Words and Music
A History of Pop in the Shape of a City

Paul Morley

"Morley's book manages to fascinate, bore, infuriate, provoke, amuse and stimulate: and he knows it."—The Sunday Times of London


"After 20 pages, I was convinced that Words and Music was the best book about pop that I had ever read. After 280 pages, I was at least convinced that it was the weirdest book about pop I had ever read. But that too is a kind of recommendation."
The Guardian

"Mr. Morley, to be sure, is something of a genius; he is also a very strange man. He appears to have actually listened—not heard, listened—to almost all the music you might file under 'Popular'. This is no mean achievement; arguably it's a very perverse one. What's more, Mr. Morley has done it with a very large brain indeed."
The Independent

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Has pop burnt itself out?

Paul Morley takes the reader on an epic drive through the history of music to find out. A succession of celebrities, geniuses and other protagonists led by Madonna, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Erik Satie, John Cage and Wittgenstein appear to give their points of view. Detours and sights along the way include Missy Elliot, Jarvis Cocker, Eminem, Human League, Radiohead, Lou Reed, Now! That's What I Call Music, Ornette Coleman and the ghost of Elvis Presley.

Page count: 368 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $26.95

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Paul Morley is a magazine and newspaper journalist, TV critic, TV presenter, TV producer and director, record producer, and formerly a musical artist with the group The Art of Noise. His books include Nothing, the acclaimed memoir, and Ask, a collection of his writings from the British pop music weekly NME (New Musical Express).