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David Buckley

About the Author

Born in 1965 in Liverpool, David Buckley completed a Ph.D. at Liverpool University’s Institute of Popular Music in 1994. His book, loosely based on his doctoral thesis, David Bowie: Strange Fascination (Virgin Books, 1999) has been in print ever since and David has also contributed sleeve notes and press material for David Bowie’s reissues. A new, updated and expanded edition of Strange Fascination is currently scheduled for 2021.

David has worked as a lecturer at Munich University and as a tutor-counsellor at the Open University. He has contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and the Encyclopaedia of the Popular Music of the World (several volumes, Continuum Press). He has published seven books, Alongside Strange Fascination David has written a consumer guide, The Complete Guide To The Music of David Bowie (now retitled David Bowie: The Music and the Changes – Omnibus Press 2014), the official biography of the punk veterans the Stranglers, No Mercy (Hodder and Stoughton, 1997), a biography of R.E.M. (R.E.M: – Fiction, Virgin, 2002), biographies of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music (2004), Elton John (2007), and in 2012, a biography of Kraftwerk (Kraftwerk: Publikation, Omnibus Press 2012), with a foreword by ex-member, Karl Bartos.

For almost 20 years, David has been a contributor to Mojo magazine as a reviewer and writer, including features on Bowie, Genesis, Elton John, the Human League, Ultravox, Florence and the Machine, and Goldfrapp.

David is currently working on a history of electronic music in Britain focusing on the work of the Human League and Heaven 17. After spending half his life in Munich, he returned to the UK in 2019. He is a dad, a Liverpool FC supporter, a Bowie Boy, a Whovian and a Socialist.

BOOKS

No Mercy, a biography of The Stranglers (1997)

“The Stranglers are the biggest-selling and longest-lasting ban from the punk era. Drawing on exclusive photographic material, extensive interviews with the band members themselves, and with those who have worked with them during their twenty-four year career, David Buckley’s biography tells the complete and uncensored story of one of the most creative and controversial bands in rock history.”

Coronet Books Blurb, 1997

“A worthy addition to the history of punk and new wave”

The Times

 “Buckley has a shedload of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and black magic for his material”

 The Guardian

 “Buckley has produced a wonderfully terse and entertaining account of a band seemingly out of control from the word go”

 Record Collector

 “I didn’t realize I was such a psychopath.  It’s all true!”

 J.J. Burnel (1997), after reading this book

cover image © Gavin Evans/Corbis Outline
cover design: ClarkevanMeurs Design

Strange Fascination, a biography of David Bowie (1999)

“The most complete account of David Bowie and his impact on pop culture ever written”

Ebury Publishing Blurb, 1999

This Sunday Times bestseller was revised in 2000 and 2005 and David is currently working on a fourth edition, coming soon.

“The best of Bowie’s umpteen biographers”

 The Guardian

 “Fascinating portrait of a fascinating artist. If you like Bowie … this is the one to read”

 Marc Almond

cover image © Fotex/J. Haeselich/Redferns

R.E.M. Fiction: An Alternative Biography (2002)

“R.E.M.’s public image has always been tightly controlled, icons of anti-celebrity rock, who became huge celebrity rock stars, they were, according to the story, the first U.S. post-new-wave band who were both commercially successful and cool.  Drawing on exclusive interviews with Mike Mills, Peter Buck and other members of R.E.M.’s nuclear family, Fiction re-evaluates the music and career of a group who sold almost no records for the first half of their existence, then became the biggest rock group in the world in the second half.”

Ebury Publishing Blurb, 2002

“Craftsman-like reading of the R.E.M. story”

 Uncut

 “Buckley has created a straightforward and enjoyable document … this is as good as it gets”

 The Record Collection

cover image © Mick Rock 1974, 2004 http://www.mickrock.com

The Thrill of it All: The Story of Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music (2004)

“Roxy Music were the first – and best – of the art-rock bands.  Led by the hippest working-class man in London, Bryan Ferry, they rebelled against the denim-clad anonymity of the early 1970s and turned the decade into a huge glam-rock party.  Together with arch-experimentalist Bryan Eno, Ferry dreamed up a witty, glamorous, romantic, avant-garde pop songs such as “Love is the Drug” and “Virginia Plain” and performed them in the most trashy and decadent manner.  And he decorated the band’s albums with the longest-legged models in rock history.

