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Record Play Pause

Penderyn Music Book Prize, 2020

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472126207

Price: £20

ON SALE: 16th May 2019

Genre: The Arts / Music / Music: Styles & Genres

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‘A unique and thoughtful musical memoir’ Observer

‘Gritty coming-of-age story . . . plenty of anecdotes to keep us hooked, and his memories of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis are poignant’ Daily Mirror

Before he was responsible for some of the most iconic drumming in popular music, Stephen Morris grew up in 1960s and ’70s industrial Macclesfield, on a quiet road that led seemingly to nowhere. Far removed from the bright lights and manic energy of nearby Manchester, he felt stifled by suburbia and feared he might never escape. Then he joined Joy Division – while they were still known as Warsaw – a pioneer of the rousing post-punk sound that would revolutionise twentieth-century rock.

Following two landmark albums and widespread critical acclaim, Joy Division were at the height of their powers and poised to break the US, when lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide.

Part memoir, part scrapbook and part aural history: Stephen Morris’s innate sense of rhythm and verve pulses through Record Play Pause. From recollections of growing up in the North West to the founding of New Order, Morris never strays far from the music. And by turns profound and wry, this book subverts the mythology and allows us to understand music’s power to define who we are and what we become.

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A unique and thoughtful musical memoir
Gritty coming-of-age story . . . plenty of anecdotes to keep us hooked, and his memories of Joy Division's Ian Curtis are poignant
Daily Mirror
Record Play Pause tells a familiar story . . . but Morris brings a freshness to it
Glasgow Herald
Self-deprecating, unembittered and happy to occupy the role of technically-minded synergist, Morris is a frank and humorous narrator uninterested in grudges . . . Hugely mirthful in northern English ways, Stephen recalls his youth with frustration and fondness . . . Familiar ground and personalities are (inevitably) revisited, but the author's dry wit ensures a singular perspective and winning detail . . . Arguably the most human of the Joy Division memoirs, Record Play Pause shows that even after 40 years there are still new ways to engage with and illuminate this most analysed of groups