Paul Morley
Paul Morley is an English journalist, who wrote for the New Musical Express from 1977 to 1983, during one of its most successful periods, and has since written for a wide range of publications. He has also has been a band manager and promoter, as well as a television presenter.


Morley is also credited with steering the marketing and promotion of the phenomenal early success of ZTT's biggest act, Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Frankie Goes to Hollywood were a British dance-pop band popular in the mid-1980s. The group was fronted by Holly Johnson , with Paul Rutherford , Peter Gill , Mark O'Toole , and Brian Nash .The group's debut single "Relax" was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts and...

. Although it has never been confirmed, it is generally accepted that it was Morley who authored the provocative slogans on the band's T-shirts (e.g. "Frankie Say Arm The Unemployed", "Frankie Say War! Hide Yourself").

For a period of time, Morley produced and managed Manchester punk band The Drones
The Drones (British band)
The Drones were a punk rock band from Manchester, England. For a period of time, the band were produced and managed by Paul Morley.One critic wrote: "Bonafide DIY three-chord wonders, the Drones were there at punk’s inception."-Career:...

. However, Morley first came to wider attention with a brief appearance in the video for ABC
ABC (band)
ABC are an English band, that charted ten UK and five US Top 40 singles between 1981 and 1990. The band continues to tour and released a new album, Traffic, in 2008.-Formation:...

's "The Look of Love
The Look of Love (ABC song)
"The Look of Love" is a song recorded by ABC in 1981, included on their debut album, The Lexicon of Love.- History :Released as a single and as a 12" remix, it went to number one on the Billboard Dance/Disco chart as well as the Canadian pop singles chart...

" (in which he mimes the words "what's that?" in a call-and-response routine with singer Martin Fry
Martin Fry
Martin Fry is lead singer of the band, ABC.-Biography:He grew up in Bramhall, Stockport, alongside his younger brother Jamie .-ABC:...

), but he achieved genuine notoriety as co-founder, with Trevor Horn
Trevor Horn
Trevor Charles Horn CBE is an English pop music record producer, songwriter, musician and singer. He was born in Houghton-le-Spring in north-east England....

, of ZTT Records
ZTT Records
ZTT Records is a record label founded in 1983 by NME journalist Paul Morley, record producer Trevor Horn, and businesswoman Jill Sinclair. The label's name was also printed as "Zang Tumb Tuum" and "Zang Tuum Tumb" on various releases....

, and electronic group Art of Noise.

He was the first presenter of BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

's The Late Show, and has appeared as a music pundit on a number of other programmes. For the short-lived Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 arts strand Without Walls he wrote and presented a documentary on boredom. Morley still regularly appears on BBC 2's Newsnight Review programme.

He was the focus of BBC2's How To Be A Composer
How to Be a Composer
How to Be a Composer is a British television documentary first shown on BBC Four in July 2009.- Background :The show , was based around the former New Musical Express journalist Paul Morley learning how to create a piece of classical music...

, in which he spent a year at the Royal Academy of Music
Royal Academy of Music
The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is a conservatoire, Britain's oldest degree-granting music school and a constituent college of the University of London since 1999. The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas...

 attempting to learn to compose classical music, despite being unable to read music or play an instrument.

Morley is the author of Words and Music: the history of pop in the shape of a city. The book is a journey through the history of pop; it seeks to trace the connection between Alvin Lucier
Alvin Lucier
Alvin Lucier is an American composer of experimental music and sound installations that explore acoustic phenomena and auditory perception. A long-time music professor at Wesleyan University, Lucier was a member of the influential Sonic Arts Union, which included Robert Ashley, David Behrman, and...

's experimental audio recording, "I am sitting in a room
I Am Sitting in a Room
I am sitting in a room is one of composer Alvin Lucier's best known works, featuring Lucier recording himself narrating a text, and then playing the recording back into the room, re-recording it. The new recording is then played back and re-recorded, and this process is repeated. Since all rooms...

" and Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
Kylie Ann Minogue, OBE - often known simply as Kylie - is an Australian singer, recording artist, songwriter, and actress. After beginning her career as a child actress on Australian television, she achieved recognition through her role in the television soap opera Neighbours, before commencing...

's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head
Can't Get You out of My Head
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" is a song by Australian recording artist and songwriter Kylie Minogue, which was released from her eighth studio album Fever . The song was released worldwide as the lead single from the album, which was released on 8 September, 2001. The song was written and produced...

. A synthetic Kylie features as the central character of the book. The book was later turned into the hour-long epic musical track "Raiding the 20th Century" by DJ Food
DJ Food
Originally produced by Coldcut on the Ninja Tune independent record label, the DJ Food project started in 1990 on the premise of providing metaphorical "food for DJs". DJ Food released the Jazz Brakes series, with Jazz Brakes Volume 3 being the most successful...

, which features Morley reading from his book and speculating on the cultural significance of the mashup
Mashup (music)
A mashup or bootleg is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another...

, amidst the sounds of those very mashups.

His other books include Ask: The Chatter of Pop (a collection of his music journalism) and Nothing, a biographical book reflecting on his father's suicide and that of Joy Division
Joy Division
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis , Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris .Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences...

 singer Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis
Ian Kevin Curtis was an English singer and lyricist, famous for leading the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980...

, and unhappy parts of his teenage life such as the time he spent at Stockport Grammar School
Stockport Grammar School
Stockport Grammar School is a co-educational independent school in Stockport, England, founded in 1487 by the 1482 Lord Mayor of London Sir Edmund Shaa.The school motto is "Vincit qui patitur" – He who endures, conquers....


Morley has teamed up with The Auteurs
The Auteurs
The Auteurs were a British alternative rock band of the 1990s, and a vehicle for the songwriting talents of Luke Haines .-Career:...

' James Banbury to form the band Infantjoy and in 2005 released an album entitled Where The Night Goes on Sony BMG. An album, With, featuring collaborations with Tunng
Tunng are an experimental folk band from the United Kingdom.The band is often associated with the folktronica genre due to the electronic influences evident in some of their work.-Biography:...

, Isan
Isan (band)
Isan are an English electronic music duo. The name was initially explained as Integrated Services Analogue Network - a play on ISDN, reflecting their preference for analogue synthesisers....

 and Populous amongst others, was released in October 2006 on Morley and Banbury's own label ServiceAV.

Morley is a lifelong fan of the jazz musician John Surman
John Surman
John Douglas Surman is an English jazz saxophone, bass clarinet and synthesizer player, and composer of free jazz and modal jazz, often using themes from folk music as a basis...

 and conducted an interview with the artist for The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...


Cultural references

The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

 played a version of their song "Grinding Halt", retitled for that performance as "Desperate Journalist In Ongoing Meaningful Review Situation", on the John Peel radio show, with new lyrics parodying Morley's writing style after an unfavourable review of their debut album Three Imaginary Boys
Three Imaginary Boys
The album included an uncredited, final instrumental track informally called "The Weedy Burton". The fact was not acknowledged until the Deluxe Edition re-issue.-2004 Deluxe Edition:...


External links

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