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The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference Paperback – 12 Jan 2017
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‘A thrilling hymn to a brilliant and beloved “song and dance man”. David Bowie did make a world of difference, and Paul Morley explains why.’
(Barney Hoskyns The Observer)
‘Morley has a deep understanding of Bowie’s music . . . this is great fun.’ (The Times)
‘A huge sprawl of Bowieania that takes us from skiffle to social media’ (The Herald)
‘A discursive, free-associating ride across the life and work of the Starman Who Changed the World […] The Age of Bowie does feel like an outpouring of the sincerest love for its subject, the fruit of an obsessive emersion of everything Bowie meant to him and us. Eschewing the conventionally dry biographical voice, Morley’s expansive present-tense prose flows […] I hold him to be one of the great pop writers. You might even call him the Bowie of rock journalism.’ (The Guardian)
‘Morley has not only plenty of insights into Bowie’s life and work but also the kind of details that only a diligent biographer unearths’ (The Times)
‘Ultimately it is Bowie that makes this an enjoyable read, his life and art speak so loudly and profoundly that if you capture just a piece, as Morley has, you have something worth reading.’ (Fortitude Magazine)
About the Author
Writer, broadcaster, and cultural critic PAUL MORLEY has written about music, art, and entertainment since the 1970s. A founding member of the electronic collective Art of Noise and a member of staff at the Royal Academy of Music, he is the author of Ask: Chatter of Pop; Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City; Piece by Piece: Writing About Joy Division 1977–2007; Earthbound; The North; and Nothing, and he collaborated with music icon Grace Jones on her memoir, I'll Never Write My Memoirs.
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Top Customer Reviews
And why then did he listen to the Radio 4 readings of the book, if he knew it was about an artist he disliked? Was it morbid curiosity or was he stuck on the toilet with a case of serious and incurable stylistic and artistic constipation? Or maybe just had nothing better to do?
Iceland John, I respect a lot of your musical choices and some of your reviews are spot on, but maybe not your one on the Paul Morley book or your opinions on David Bowie. I am a big Beatles fan too. But these things are decided by consensus not by individuals. Check out Mojo or Classic Rock or Q. Or any decent rock encyclopedia! Bowie was one of the greats! Not even the Beatles achieved the musical transformations that Bowie managed during the 1970s over such a sustained period, though I would not suggest for a minute that he was superior to them!
I have actually never come across anyone so hostile to Bowie unless they are totally ignorant of his work (sometimes)! Or a troll (quite a lot). His catalogue is huge and varied. Its like saying you don't like classical, jazz, Dylan... or air!!
Anyway, this book is actually pretty good. Not the greatest ever on Bowie, but it puts things in a different perspective, so if you have read the print off all the others (like me), then it's got a different slant. And a different chronology. And some unusual viewpoints. If you want a first Bowie biography maybe get Strange Fascination or Starman, don't start with this one, but move onto it later on.
It is an enjoyable read!
‘The Age of Bowie’ is not a conventional biography, but who wants another one of those? I’ve probably read more than most and, whilst it’s always a good story, a rote chronological biography will never get to the essence of Bowie (or the multifarious versions of David Bowie, as Morley has it) and it is here that this refreshing and absorbing biography is so successful. Morley has always been an original thinker who makes thrilling cultural connections and which, for music obsessives like me, is a joy to read. You can also have your cake and eat it because “at the end of a book about him there is only one way through his life”. Paul Morley runs through each year's “headline” highlight.
Paul Morley is both a passionate Bowie fan, and an expert, which is a winning combination. Morley's meandering, confused thoughts about being asked to comment on news programmes in the aftermath of Bowie's death are worth the price of admission on their own.
Paul Morley was also an artistic advisor to the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum from back in 2013, and which, in late 2016, continues to tour the world. I had very mixed feelings about that exhibition but there was no denying the attention to detail and rigour that went into it.Read more ›
There's something for everyone in this book, for the fan, musicologist, art historian, film buff, fashionista or for someone who just wants a good read.The book covers a wide range of topics but has coherent and consistent themes. Bowie is defined as a work of art; mysterious; futuristic; influential; and as a brand- amongst other things. But to most people, Bowie is the most innovative pop performer we have seen over the past 50 years and, what's more, has a global audience.
Bowie has provided a soundtrack to many of our lives. His music was inspired from far and wide but also influenced many other artists. The renowned modern classical composer, Philip Glass, was inspired to compose his first and fourth symphonies - the "Heroes" and "Low" Symphonies based on Bowie's albums. But the list of other artists who have covered or been inspired by Bowie's output is endless, and continues with his final album Blackstar with Anna Calvi's version with the Kronos Quartet, Jherek Bischoff, and Amanda Palmer.
The BBC Proms commissioned a tribute to David Bowie for the 2016 season, based on his music, which is a measure of the respect from the music establishment of classical music.
The book can be read from start to finish, but it is also rewarding to just dip in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I started reading this book word for word, then started to miss the odd sentence. I then just tried to pick out interesting bits, in the end I gave up.Published 3 days ago by simon w.
Beyond bad. Seriously. It's worth buying to see how bizarre it is.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
SO disappointed. This is muddled, wordy and pretentious. I was expecting so much of Paul Morley, whose writing I normally love. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Magiciansgirl
The book was a present to which they were more than happy with.Published 16 days ago by gillian cooper
Terrible book, barely readable tosh from cover to cover. Overly verbose and pompous Morley ruins a fascinating story with his attempts at winning a booker prize for the most... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Bought as a Christmas present and I'm sure that the recipient will be pleased with it.Published 1 month ago by Ms PJ Lawson