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Manchester Music Books
MANCHESTER MUSIC BOOKS
With so many musicians and bands emerging from Manchester, it's not surprising that there's been numerous books written about the subject matter. Below, you'll find the best of them and all the latest releases.
 

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NEW MANCHESTER MUSIC BOOKS
 
Chopin In Britain
This interesting book looks at the penultimate year of the famous Polish composer's life, when he visited England and Scotland, performing at the Gentleman's Concert Hall in Manchester, August 1848, It is a more in depth study than the author's excellent 2011 book "Chopin In Manchester".
   
Dirty Stop Out Guide to Manchester
Excellent nostalgic look of the Manchester scene in the 1970s from Rotters and Rafters, to Deeply Vale and UMIST Heavy Rock disco, Wigan Casino and The Electric Circus. Foreward by Andy Rourke,
   
Leave The Capital
"A History of Manchester Music in 13 Recordings" by the former Fall drummer makes an entertaining broad reinvestigation of Manchester music history from the 60s to the 90s.
   
Electrochoc
The World-famous French DJ's history of dance music, starting at The Hacienda in 1987, has already been a best-seller in France, Spain, Russia, Germany and Japan. Now available in English.
   
Johnny Marr Autobiography
The long-awaited excellent autobiograhy from the legendary Smiths guitarist.

ESSENTIAL MANCHESTER MUSIC BOOKS
Books about the Manchester music scene as a whole...
 
Ballads & Songs of Peterloo Ballads and Songs of Peterloo
Alison Morgan's academic study is an edited collection of over seventy poems and songs written following the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, 1819, published either as broadsides or in radical periodicals and newspapers. (1 July 2018)

 

   
Dave Haslam Memoir Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor
Music, Manchester, and More
With a supporting cast from Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, John Lydon, Johnny Marr, Ian Brown, Laurent Garnier and David Byrne, the memoirs of Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam cover everything from having a gun pulled on him at the club and a drug dealer threatening to slit his throat, to having Morrissey round for tea, and discussing masturbation with Viv Albertine and ecstasy with Roisin Murphy. (24 May 2018)

 

   
1970s Manchester 1970s Manchester
Dirty Stop Out's Guide
Rikki Wright's excellent nostalgic look of the Manchester scene in the 1970s; from Rotters, Rafters, and Deeply Vale to UMIST Heavy Rock disco, Wigan Casino and The Electric Circus. With no-holds barred contributions from many musicians, The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke provides the foreword. (20 Nov 2017)

 

   
Leave The Capital Leave The Capital
A History of Manchester Music in 13 Recordings
Former drummer with The Fall, Paul Hanley, makes an entertaining broad reinvestigation of Manchester music history from the 60s to the 90s through the prism of Strawberry Studios and Pluto Studio's key recordings including The Hollies, The Smiths, Joy Division, The Fall and The Stone Roses. (13 Nov 2017)

 

   
Manchester North Of England Manchester: North Of England
A Story Of Independent Music From Greater Manchester (1977-1993)
This incredible 146 track, seven disc CD box set of Manchester music, includes most of the key bands from the late 70s to the early 90s with many tracks appearing on CD for the first time. The accompanying book of sleeve-notes by Manchester music journalist, Mick Middles, is excellent and features a foreword by Mark Radcliffe. (28 July 2017)

 

   
Martin Hannett & Strawberry Studios Martin Hannett, His Equipment and Strawberry Studios
Chris Hewitt returns with a companion to his original Martin Hannett biography to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Strawberry Studios in Stockport and the 40th anniversary of Manchester's Rabid Records label. (19 May 2014)

 

   
British Musical Modernism British Musical Modernism
The Manchester Group and their Contemporaries
Philip Rupprecht traces in depth how the Manchester Group of composers - Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle and their contemporaries - influenced modernism in classical music from the formal elegance of the 1950s, the exuberant theatricality of the 1960s, and the pop, minimalist, electronic directions of the early 1970s. (23 Mar 2017)

