Best Selling Books by Paul Morley

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Words & Music

release date: Nov 19, 2015
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Words & Music
Has pop burnt itself out? Inspired by the video for Kylie Minogue's hit single 'Can't Get You Out of My Head', acclaimed rock journalist Paul Morley is driving with Kylie towards a virtual city built of sound and ideas in search of the answer. Their journey bridges the various paradoxes of twentieth-century culture, as they encounter a succession of celebrities and geniuses - including Madonna, Kraftwerk, Wittgenstein and the ghost of Elvis Presley - and explore the iconic and the obscure, the mechanical and the digital, the avant-garde and the very nature of pop itself.

The Age of Bowie

release date: Jan 03, 2017
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The Age of Bowie
Respected arts commentator and author Paul Morley, an artistic advisor to the curators of the highly successful retrospective exhibition 'David Bowie Is...' for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, constructs a definitive story of Bowie that explores how he worked, played, aged, structured his ideas, influenced others, invented the future, and entered history as someone who could and would never be forgotten. Morley captures the greatest moments from across Bowie's life and career; how young Davie Jones of South London became the international David Bowie; his pioneering collaborations in the recording studio with the likes of Tony Visconti, Mick Ronson, and Brian Eno; to iconic live, film, theatre, and television performances from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, as well as the various encounters and artistic relationships he developed with musicians from John Lennon, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop to Trent Reznor and Arcade Fire. And of course, discusses in detail his much-heralded and critically acclaimed finale with the release of Blackstar just days before his shocking death in New York.

Joy Division

release date: Jun 29, 2015
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Joy Division
Joy Division: Piece by Piece is the definitive collection of writings on the legendary cult band. In addition to collecting all Morley’s classic works about the band from the late 1970s/early 1980s, this unique book includes his eloquent Ian Curtis obituary and his hindsight pieces on the significance of the group, framed by an extensive retrospective essay. Contemporary elements include Morley’s critique of the films '24 Hour Party People' – which told the story of the band’s record label, Factory – and 'Control', for which the author visited the set during production. Most movingly, Morley includes the original text that grew into his literary work Nothing, which parallels the suicide of Curtis with that of his own father. He also evokes the zeitgeist and the ‘psycho-geography’ of Manchester, which combined to produce the most uniquely intense rock group ever.

Earthbound

release date: Mar 07, 2013
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Earthbound
Paul Morley, author, journalist and cultural commentator, tells the story in Earthbound of post-punk, music and changing times - part of a series of twelve books tied to the twelve lines of the London Underground, as Tfl celebrates 150 years of the Tube with Penguin 'The stand-out is Paul Morley's eclectic, headspinning Earthbound ... it mixes memoir and manifesto to create something paradoxical: an obituary for pre-digital ways of experiencing art that's gleeful and inquisitive rather than emptily nostalgic' The Times 'Authors include the masterly John Lanchester, the children of Kids Company, comic John O'Farrell and social geographer Danny Dorling. Ranging from the polemical to the fantastical, the personal to the societal, they offer something for every taste. All experience the city as a cultural phenomenon and notice its nature and its people. Read individually they're delightful small reads, pulled together they offer a particular portrait of a global city' Evening Standard 'Exquisitely diverse' The Times 'Eclectic and broad-minded ... beautifully designed' Tom Cox, Observer 'A fascinating collection with a wide range of styles and themes. The design qualities are excellent, as you might expect from Penguin with a consistent look and feel while allowing distinctive covers for each book. This is a very pleasing set of books' A Common Reader blog 'The contrasts and transitions between books are as stirring as the books themselves ... A multidimensional literary jigsaw' Londonist 'A series of short, sharp, city-based vignettes - some personal, some political and some pictorial ... each inimitable author finds that our city is complicated but ultimately connected, full of wit, and just the right amount of grit' Fabric Magazine 'A collection of beautiful books' Grazia [Praise for Paul Morley]: 'At his best he's the Brian Eno of the sentence' Time Out Critic and cultural theorist Paul Morley has written books about music history, Joy Division, suicide, the moog synthesiser and the north of England. A contributor to numerous publications from the Face to the Financial Times, a founding member of the Art of Noise, he appears regularly on BBC 2's The Review Show and has presented radio and television documentaries on many subjects including Brian Eno, boredom, the recording studio and Anthony Burgess. He uses an unregistered Oyster Card.

Nothing

release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Nothing
Morley revisits the past he has long struggled to forget: his childhood in Stockport, his teenage years, and the unfathomable suicide of his depressive father. He also considers how the deaths of Ian Curtis, Elvis Presley and Marc Bolan might have had an impact on the story.

