column is really just guitarist Vini Reilly, but for this performance he is helped out by violist John Metcalfe and percussionist Bruce Mitchell. Reilly's forte is the sweet-toned, slowly evolving instrumental. The aptly named "Arpeggiator" makes as good an introduction to his art as any; it's built on a repeating cascade of guitar arpeggios around which the drums beat politely while the viola slithers snakily in the background. Other tracks, such as "Our Lady of the Angels" and "Miss Haynes," make more extensive use of the delay pedal, to sometimes haunting and always lovely effect. Music this repetitive shouldn't be as consistently interesting as Reilly's is, and the fact that he can pull it off is a credit to his impressive taste and musicianship. His singing, however, is a credit to neither, and it mars the otherwise very pleasant "Missing Boy," "U.S.P." (the CD bonus track) and "Tomorrow." Recommended anyway. © Rick Anderson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2008 | LTM Recordings

Part of LTM's early-2008 reissue series of a slew of Durutti Column releases that had originally appeared on Crepuscule, Live in Bruxelles was the sole "new" release, though as the title indicates it's actually an archival tape seeing official light for the first time. Taken from a radio soundboard recording done for broadcast, the set is a mix of tracks from The Return of the Durutti Column, the then-unreleased LC, and various singles and one-offs, including the highly obscure, somewhat unsettling physicality-of-romance portrait "Stains (Useless Body)." Compared to the almost preternaturally clean atmospheres of the studio recordings at the time, Live in Bruxelles is rougher around the edges, not just simply because of the recording quality (fair but not pristine) and the mix, which often foregrounds Bruce Mitchell's drums. It's hearing those drums that gives the disc part of its impact, though -- having just recently begun to work with Vini Reilly, you get a sense that he's still testing out the feeling of the partnership to the full, and moments like the breakdown toward the end of "Sketch for Dawn" and the various mini-solos throughout "Jacqueline" show both what a remarkable drummer he is and how well he slotted in with Reilly's own muse. Reilly himself shines as expected; while his singing is much more direct and sharp given the mix, as can especially be heard on a stellar take on "The Missing Boy," as ever it's still a voice notable more for absence rather than presence, translating most of his feelings into his trademark fluid guitar runs and deceptively calm melodies. (There's one notable exception to this via some crazy soloing on "Self Portrait," which almost comes out of nowhere.) An enjoyable bonus appears at the end with the inclusion of an interview done just after the performance, where Reilly thoughtfully answers various, if sometimes muffled, questions about his work, including some thoughts on the balance between experimentalism and accessibility he found himself aiming for (which in many ways remains true through the present day), as well as a calmly stated but fierce denunciation of the venue's PA system he's just performed with. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 2, 2007 | Durutti

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 2009 | Artful