 

   
You Can Drum But You Can't Hide You Can Drum But You Can't Hide
An access all areas pass to the back alleys and living rooms of Manchester's musical mavericks, from popular drummer Simon Wolstencroft, who spent eleven years in The Fall and acted as the go between in many a musical grudge. 'Funky' Si's memoir recounts a life of drumming, parties, drugs, friendship and making music with Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke, Ian Brown and John Squire, amongst many others. (30 Jan 2017)

 

   
I Swear I Was There I Swear I Was There
Sex Pistols, Manchester and the Gig That Changed the World
To celebrate 40 years since the famous Sex Pistols concert at the Lesser Free Trade Hall on 4th June 1976, investigative music journalist David Nolan's updates his superb 2001 book of what the NME called "the most important gig of all time". Audience members are said to have gone on to form The Smiths, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, New Order, The Fall, Simply Red and Factory Records. But who really did attend? (2 June 2016)

 

   
Popular Music in Manchester Region Popular Music in the Manchester Region Since 1950
Highly celebrated music historian and University Of Central Lancashire lecturer Dave Russell presents an intriguing collection of essays about the contribution Manchester has made to pop culture in the second half of the 20th century, delving into the music cultures and subcultures around the city. (28 Jul 2015)

 

   
Networks Of Sound, Style and Subversion Networks of Sound, Style and Subversion
The Punk and Post-Punk Worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield, 1975-80
University lecturer Nick Crossley makes an academic yet accessible examination of the birth of punk in the UK and its transformation, within a short period of time, into post-punk. Taking an in depth look at the Manchester scene in particular, it's essential reading for local punk fans. (31 Jan 2015)

 

   
Pleasures Of The Unknown Martin Hannett
Pleasures Of The Unknown
Chris Hewitt's biography of legendary Manchester record producer Martin Hannett, whose weird ways of studio working with the likes of John Cooper Clarke, Joy Division, New Order, U2, Stone Roses and Happy Mondays would make him world famous. (19 May 2014)

 

   
Singing From The Floor Singing From The Floor
A History of British Folk Clubs
JP Bean tells the story of Britain's folk movement, faithfully captured in the voices of those who formed it, including Peggy Seeger, Mike Harding and Christy Moore. With the Manchester folk circuit included, the book charts the revival's improvised beginnings and its ties to the CND movement, through to the 1990s via the heyday of the '60s and '70s, when every university, town and village boasted a folk club. (6 Mar 2014)

 

   
Reelin In The Years Reelin' In The Years
The Soundtrack of a Northern Life
Farnworth radio DJ Mark Radcliffe takes a record from each year of his life, using the song as a starting point from which to reach out and pull together a wonderfully entertaining catalogue of memories and asides about British culture, with an obvious emphasis on Manchester, with tracks from Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Charlatans, Elbow, The Monkees and his own spoof group, The Shirehorses. (17 Jan 2012)

 

   
Manchester Music Manchester Music & M9 Kidz
A fantastic tale of growing up in 1970s Blackley by Colin Gibbins, arguably Manchester's most celebrated Factory Records fan, commonly known to fellow collectors as ‘Fac Col Manc'. He reminisces about partying in the city's venues during the 80s and 90s, whilst retaining an unhealthy mission to obtain the entire Factory back-catalogue. (11 Feb 2011)

 

   
Manchester Musical History Tour Manchester Musical History Tour
Teaming up with the late Inspiral Carpets drummer, Craig Gill, "Morrisey's Manchester" author Phill Gatenby put together this interesting guide with several tours featuring other world famous Manchester bands over the last 50 years from Buzzcocks via Joy Division to Oasis and Doves as well as the various scenes from Beat to Acid House and even Lo-Fi. (11 Feb 2011)

 

   
Mancunians And Music Mancunians and Music
Tales of the Underground, the Internet and the Manchester Music Scene, 1998-2011
Raquel Moran's reflection on the celebrated Manchester music scene during the noughtie years and also on the relationship between the local music scene and the Internet. (2011)

