Paul Robert Morley (born 26 March 1957) is an English music
journalist. He wrote for the
New Musical Express
New Musical Express from 1977 to 1983 and
has since written for a wide range of publications. He was a
co-founder of the record label
ZTT Records and was a member of the
synthpop group Art of Noise. He has also been a band manager, promoter
and television presenter.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
4 Cultural references
7 External links
Morley was born in Farnham, Surrey, and moved with his family to
Eccles, Salford, before starting school. He was educated at
Stockport Grammar School, at the time a direct grant grammar school,
and the Royal Academy of Music.
Morley wrote for three Manchester area magazines in the late 1970s,
Penetration, Out There and Girl Trouble. He then went on to write
for NME, where he and colleagues such as
Ian Penman developed an
innovative style of music criticism that drew on critical theory and
other non-musical sources. After leaving the NME, he was a regular
BLITZ magazine from 1984 to 1987, penning a monthly
television column as well as a series of interviews.
For a period of time, Morley produced and managed Manchester punk band
the Drones. However, he first came to wider attention with a brief
appearance in the video for ABC's "The Look of Love" (in which he
mimes the words "what's that?" in a call-and-response routine with
singer Martin Fry), and some fame as co-founder, with Trevor Horn, of
ZTT Records and electronic group Art of Noise.
Morley is credited with steering the marketing and promotion of the
phenomenal early success of ZTT's biggest act, Frankie Goes to
Hollywood, heavily influenced by Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft's
image for Alles Ist Gut. Although it has never been confirmed, it
is claimed that Morley authored the provocative slogans on the band's
T-shirts (e.g. "Frankie Say Arm the Unemployed", "Frankie Say War!
Hide Yourself").
He was the first presenter of BBC Two's The Late Show, and has
appeared as a music pundit on a number of other programmes. For the
Channel 4 arts strand Without Walls he wrote and presented
a documentary on boredom. Morley regularly appeared on BBC's The
Review Show.
He was the focus of BBC Two's How to Be a Composer, in which he spent
a year at the
Royal Academy of Music
Royal Academy of Music attempting to learn to compose
classical music, despite being unable to read music or play an
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's experimental
audio recording, "I Am Sitting in a Room" and Kylie Minogue's "Can't
Get You Out of My Head". 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, which
features Morley reading from his book and speculating on the cultural
significance of the mashup, amidst the sounds of those very mashups.
His other books include Ask: The Chatter of Pop (a collection of his
music journalism) and Nothing, concerning his father's suicide and
Joy Division singer
Ian Curtis and such unhappy experience as
the time Morley spent at Stockport Grammar School.
Morley teamed up with the Auteurs' James Banbury to form the band
Infantjoy and in 2005 released an album entitled Where the Night Goes
on Sony BMG. With, an album featuring collaborations with Tunng, Isan
and other musicians, was released in October 2006 on Morley and
Banbury's own label ServiceAV.
Morley is a lifelong fan of the jazz musician
John Surman and
conducted an interview with the artist for
The Guardian newspaper.
Morley was married to
Claudia Brücken with whom he has a son and a
He is the brother of filmmaker Carol Morley.
The Cure 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. A 2010s post-punk band, Desperate
Journalist, have adapted this as their name.
Ask: The Chatter of Pop (1986)
Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City (2004)
Joy Division: Piece by Piece: Writing About
Joy Division 1977-2007
Joy Division: Fragments (with Christel Derenne) (2009)
The North (And Almost Everything In It (2013)
Earthbound (2013) 
I'll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones (with Paul Morley) (2015)
The Age of Bowie (2016)
^ "Paul Morley, Esq Authorised Biography". Debrett's People of Today.
26 March 1957. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved
22 August 2014.
^ "Results for
England & Wales Births 1837-2006 - Paul R Morley".
Search.findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
^ Morley, Paul (2013). The North: (And Almost Everything in It).
Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 187. ISBN 9780747578161.
^ frieze Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
^ The Drones' band biography at Allmusic
^ Reynolds, Simon (February 2006). "Chapter 22: Raiding The Twentieth
Century: ZTT, The Art Of Noise, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood". Rip It
Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984 (paperback) (US ed.). Penguin
Books. ISBN 1-4295-2667-X.
^ "... John Surman"
The Guardian 26 March 2010 Retrieved 11 October
^ "THE ELECTRICITY CLUB - CLAUDIA BRUCKEN INTERVIEW". Archived from
the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
^ "Profile: Carol Morley". The List. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
^ "The Quietus - News - LISTEN: Desperate
Journalist - Organ". The
Quietus. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
^ Sarah Crompton (2 July 2013). "The North (And Almost Everything In
It) by Paul Morley, review". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 4 July
^ "Paperback reivew: Earthbound, By Paul Morely". The Independent.
Retrieved 4 July 2015.
Morley and Banbury's virtual record label
Infantjoy official homepage
Paul Morley discography at Discogs
Paul Morley on John Peel
Nothing – extended review/meditation on Paul Morley's book by Dave
Paul Morley on Spikemagazine.com
Raiding The 20th Century featuring
Paul Morley and a cast of thousands
Zang Tuum Tumb and all that
Paul Morley Interview 1999
(The) Art of Noise
J. J. Jeczalik
Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?
In Visible Silence
In No Sense? Nonsense!
Below the Waste
The Seduction of Claude Debussy
The Best of The Art of Noise
The Ambient Collection
And What Have You Done with My Body, God?
Into Battle with the Art of Noise
Re-Works of Art of Noise
"Close (To the Edit)"
"Moments in Love"
ISNI: 0000 0003 8154 0705
BNF: cb141230648 (data)