Factory Records / Tony Wilson biography ‘From Manchester with Love’ getting US release in April
Tony Wilson, the cofounder of iconic Manchester label Factory Records (Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, A Certain Ratio, more), died in 2007 after a battle with cancer. He left a final request: that writer Paul Morley, a legend in is own right, write Wilson's biography. That book, From Manchester with Love, was released in the UK last fall, and is now finally getting a North American release on April 5 via Faber Books. You can preorder it now.
If you've seen Factory Records biopic 24 Hour Party People, you know that Wilson was an outsized personality who was never afraid to speak his mind, and the full title of this book -- "The Life and Opinions of Tony Wilson" -- reflects this. Morley refers to him on the back of the book as a "bullshitting hustler, flashy showman, aesthetic adventurer, mean factory boss, self-deprecating chancer, intellectual celebrity, loyal friend, shrewd mentor, insatiable publicity seeker." You can read the whole synopsis below.
Paul Morley wrote for NME from 1976 to 1983, and co-founded Zang Tumb Tuum Records with Trevor Horn. ZZT put out records by Art of Noise (which Morley and Horn were members of), Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda, 808 State, Grace Jones and more.
You can preorder From Manchester With Love from the BV shop.
Also in the shop: A Certain Ratio's ACR: EPC on exclusive, limited edition translucent amber vinyl.
To write about Tony Wilson, AKA Anthony H. Wilson, is to write about a number of public and private characters and personalities, a clique of unreliable narrators, constantly changing shape and form. At the helm of Factory Records and the Haçienda, Wilson unleashed landmark acts such as Joy Division and New Order into the world as he pursued myriad other creative endeavours, appointing himself a custodian of Manchester's legacy of innovation and change.
To Paul Morley he was this and much more: bullshitting hustler, flashy showman, aesthetic adventurer, mean factory boss, self-deprecating chancer, intellectual celebrity, loyal friend, shrewd mentor, insatiable publicity seeker. It was Morley to whom Wilson left a daunting final request: to write this book.
From Manchester With Love, then, is the biography of a man who became eponymous with his city, of the music he championed and the myths he made, of love and hate, of life and death. In the cultural theatre of Manchester, Tony Wilson broke in and took centre-stage.