 

   
Peter Hook The Hacienda The Hacienda
How Not To Run A Club
Original Joy Division and New Order bass player, and co-owner of the legendary Hacienda nightclub, Peter Hook tells his own version of Manchester's influence on the rise of acid house in the late 1980s, through to its violent fall in the 1990s as gangs, drugs, greed and a hostile police force destroyed everything he and his friends had created. (30 Sep 2010)

 

   
Mr Manchester & The Factory Girl Mr Manchester and the Factory Girl
The Story of Tony and Lindsay Wilson
Writing with searing honesty, Lindsay Reade, the first wife of infamous Manchester music impresario Tony Wilson unveils a classic tale of sex, drugs and rock n roll, as well as an insight in to her time working at Factory Records and managing The Stone Roses. (1 Sep 2010)

 

   
Shadowplayers Shadowplayers
The Rise and Fall of Factory Records
LTM record label owner and former Factory Benelux employee, James Nice's authoritative and thoroughly researched account of how a group of Mancunian anarchists and entrepreneurs saw off bankers, journalists and gun-toting gangsters to create the most influential record label of modern times. Superb! (6 May 2010)

 

   
Manchester Looking For The Light Through The Pouring Rain Manchester
Looking For The Light Through The Pouring Rain
Reissued in softback, May 2012, Kevin Cummins' stunning iconic photograph collection captures the anarchic energy of Manchester and its pop history, with four textual contributions from Paul Morley, Stuart Maconie, Gavin Martin and John Harris. A beautiful book for your coffee table. (17 Sep 2009)

 

   
You're Entitled To An Opinion Tony Wilson: You're Entitled to an Opinion
The High Times and Many Lives of Tony Wilson, Factory Records & The Hacienda
Investigative music journalist David Nolan draws on nearly 50 interviews with musicians, DJs, writers, actors, family and friends - including Wilson's partner of 17 years Yvette Livesey - to tell the story of "Mr Manchester", the co-founder of Factory Records and The Hacienda, who kick-started the careers of Joy Division, Happy Mondays and New Order, and put the Sex Pistols on television for the first time. (3 Aug 2009)

 

   
From Joy Division To New Order Factory
The Story Of The Record Label
Originally released in 1996 as"From Joy Division To New Order: The True Story Of Anthony H.Wilson and Factory Records", Manchester music journalist Mick Middles updates his inside story of Factory Records to give the complete story of the legendary label, from its birth in 1970s Manchester, through its '80s heyday and '90s demise to include new material on the death of Tony Wilson and his legacy. (7 May 2009)

 

   
Peter Hook The Hacienda The North Will Rise Again
Manchester Music City 1976-1996
Manchester-based music journalist John Robb's extraordinary compilation of his insightful interviews with a vast array of the gobbiest musicians in the city’s history, as they tell the story of the thriving music scene in their own words, over 30 years from The Sex Pistol's Free Trade Hall concert in 1976 up to 1996. (Apr 2009)

 

   
Gig Gig
The Life And Times Of A Rock-Star Fantasist
An hilarious book crammed with stories and anecdotes as multi-award winning poet Simon Armitage explores how local music and the muse have intertwined in his work and life, growing up on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, as a student, and probation officer in Manchester. (18 Apr 2008)

 

   
Who Killed Martin Hannett? Who Killed Martin Hannett?
The Story of Factory Records' Musical Magician
The Durutti Column lead singer Colin Sharp reassesses his best friend's life as he speaks to dozens of the influential record producer and Factory label co-founder's friends, colleagues and family members. (25 June 2007)

 

   
Factory Records Factory Records
The Complete Graphic Album
With a foreword by the late Tony Wilson, Matthew Robertson's definitive overview of the artwork of Manchester's seminal Factory label, covering its iconic record sleeves, posters, ephemera, venues and packaging; all organised as a beautifully illustrated catalogue, arranged by the famous Factory reference system with the book, even being given one of its own - Fac 461. (30 Nov 2006)

