The dramatic, distant work of Joy Division endures as one of rock and roll’s most challenging curiosities... Their beginnings aren’t particularly extraordinary, but the band’s furious evolution over the course of just three years is testament to a fearless imagination, purposeful single-mindedness and innovative spirit as potent as any in the history of popular music.


Chris Ott
Unknown Pleasures (Bloomsbury Academic, 2004)

When I listen to the songs of Nick Drake — to Nick Drake singing his songs — something shifts. The world slips just a little bit sideways. An ancient, unfamiliar door opens and I can see something beyond everyday life. Beyond that door is a world that has more depth, more truth. It’s a feeling that only exists for the present moment... then it slips away again below the surface.


Jaremy Harmer
Nick Drake: Remembered For a While (Little, Brown, and Company, 2014)

The real history of music is not respectable. Far from it. Neither is it boring. Breakthroughs almost always come from provocateurs and insurgents, and they don’t just change the songs we sing, but often shake up the foundations of society.


Ted Gioia
Music: A Subversive History (Basic Books, 2019)

I’ve been writing songs for thirty years. From the beginning, my songs have been stories. Every time I recorded an album, I was writing my memoirs... I wrote straight from the heart so the truth would ring like a bell, and resonate in the listener’s heart as well.


Liz Phair
Horror Stories: A Memoir (Random House, 2019)