Paul Morley | Journalist

In this week's episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, we speak to Paul Morley, the pop journalist and musician and, more recently, classical music devotee . 

Brought up in Stockport, Paul cut his teeth in music journalism in Manchester. He then went on to write for the New Musical Express, where he rapidly became one of the paper’s most respected critics, leading to regular appearances on radio and TV.

In 1983, Morley and producer Trevor Horn founded ZTT Records, which soon hit both the top of the charts and the headlines with the release of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome album. In the same year, they also formed the group The Art of Noise, which had a string of hits including a cover of Prince’s Kiss, featuring Tom Jones.

In more recent years, however, Paul has turned his attention towards classical music, and in 2010 took part in a BBC Four documentary called The Art of Composing, which saw him study at the Royal Academy of Music for a year. In 2020, he charted his developing interest in a new book called A Sound Mind: How I Fell In Love with Classical Music, which has now been published by Bloomsbury.

Paul talked to BBC Music Magazine’s deputy editor Jeremy Pound over Zoom during the second period of lockdown in England, and told him how, from his pop and rock background, he gradually fell under classical music’s spell.

Recordings featured:

Brian Eno: Fullness of Wind (Variation on Pachelbel's Canon in D)

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande: 'Je les tiens dans le mains'

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle

LSO Live LSO0790

Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2: I. Overture

Borodin Quartet

Decca 4834159

Janáček: Words Fail


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