Manchester is inextricably linked to its musical heritage. A city whose music is so deeply rooted in its fabric that you can't imagine rock music, or the city itself, being the same without it.
Manchester was key to the rise of punk, with the Sex Pistols playing a legendary gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976, before Buzzcocks independently released 'Spiral Scratch' in 1977. The band’s decision to start its own record label is often credited with inspiring the ‘DIY’ ethos of indie music, which came to prominence in the following years. Then followed the birth of Factory Records which platformed acts like Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, New Order & James and the opening of the Hacienda Club in May 1982. The Madchester movement of the late 1980s had a huge influence on music of that period with the advent of bands like The Stone Roses & Happy Mondays. This helped foster the explosion of Oasis in the mid-1990s
Joy Division backstage before a gig at the YMCA London (supported by Monochrome Set) in August 1979.
Classic early shot of Joy Division rehearsing at the TJ Davidson's Rehearsal Rooms in August 1979
Joy Division on the Princess Parkway in Hulme, Manchester in January 1979 taken by Kevin Cummins.
New Order's Bernard Sumner at home in Altrincham in 1995 during a photo shoot commissioned by The Sunday Times.
Noel & Liam Gallagher from Oasis backstage before performing onstage at Wembley Stadium in July 2000
Taken during the Oasis 'Definitely Maybe' Tour in Detroit, USA in 1995
Noel recalls "Maine Road was where we all used to go as kids. So I was standing there, trying to make sure I never forgot this moment"
Shaun Ryder from the Happy Mondays relaxing at Factory Records, Manchester in 1992
Iconic shot of Joy Division walking in the snow near Manchester Cathedral in 1979
Ian Curtis taking a break during rehearsal at the TJ Davidson's Rehearsal Room, Manchester in August 1979
Noel Gallagher tuning his guitar on the floor of Studio Two, Abbey Road Studios during the recording sessions for Be Here Now in 1996
Buzzcocks captured in a public library whilst on a press session in Manchester in August 1977.
Contact sheet of Joy Division backstage at the YMCA, London in August 1979
Morrissey performing at the GLC's 'Jobs for a Change' Festival on London's South Bank
A Guy Called Gerald & Graham Massey from 808 State play live from Victoria Baths, Manchester during Tony Wilson's Other Side of Midnight Gig
Punk group Buzzcocks captured under a Manchester street sign in August 1977
Johnny Marr & Bernard Sumner from Electronic on a photoshoot in London in December 1991
Ian Curtis of Joy Division performing at the Paradiso, Amsterdam in January 1980 wearing his famous 'The Sound and the Fury' t-shirt.
Ian Curtis during Joy Division rehearsal in Manchester in August 1979
Mark E. Smith of The Fall pictured on wasteland in the centre of Manchester where now stands the new Co-op building.
New Order relaxing in a hotel room near Kings Cross, London in 1984
New Order in Rome whilst on the video shoot for their song 'Regret'
Morrissey wields a protestor’s placard bearing the title of The Smiths anarchic ‘Queen is Dead’ tour and album in Manchester,1986
The image of The Smiths outside Salford Lads' Club that graces the inner sleeve of their classic album The Queen is Dead
Iconic Strangeways Road sign from the back of the ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ album shot in 1987.