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Joy Division: Piece by Piece: Writing About Joy Division 1977-2007 Paperback – 10 Dec 2007

3.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Plexus Publishing Lt (10 Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859654044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859654043
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 884,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Joy Division: Piece by Piece offers a fascinating insight into what it feels like to have a rock legend crystallise inside your own head... A remarkable achievement. --The Independent on Sunday

Another book about Joy Division? No, the book... One engages here with a master of his craft. --The Spectator

About the Author

Paul Morley wrote for the NME from 1977 to 1983 when the magazine was at its most successful and notorious. He wrote for the first few issues of The Face, was a regular contributor to Blitz, and was one of the first presenters of The Late Show. He currently writes for Arena, Esquire, The Sunday Telegraph and contributes to numerous TV and radio programs.

His previous books include Nothing, which was published to great acclaim in 2000 and Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City, described by the Guardian's reviewer as 'the best book about pop I had ever read'.

Morley is the man who knew Joy Division best he was the only journalist permitted to view Curtis' corpse, was present when Curtis suffered his life-changing epileptic seizure following a London concert in April 1980, and wrote extensively and evocatively of the 'mood, atmosphere and ephemeral terror' that enveloped this unique group and their doomed front man.

These are his complete writings on Joy Division, both contemporary and retrospective. As he says, 'the more that time moves on, the more I have to say about them'.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Clearly Mr. Morley should know a lot about JD, as he was working within the same musical environment at the time. But I think his writing is based on the misconception that he, and the band, knew ahead of time what would eventually happen - he derives too much darkness into the story and the band's and its members' history when in fact most actors in the play did not take part in the play that Morley describes. It is a very cunning writing style we are subjected to, indeed, and it is easy to fall into the trap of Mr. Morley's meanderings - endless it seems. But it is largely a smoke screen, as he knows as little about the story's centre as we do, despite the fact that he was in the audience the whole time.
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Format: Paperback
This is a marvelous account of Joy Division's brief but significant career, chronicled by the writer most closely associated with the group.

Over the last thirty years Paul Morley has accumulated an impressive corpus of writing about Joy Division - and this book collects it all, arranged in the most effective manner to evoke the time, the place and those involved.

This is not a dreary procession of dull facts and descriptions of guitar solos - 'Joy Division: Piece By Piece' gets inside, beneath and around its subject matter in a manner that no other contemporary music writer but Paul Morley could achieve.

Neither is it packed with photographs that we've seen time and time again. This is a book about words, thoughts, feelings and a moment that passed far too quickly.
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Format: Paperback
Joy Division is probably more important to me than any other group, but the band are ill-served by this hastily assembled mix of Morley's flat, prosaic early writing, and, worse still, his pompous later musings - his attempt to mimic the style of JG Ballard's Atrocity Exhibition is particularly risible. His specialty is to say something vacuous and then paraphrase himself three times. Many of the pieces are repetitious, some barely mention the band at all. What they have in common is that they are chiefly about the writer himself.

I've enjoyed some of Morley's writing in the past, and found his Words and Music book largely infuriating, but with some glimmer of wit, but this is a waste of time. There is more of worth in the 2-3 pages Simon Reynolds writes about the band in the brilliant Rip It Up... than there is in this entire book.
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Format: Paperback
Joy Division were the most significant band of the post punk era and Paul Morley the most accomplished music journalist of the period.

Collecting Morley's writing on the band together is a wonderful idea, although I am a little surprised that it hasn't been done before. Like Martin Hannet's production on the Manchester quartet's recordings, Morley's rich prose enhances and highlights the significance of this groundbreaking group.

Morley's insistance on using the full spectrum of language and syntax may go over some reader's heads, but he is a master craftsman and the topography of his development can be charted in this fascinating book.

In an era that sees books by so many writers who have little connection or empathy with their subject matter, it is refreshing to discover a book about a group written by the most appropriate person to chronicle their history.

This is not only a book for fans of Joy Division, it is also recommended for anyone who appreciates well constructed descriptions and prescient observations that sit well among the best music journalism ever committed to print.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the prefect overview of Joy Division's brief, but overwhelmingly influential existence and Paul Morley is the only person outside of the band who could possibly have written it.

Like his prose, Morley's credentials are impeccable - he was offered the opportunity to produce the group's earliest demo, championed them from their inception and was Factory founder Anthony Wilson's personal choice to biograph the band.

Like the group he so often wrote about, Paul Morley quickly developed a unique style - anyone who buys a book written by this author expecting to read a series standard recountments of gigs and recording sessions is as misguided as anyone buying a Joy Division album and expecting to hear ordinary pop songs. The very point about both Joy Division and Morley is that they are unique creative forces.

Like any anthology, `Piece By Piece' contains some repetitious elements. Just as Joy Division recorded progressively more subtle and complex versions of their songs, so Morley's writing expanded and developed to provide a unique series of snapshots of a work in progress. Most satisfyingly, Morley has framed his older pieces with a contemporary perspective that ensures that this book is a cohesive whole. He has thought seriously about the implications of his corpus of work and it has paid off handsomely.

Unless Bernard, Peter or Stephen opts to write their own books, this is the final word on Joy Division.
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