 

   
Cider With Roadies Cider With Roadies
Described as "The English Bill Bryson" by Tony Wilson, the hilarious autobiography from Wigan music journalist and radio broadcaster Stuart Maconie tells of his obsessive relationship with pop and a life lived through music, with obvious Manchester music connections throughout. (17 Jan 2012)

 

   
Shake Rattle & Rain Shake Rattle And Rain
Popular Music Making In Manchester
Founder member of Mancunian punk band Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias, Bob Dylan expert and lecturer at the University of Salford's School of Media, Music & Performance, C.P. Lee charts the emergence and development of so many famous artists and performers from Manchester, such as 10cc, Inspiral Carpets, John Mayall, New Order, Oasis, Simply Red and The Smiths, to name but a few. (7 Oct 2002)

 

   
The Madchester Scene The Madchester Scene
Pocket Essentials Music
Another book released around the time of Michael Winterbottom's superb 24 Hour Party People movie, Richard Luck provides a rather lightweight and personal profile of all the major bands of the Madchester era, together with the groups that influenced them and those that ripped them off. (8 Mar 2002)

 

   
24 Hour Party People 24 Hour Party People
What The Sleeve Notes Never Tell You
Released around the same times as the Michael Winterbottom movie, for the first time, Tony Wilson (a.k.a. "Mr Manchester") tells his own spuriously fictionalised version of the bizarre and not entirely fabricated story of how he founded Factory Records and The Hacienda nightclub, revealing tales of drugs, guns, ill-timed property deals and the Happy Mondays decision to record an album in Barbados. (8 Mar 2002)

 

   
Central 1179 Central 1179
The Story of Manchester's Twisted Wheel Club
With rare photographs, Keith Rylatt and Phil Scott tell the history of Manchester's iconic 1960's club and its characters, which was home to the local mod, r&b and soul scenes. (Oct 2001)

 

   
Manchester, England Manchester, England
The Story Of The Pop Cult City
Almost 20 years since its original release, Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam's account of the city he made home, remains the most definitive ever written. He traces the explosion of music and creativity in Manchester from Victorian music hall and the jazz age, to Northern Soul and rock and roll, through to acid house, Madchester and Oasis, whilst also looking at how the city's history and the Industrial Revolution has influenced music, film, theatre, comedy and TV. A superb read! (2 Sep 1999)

 

   
True Romances at Manchester's Dances True Romances at Manchester's Dances
In his third A4 printed book, Ritz Ballroom dance orchestra leader Phil Moss collates the stories of people who met their partners at dance halls around Manchester, sharing their memories of the music, the bands, and the venues; the Palais Astoria, Lido, Ritz, Plaza, Oldham, Eccles and elsewhere. (July 1998)

 

   
It Happened In Manchester It Happened in Manchester
The True Story Of Manchester's Music 1958-1965
Alan Lawson lovingly re-examines the Beat Boom in Manchester in the early Sixties, showing the exciting years from Skiffle to Psychedelia when groups like The Hollies, Hermans Hermits and Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders were part of a musical explosion, never since repeated. (1998)

 

   
Popular Music In England Popular Music In England, 1840 - 1914
A Social History
The heavily updated second edition of University Of Central Lancashire lecturer Dave Russell's critically acclaimed 1987 study of Victorian and Edwardian musical life includes a large focus on Manchester and Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution, amongst other extensive local research. (13 Nov 1997)

 

   
Manchester's Dancing Years Manchester's Dancing Years
In his second A4 printed book, Ritz Ballroom dance orchestra leader Phil Moss concentrates on the many ballrooms and dance bands in Manchester where he performed. (Mar 1996)

 

   
Manchester's Music Makers Manchester's Music Makers
A brief A4 printed nostalgic and informative look at the Manchester music scene in the post war era from Phil Moss, whose orchestra was, from 1950 and for many years, resident at the Ritz Ballroom. (31 Jan 1994)

