1-2 Weeks
Look Into My Eyes/Express


In answer to the question, "who put the dance into Factory Records?" Be With would like to refer to FAC 59. Working with founding member Tony Henry, the label is honored to present a reissue of 52nd Street's crucial debut single Look Into My Eyes/Express. Originally released on Factory Records in summer 1982, this 12" is a double-sider in the truest sense -- unrivalled Manchester jazz-funk-boogie-soul. Both "Look Into My Eyes" and "Express" came out of a five-day recording session in the spring of 1982 at Revolution Studios in Cheadle Hulme, just outside Manchester. Rob Gretton had just signed the band to Factory, snatching them from under the noses of RCA and WEA Records, who had been sniffing around and seemingly ignoring Tony Wilson's concerns that Factory might not be the right home for a black soul act. The band, were put in the studio with A Certain Ratio's drummer Donald Johnson producing the sessions. The band also found themselves with an interesting new member; the finished record credits synth and F/X to a mysterious "Be Music". Turns out that's Bernard Sumner. Henry explains that bringing Bernard in was another part of Gretton's plan, "Barney was a real soul boy at heart and had always wanted to produce and work with black artists -- with 52nd Street, he was an honorary member". "Look Into My Eyes" is a strutting, rich, soul-gliding piece of funk with bass and guitar high in the mix above twisted, bubbling synths, like Nile and Barney drenched outside the Haçienda that first summer. The hypnotic, naïve-cum-insouciant vocals from Beverley McDonald only add to the track's charm. On the flip, "Express" is sheer drama on wax -- all bold keys, synth brass blasts, insistent bells, and a galloping groove giving *that rush* atop a bassline to die for -- blistering heat. The 12" was Paul Morley's single of the week in the NME but his approval did little to get daytime radio play or to sell the record when it was released. "Look Into My Eyes" and "Express" come from a chapter of the history of Factory Records that no-one seems to have gotten around to writing. Working with Tony to reissue the original 12" is the start of putting that right; the story of 52nd Street is more than just a footnote.