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Durutti Column is a "band" consisting primarily of Vini Reilly, a distinctive and melodic guitarist from Manchester. He was originally part of the Factory Records scene which also produced Joy Division and New Order. Reilly's guitar can be heard on Morrissey's solo album Viva Hate. Durutti Column albums can be hard to find outside of the UK. Nearly all of them are worth your while. Try The Guitar and Other Machines.

Most of his albums have been re-released on Factory too/London Records since the demise of Factory. You must try Vini Reilly, which was the first album he created with heavy use of the sampler. The more recent album Time Was Gigantic... When We Were Kids has some angelic songs with which to contrast his mainly instrumental work.

Depeche Mode song writer Martin L. Gore covered one of Vini's old songs, "Smile in this Crowd," on his Counterfeit EP.

It must be noted where the name of this band came from. First of all the Durutti Column (originally spelled "Durruti") was originally a group of soldiers under the leadership of anarchist revolutionary Buenaventura Durruti, which during the Spanish Civil War fought to liberate the country from Fascism. They were said to have gone "from village to village destroying the entire social structure, leaving the survivors to rebuild everything from scratch"*.

The second, and more direct, influence was a comic strip called Return of the Durutti Column, which was of course influenced by the above. Of this Vini Reilly, of the band, said in an interview with The Record Collector:

"I was always interested in the Situationists Internationale -- an anarchist group in Europe who published a book with a sandpaper cover so that it would destroy all the other books on the shelves. In the Sixties they were very radical and through their slogans, criticisms and ideas, wanted to change something. They used the title 'the Return of the Durutti Column' many times in their manifestos. So you can see that I saw the production of a very tranquil music in 1979 as an anarchic gesture!"
Reilly exhibits in that quotation the usual shallow interpretation of history and politics that most pop stars display, but if you follow some of the hard links above you'll begin to get the more detailed and accurate story.

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