The Age of Bowie by Paul Morley

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Much of the book is taken up with a tour through the singer’s 27 studio albums...in this case worship extinguishes illumination. Bowie deserves a better quality of mania.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

Author and industry insider Paul Morley explores the musical and cultural legacies left behind by “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

Respected arts commentator and author Paul Morley, an artistic advisor to the curators of the highly successful retrospective exhibition David Bowie is for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, constructs a definitive story of Bowie that explores how he worked, played, aged, structured his ideas, influenced others, invented the future, and entered history as someone who could and would never be forgotten. Morley captures the greatest moments from across Bowie’s life and career; how young Davie Jones of South London became the international David Bowie; his pioneering collaborations in the recording studio with the likes of Tony Visconti, Mick Ronson, and Brian Eno; to iconic live, film, theatre, and television performances from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, as well as the various encounters and artistic relationships he developed with musicians from John Lennon, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop to Trent Reznor and Arcade Fire. And of course, discusses in detail his much-heralded and critically acclaimed finale with the release of Blackstar just days before his shocking death in New York.

Morley offers a startling biographical critique of David Bowie’s legacy, showing how he never stayed still even when he withdrew from the spotlight, how he always knew his own worth, and released a dazzling plethora of personalities, concepts, and works into the world with a single-minded determination and a voluptuous imagination to create something the likes of which the world had never seen before—and likely will never see again.
 

About Paul Morley

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Writer, broadcaster, and cultural critic Paul Morley has written about music, art, and entertainment since the 1970s. A founding member of the electronic collective Art of Noise and a member of staff at the Royal Academy of Music, he is the author of Ask: Chatter of Pop, Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City, Joy Division: Piece By Piece: Writing About Joy Division 1977-2007, Earthbound and Nothing, and he collaborated with music icon Grace Jones on her memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs.
 
Published August 9, 2016 by Gallery Books. 504 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Age of Bowie
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Below average
on Aug 20 2016

Morley is too often reflexively approving of everything Bowie did, and sometimes his prose slackens into nonsense...Bowie still deserves a full-dress serious biography, which would benefit from a touch of this book’s reckless spirit.

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Financial Times

Below average
Reviewed by Ludovic Hunter-Tilney on Jul 29 2016

Much of the book is taken up with a tour through the singer’s 27 studio albums...in this case worship extinguishes illumination. Bowie deserves a better quality of mania.

Read Full Review of The Age of Bowie | See more reviews from Financial Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Barney Hoskyns on Jul 17 2016

None of which detracts from what is a thrilling hymn to a brilliant and beloved “song and dance man” – the missing link, as the book wryly suggests, between Sammy Davis Jr and Samuel Beckett.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Lynsey Hanley on Jul 14 2016

Bowie is new to my son and therefore still alive. This is precisely Morley’s thesis, which he examines over 496 pages of clearly rushed, sometimes repetitive, but engaging writing.

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