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.
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
Janáček: Words Fail
Buy A Sound Mind by Paul Morley from the following outlets:
Download this episode as an mp3
Click here to open the mp3 player.
Click on the three little dots to the right of the player and click ‘Download’.
Right click (or control click on Mac computers) on the player and select ‘Save Audio As…’. Occasionally, on Safari it may ask you to select ‘Download video’. If this is the case, select ‘Download video’ and it will download as an audio file (mp3) as normal.