Largely self-produced, and entirely instrumental, Obey the Time saw DC mainman Vini Reilly further develop his interest in electronic music, and even embrace house and techno stylings. “The title came screaming off the TV screen in somebody’s version of Othello and captured exactly the feel of the work in progress,” explained Tony Wilson, Durutti manager and Factory founder. “We were in the middle of the Aceeed explosion. If you lived in Manchester, you were absolutely in the middle of it. Vini even explained why House made keyboards sound so fresh. Something to do with a chord being played with 3 or 4 notes into the sampler, but then different chords being triggered by a single key stroke. Creating mathematical harmonic relationships ‘which Schoenberg had searched for but never found.'”
Indeed veteran Durutti percussionist Bruce Mitchell features on just one track, Art and Freight. Marking a further break with tradition, dance exploration Contra-Indications was taped with New Order programmer (and later co-manager) Andy Robinson. Released in December 1990, Obey the Time (Fact 274) would be the last Durutti Column album on Factory before the labelled collapsed beneath a mountain of debt.
The multitude of studio extras spread across CD discs 1 and 2 include single and remix tracks The Together Mix and Kiss of Def, rare compilation cuts such as The New Fidelity, The Awards Show and Times Like These, and several extracts from two unreleased Factory albums recorded during the same 1989/90 period: Guitar One: House (Fact 254) and Guitar Two: Acoustic (Fact 264).
Disc 3 (Disc 2 on vinyl) is a previously unreleased in-concert recording taped at the Whitworth Hall in Manchester on 23 June 1990 (billed as ‘The Acid Guitar), with guest musicians Bruce Mitchell, Andy Connell, Lui Sola and Rob Gray.
The 3xCD set is housed in a card clamshell box with individual interior wallets.