Words & Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City (英語) ペーパーバック – 2003/8/4
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
It's late at night. Imagine tuning your radio to, let's say, Radio 3, in one of those places with wayward reception There are bursts that reveal the programme to be a vigorously expressed account of the genesis and evolution of pop music 'Cage took the silences in the air around us, and spread them through his music' But then is this the John Cage who 'eventually ended up as a character in 'Ally McBeal' or the musician behind the completely silent 4'33? And talking of 'completely silent' - 'The Sound of Silence' - 'the thing about Simon & Garfunkel is that their songs were 96% heartwarming, with very little of the remaining 4 % anything like mindblowing. More sort of mind sucking'. And then there are bursts of the music itself, it's meanings, its hidden depths, its obvious shallowness. On the surface this book is essentially an explanation and a justification of tracks that might be included on a two-disc discography of seminal moments in pop music history, but Paul Morley is a man obsessed, and he's about to share his obsession with us, the reader, in pursuit of 'the sexily philosophical things crawling through the moist, scratchy undergrowth of rock and roll'.
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 writen 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.
"Words And Music" is an intense read from start to finish, as Morley explores the world of pop music through the metaphor of a city, a city that perhaps the author referred to in the video to "Beat Box" by his group, Art Of Noise. If the ZTT building was in the very heart of the city, this book explores every organ, cavity, orifice, avenue, dead end, open end, pond, river, hidden room, and basement in the city that never sleeps, a city that has no beginning or end, a city that has no boundaries within its own self-proclaimed boundaries.
WTF? In truth, it's his examination of recorded music, how popular mainstream music has often flaunted with the stranger and avant-garde without really knowing it, and how we as fans, creators, and archivists react to the music we listen to, the voyages we travel on, and the listening experience and what we gain from it. It's heavy with metaphor and it may seem like a difficult read at first but if you stay on track, everything will fall into place once you get closer to the last chapter. As for a chapter, the first one is over 100 pages long, and even if you stumble and fall, Morley knows you'll want to get up, dust off, and get back on his ride.
"Words And Music" is very much about music, but it's also about Morley and his love of music, his love of writing, but also his love/hate relationship with it all. He at times (if not most of the time) turns the mirror on himself, which may be a way of reflecting the mirror on you to figure out how and why the music you listen to is as powerful as it could and should be.
Outside of being analytical, it's very funny and very Morley. If you're at all familiar with his liner notes, you should know what you're getting into. It's like reading the back of a ZTT album cover, times 100. It's incredibly researched, making the connection between the creative minds of the 18th and 19th centuries, the feel and touch of instrumentation and a curiosity about new technology being incorporated into the music we've create and listened to in the 20th and 21st centuries.
For the musical journeyman in all of us, a mandatory read.