 

   
It Happened In Manchester If It Weren't For The Alligators
History of Drugs, Music and Popular Culture in Manchester
Former director of the Lifeline Project, Rowdy Yates provides a brief personal history of the city from inside the Manchester drug and alcohol abuse charity, which operated from 1971 until its collapse in 2017. Whilst it is compulsive reading for those who know the charity, it should be compulsory reading for those that don't. (Sep 1992)

 

   
And God Created Manchester And God Created Manchester
A look at the Manchester bands of the era by music journalist Sarah Champion, who covered the Madchester scene for the NME and Manchester Evening News. (18 Oct 1990)

 

   
Dance Band Days Manchester Dance Band Days Around Manchester
Frank Pritchard's brief but well illustrated A4 book detailing the dance bands and music of Manchester from the 1920s to the 1980s. (Mar 1988)

 

   
Manchester Ballads Manchester Ballads
Thirty-Five Facsimile Street Ballads
Failsworth folk singer Harry Boardman teamed up with folklorist Roy Palmer for this A4 facsimile book, which compiles 35 ballads, each originally sold in the streets of Manchester for a penny in the late 18th and 19th Centuries, covering subjects including the railways and the Manchester Ship Canal. (1983)

 

   
Mike Harding Collection Folk Songs of Lancashire
The Mike Harding Collection
An outstanding collection of 49 traditional folk songs from Lancashire, compiled by Crumpsall folk singer Mike Harding over a period of seven years. Each song includes the musical score, archival photographs and drawings, with an introduction explaining the songs and dialects. (June 1980)

 

   
Songs Of The People Songs Of The People
Lancashire Dialect Poetry of the Industrial Revolution
An anthology of local poetry and songs written in the Lancashire dialect during the 19th Century from the likes of Edwin Waugh, Samuel Laycock, and Joseph Ramsbottom, compiled by Brian Hollingworth. (Feb 1978)

 

   
Manchester Music Manchester Music
Celebrated Polish artist Albin Trowski (1919-2012) settled in Heaton Moor after the War and fell in love with Manchester. Amongst other books he published of the city, this one chronicles the history of Manchester Music in sketches and watercolours, some of which appeared in the "Manchester Sounds" magazine. (1977)

 

   
Folk Songs and Ballads Of Lancashire Folk Songs & Ballads of Lancashire
Failsworth folk singers Harry and Lesley Boardman compile this collection of classic Lancashire folk songs, with text, music and photographs. (1973)

 

   
Folk Song & Folk Speech Folk Song And Folk Speech of Lancashire
On The Ballads and Songs of the County Palatine
William E.A. Axon of Strangeways, Manchester, released this study of Lancashire songs in 1870 and it serves as a superb insight into the history of early songwriting in Manchester. (1870)

 

   
Lancashire Lyrics Lancashire Lyrics
Modern Songs and Ballads of the County Palatine
The second collection of Lancashire songs, compiled by John Harland of Swinton, includes lyrics from contemporary poets and songwriters of the time, like Edwin Waugh, Mrs G. Linnaeus Banks, John Byrom, Samuel Bamford, John Critchley Prince and Charles Swain, and touches on the politics of the day. (1866)

 

   
Ballads & Songs of Lancashire Ballads & Songs Of Lancashire
Chiefly Older than the 19th Century
Perhaps the most important anthology of ancient Lancashire songs, compiled by John Harland of Swinton, Manchester, in 1865, it captures the lyrics of old Manchester and has been an important source for scholars ever since. (1865)

 

   
Palatine Anthology Palatine Anthology
A Collection Of Ancient Poems and Ballads Relating To Lancashire and Cheshire
This 1850 collection of poems and songs from the region was compiled by James Orchard Halliwell and limited to just 110 copies; the name of each subscriber printed in the front and consisting mainly of rich Mancunians alongside Manchester Exchange Library, Portico Library and Bury Grammar School. (1850)

 

   

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