Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City Paperback – 19 Jul 2004
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'An exhilarating history of pop - a brilliant and joyous book' Guardian 'From Cage's 4'33' of silence to total noise, and everything in between - a passionate, irresistible encouragement to listen more, and to listen better' Sunday Times 'At his best he's the Brian Eno of the sentence, setting the whole page buzzing with oblique strategies: the missing link, maybe, between Kenneth Tynan and John Lydon' Time Out 'Briliant ... thought-provoking and intriguing ... anyone with even a pssing interest in perhaps the greatest modern art form should take a dip into these compulsive literary waters' Glasgow Herald
About the Author
Paul Morley wrote for the NME from 1977 to 1983 when it was at its most successful and notorious. He wrote for the first few issues of The Face and was a regular contributor to Blitz. He formed ZTT and was instrumental behind the success of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. He also formed The Art of Noise. He has written for many publications. He was one of the first presenters of The Late Show. He now writes for Arena and Esquire and contributes to numerous TV and radio programmes, including the successful Top Ten series on Channel 4. His last book, Nothing, was published to great acclaim by Faber in 2000
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Morley's unwitting narrator is Kylie Minogue driving through her recent video, but the book is not so much about Kylie as the recordings that may have influenced the construction of her music. Why then the dull sections on the Human League and Fad Gadget? Why long lists of recordings and artists at the end that are never mentioned in the narrative of the book?
Yet, just as I got so frustrated by one section that I wanted to get rid of the book, Morley would produce a piece of prose so insightful and dynamic that I longed to hear the music.
Morley claims that he has been at one point in his lifetime the greatest writer about the music scene, and in truth this is a book about him and the music he loves, its infuriating inconsistency at times obscuring the wisdom of his ideas.
I'd skip rereading the 23 page interview with Jarvis Cocker or the 15 page discussion of Kraftwerk that hardly touches on their music but would return to many of the other element of this highly original and imaginative work time and again.
As a work of art one might open at random to admire the torrent of wordplay and nothing more, it serves a purpose - he does have a beguiling way with language after all. As a way of learning the names of albums and artists you've never heard of before, it also serves a purpose - but then so does The Wire in its own earnestly anal cutting edge way. As an ego trip it will be hard to beat even in the crowded field of music journalism, so it could be said to be setting a standard of a kind there. Lucky us.
The basic premise of the book - taking two seemingly contrasting pieces of music as a starting point of a journey through pop/rock/dance/the avant-garde of any description and so on and so forth - is perfectly fine. The problem arises when it becomes clear that Mr Morley, for all his detailed knowledge of the musical firmament, doesn't know how to edit himself effectively. Nor will he let anyone else do it for him, clearly.
Maybe he considers it to be his trademark; it's not a particularly flattering mix.
A couple of examples to illustrate: why take sixteen pages to argue why Kraftwerk are what they are and how they inspired everything of any musical worth to be released in the last twenty-five years (dubious) when it could so easily be done, to more convincing effect I suspect, in a mere two pages? Or maybe even just one. Why make those inevitably selective (and contradictory) lists which come across like 'I'm strange and a little bit wacky, me - just look at this!' junk emails that get trashed after one cursory glance through. Fluff and nonsense.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Don't read the reviews for this book, please. There are like trip advisor, they say more about the reviewers than the book! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Book thouigh second hand was a bit grubby and stained on some of the pages. Had obviously got wet and dried out crinkly.Published 7 months ago by peter matthews
If you think that pop/rock started in the 80s then you may glean something from this nonsense. As a fellow Manchester City fan, I hate to say it, but this really is awful.Published on 12 Mar. 2014 by tatsyrup
BECAUSE I KNOW IT WILL BE A GREAT READ, ABOUT MY CITY AND THE BANDS IN IT, ITS WRITTEN BY A LOCAL LAD
First off may i state my bias position,i detest Paul Morley with every fibre of my puny body.Whether it be as a talking head or guest on Late Review. Read morePublished on 22 April 2011 by mister joe
Paul obviously has an encyclopedic knowledge of "pop" and other branches of music that serve his cause but to me the book felt a little rushed, a stream of conciousness which... Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2010 by TJSIMMONDS
Possibly the greatest rock writer of all time, possibly the natural heir to Wittgenstein, possibly the greatest book ever written about Pop music. Read morePublished on 21 July 2007 by zissou