Want List: Barry Adamson’s “Up Above The City, Down Beneath The Stars” Autobio Published Last Year And No One Told Me?

Barry Adamson - up above the city down below the stars book cover
Omnibus Press | UK | 2021 | 352 pp.

Gloryoski! Last month we knew all about the biography of the great John McGeoch, but somehow, Barry Adamson was actually the first member of Magazine to have a book about them, in that case an autobio, and I’m just finding about it last week? Thank heaven for small miracles [and the Magazine mailing list].

So last September, the tireless Omnibus Press was adding to its prestige by publishing the evocatively titled, “Up Above The City, Down Below The Stars,” by Barry Adamson. 352 pages of the talent that began as a bass player in the likes of Magazine and Visage, eventually becoming a Bad Seed. Breaking free of sideman status, which was dazzling enough, to thrill us with his mature body of solo work. Where he trained his cinematic vision on the act of making soundtrack music to films both real and imagined. Who else could take Elmer Bernstein’s impossibly brash “The Man With The Golden Arm” as swaggering a jumping off point for a career that proved that he could build a vibrant solo career on that powerful foundation?

Lots of Rock bands fell under the spell of John Barry, but Adamson pushed the boat out much further in the water. Naturally, leading to idiosyncratic directors [Jarman, Lynch, Boyle] seeking him out to collaborate, but he didn’t neglect his personal muse. His albums of the last 33 years have been can’t miss affairs with Adamson’s muse served by some of my favorite singers ever as well as his own bad self.

Now, with his music coursing through my skull, I really want to read his memoir, which is said to be written in a …wait-for-it… noir style, if you can believe that! Omnibus Press still have the book as signed by the author in their store for the publisher’s price of £20.00/$24.40. A no-brainer, right? But there are other levels of buy-in. There’s also a signed hardcover plus a film-style poster for “Moss Side Story,” his debut album for £45.00/$54.89. The poster is sent rolled, in a tube naturally.

moss side story poster
Moss Side Story: the Motion Picture

The Omnibus Press website was sold out of the Ltd. Boxed edition, but I’ve found a dealer who still has stock of the 500 signed, boxed copies that come with the following:

  • Box of 500
  • Signed edition
  • “Moss Side Story” film-style poster
  • 7″ single [“The Folk Singer” b/w “The Sweeney [in dub”]
  • An art print of a photo by Adamson
  • custom bookmark
    • 1/500 copies have “The Golden Ticket” to win Barry’s Squier bass as used on “As Above, So Below.”
the Executive Version

If your taste runs toward exclusive music, then this can by yours for £80.00/$97.58. I’m running out of room in my tiny Record Cell and can’t be buying any more tchatckes. But I want to read that book. The book should be widely available everywhere, but here are the finer options, below.

UK | Signed Hardcover

post-punk monk buy button

UK | Signed Hardcover + Poster

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UK | Limited Edition Boxed

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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