In this week’s episode of the Music to my Ears podcast, we talk about Paul Morley, the journalist and pop musician and, most recently, classical music enthusiast.

Raised in Stockport, Paul cut his teeth in music journalism in Manchester. He went on to write for the New Musical Express, where he quickly became one of the newspaper’s most respected critics, earning him regular radio and television appearances.

In 1983, Morley and producer Trevor Horn founded ZTT Records, which quickly rose to the top of the charts and headlines with the release of Frankie goes to Hollywood Welcome to the Pleasuredome album. The same year, they also formed the group The Art of Noise, which had a series of hits including a cover of Prince’s To kiss, with Tom Jones.

In recent years, however, Paul has turned his attention to classical music and, in 2010, appeared in a BBC Four documentary titled The art of composing, who saw him study at the Royal Academy of Music for a year. In 2020, he traced his growing interest in a new book titled A healthy mind: how I fell in love with classical music, which has now been published by Bloomsbury.

Paul spoke to BBC Music MagazineJeremy Pound’s deputy editor on Zoom during England’s second lockdown, and explained to him how, from his pop and rock background, he gradually fell under the spell of classical music.

Recordings presented:

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

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande: ‘I hold them in my hands’
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle
LSO Live LSO0790

Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2: I. Overture
Borodin Quartet
Decca 4834159

Janáček: Words fail

To buy A healthy mind by Paul Morley at the following points of sale:


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