Martin "Zero" Hannett was the sole punk production auteur, operating with stubborn distinction in an era which disdained studio trickery in favour of a raw immediacy that emulated a band's live sound.
He could handle that approach easily - witness his sterling job on Buzzcocks' "Boredom", clarion call of the Manchester punk scene - but Hannett's ears would be put to more enduring use with Joy Division, whom he helped transform from sludge-rock plodders into sensitive but muscular world-beaters. Their "Transmission" remains one of the most powerful pop singles ever recorded, a thrilling burst of energy, rage and paranoia. Indeed, it could be argued that through his productions for such as Joy Division, New Order and The Psychedelic Furs, Hannett created the template for Goth, though he was equally skilled at devising witty accompaniments for the more light-hearted work of Jilted John and John Cooper Clarke.
This 21-track compilation yokes together the best of Hannett's innovative new-wave recordings with his Madchester-era work on the Happy Mondays' " Wrote for Luck", his last comeback success following heroin addiction.
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