A Sound Mind

release date: May 13, 2021
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A Sound Mind
'An alternately funny and moving book about the most important art form on Planet Earth. Destined to become a classic (pun intended)' Jarvis Cocker Music critic and writer Paul Morley weaves together memoir and history in a spiralling tale that establishes classical music as the most rebellious genre of all. Paul Morley had stopped being surprised by modern pop music and found himself retreating into the sounds of artists he loved when, as an emerging music journalist in the 70s, he wrote for NME. But not wishing to give in to dreary nostalgia, endlessly circling back to the bands he wrote about in the past, he went searching for something new, rare and wondrous – and found it in classical music. A soaring polemic, a grumpy reflection on modern rock, and a fan's love note, A Sound Mind rejects the idea that classical music is establishment; old; a drag. Instead, the book reveals this genre to be the most exciting and varied in music. A Sound Mind is a multi-layered memoir of Morley's shifting musical tastes, but it is also a compelling history of classical music that reveals the genre's rich and often deviant past – and, hopefully, future. Like a conductor, Morley weaves together timelines and timeframes in an orchestral narrative that declares the transformative and resilient power of classical music from Bach to Shostakovich, Brahms to Birtwistle, Mozart to Cage, travelling from eighteenth century salons to the modern age of Spotify.

The Awfully Big Adventure

release date: Mar 05, 2019
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The Awfully Big Adventure
Michael Jackson died on June 25 2009 in Los Angeles, from of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication (according to Wikipedia). The one-time King of Pop was preparing for one last assault on the mainstream with a proposed 50 night run of shows at the 02 (thereby trumping his arch-rival, Prince, who had just concluded his legendary 21 Nights). His exhaustion, paranoia and general ill-heath were an open secret. He had lived many lives and inhabited many bodies; PT Barnum, Fred Astaire, and Peter Pan in one mortal coil. His death was mourned by hundreds of millions of fans but it was almost as if he had been dead for some time already. And in his death, in vivid technicolor, we relived the dreams, nightmares, fantasies, and perversions that we had all projected on to him for four decades. Paul Morley's short biographical portrait of Michael Jackson looks at how we turned the most outrageous child star talent of the late 20th century into a monster; how his decline soundtracked the end of Pop and the end of American Imperialism; how his once staggeringly modern and funky music became secondary to the dysfunctional freak show of watching a vulnerable man literally disintegrate. Tender, erudite, and provocative, Morley's monograph documents a tragedy that is so Shakespearean in scale that it obscures the legacy of the last of the great Song and Dance Men.

I'll Never Write My Memoirs

release date: Jun 14, 2016
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I'll Never Write My Memoirs
"Memoir from model and actress Grace Jones"--Provided by publisher.

The North

release date: Jun 06, 2013
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The North
Paul Morley grew up in Reddish, less than five miles from Manchester and even closer to Stockport. Ever since the age of seven Morley has always thought of himself as a northerner. What that meant, he wasn't entirely sure. It was for him, as it is for millions of others in England, an absolute, indisputable truth. Forty years after walking down grey pavements on his way to school, Paul explores what it means to be northern and why those who consider themselves to be believe it so strongly. Like industrial towns dotted across great green landscapes of hills and valleys, Morley breaks up his own history with fragments of his region's own social and cultural background. Stories of his Dad spreading margarine on Weetabix stand alongside those about northern England's first fish and chip shop in Mossley, near Oldham. Ambitiously sweeping and beautifully impressionistic, without ever losing touch with the minute details of life above the M25, The North is an extraordinary mixture of memoir and history, a unique insight into how we, as a nation, classify the unclassifiable.

You Lose Yourself You Reappear

release date: Apr 29, 2021
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You Lose Yourself You Reappear
An insightful biography of one of the world's greatest musicians, Bob Dylan, by bestselling author Paul Morley. As one of the world's greatest musicians, Bob Dylan has enriched the American song tradition for over 50 years. With a talent that has been proven in the worlds of music, radio, art and poetry, Dylan is a man of many personas. From defying pop music conventions with protest songs such as "The Times They Are a-Changin'" to releasing three of the most influential rock albums of the 60s, he has not only extended the parameters of music genres but has also showed us the fluidity his craft. To mark Bob Dylan's 80th birthday and 60 illustrious years in the arts, this insightful biography by bestselling author Paul Morley will explore the many voices of the folk icon.
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