He also fell passionately in love with one of them – Jerry Hall – an affair that ended sadly, and publicly, when she left him for Mick Jagger.  The band broke up, got back together, broke up, and got back together again, while Ferry continued to release solo records regardless.

Here, for the first time, is the band’s whole story.  The author has interviewed all the major players, including Ferry himself, and the result will long remain the definitive history of a brand that changed popular music forever.

Carlton Books Blurb, 2005

cover image © Terry O’Neill/Getty Images

Elton John, a biography (2007)

“A truly global superstar, Elton John is one of the most commercially successful artists of all time.  His 300-date Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is further testament to his enormous worldwide popularity, and he is loved for his outrageous personality and witty outspokenness as well as for his music, and his widely respected for his dedication to charity work and LGBT activism.

Drawing on many first-hand interviews with his close associates and musical collaborators, this is a page-turningly entertaining story.  It provides a fascinating and revealing portrait of one of the most admired pop artists ever, and offers a new perspective on an extraordinary man whose influence is felt around the world.”

 

Carlton Books Blurb, 2019

book design by Malcolm Garrett

Kraftwerk: Publikation, a biography (2012) with foreword by Karl Bartos

“Kraftwerk: Publikation is more than the ultimate biography of a unique group; it’s a book that stands beside Kraftwerk’s own innovative albums as an apt and well-crafted artefact in its own right.

As pioneers of electronic music Kraftwerk became the living, performing, embodiment of a stripped-down and unique brand of German rock.  Records such as Trans Europe Express, The Man Machine, and Computer World were brilliant inventions that owed no debt to the prevailing music trends of their day.  Nothing about the classic Kraftwerk lineup of Ralf, Florian, Karl and Wolfgang was conventional and now for the first time, a definitive account of their 40-year-plus history celebrates their trail-blazing credentials.

With contributions from Wolfgang Flür and Karl Bartos as well as other musicians form the world of electronica, PUBLIKATION offers a fascinating window in to the long life of a truly inimitable band.  This new edition updates the Kraftwerk story with reviews of recent concerts at art installations around the world.”

Omnibus Press Blurb, 2015

“… a spirited, admiring effort”

 Mojo (****)

 “This book is evidently a master work equally torn out of, and inspired by, a love and desire for understanding and recognition of its subject.  Unlike any other music biography that I have ever read”

 Andy McCluskey, OMD

 “The new Kraftwerk biography really is wonderful, isn’t it?”

 Alexis Petridis, chief rock and pop writer, The Guardian (on Twitter)

cover image © Ilpo Musto/Rex Features
cover design by Fresh Lemon

David Bowie: The Music and The Changes (2015)

“The Indispensable consumers’ guide to the music of David Bowie.

An album by album, track by track, examination of every song released by Bowie from his early singles, through the Ziggy Stardust era, the Eno/Berlin trilogy, the solo years, Tin Machine and his most recent work, including The Next Day.

Features include:

  • A detailed album by album, track by track analysis…
  • A separate section on compilations of early material and hits collections…
  • Eight page colour section
  • A David Bowie timeline”

Omnibus Press Blurb, 2015

The Human League and Heaven 17, a biography - Coming Soon

The following video content reproduced with kind permission of:

Images: (c) Glenn Gregory and (c) Heaven 17

Tracks: BMG Music Rights

Being Boiled (1978)
Ian Craig Marsh / Philip Oakey / Martyn Ware

Don’t You Want Me (1981)
Jo Callis/ Philip Oakey/ Philip Adrian Wright

Temptation (1983)
Glenn Gregory/Ian Craig Marsh/Martyn Ware