UK based Pallazo Editions creates beautifully designed and illustrated books in the areas of popular culture, music, film, art, design and architecture, history and biography, and children’s books. Below are two wonderful pictorial releases on two of the most influential bands from the underground 1980s UK music scene.

Joy Division + New Order: Decades

It’s a tale of death, destroyed friendships and bungled finances, but the story of Joy Division and New Order is also the saga of two bands who made extraordinary music which defined their times and overturned the musical landscape.

First, there was Joy Division. Their music reflected both the barren urban landscape of their native Manchester in the late 1970s and singer Ian Curtis’s heart of darkness. They remain forever defined by both the suicide of their extraordinary and extraordinarily volatile singer and two albums as close to perfection as music can come.

From the ashes of Joy Division came New Order, who recruited a keyboardist because of – rather than in spite of – the fact she couldn’t play. At the height of the dance music boom, they invested in The Hacienda, a club in their native Manchester. The queues were around the block, but the debts could have sunk a country.

If Joy Division were sublime musical darkness, New Order were bathed in sunlight and their globally popular music bridged the chasm between indie and dance and inspired a generation. Having conquered the world and maintained their credibility, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and imploded in a tsunami of recrimination, while still making fabulous music. You couldn’t make it up: there’s no need to.

John Aizelwood writes for Mojoand Classic Rock. During a 25-year career, he has written about music for the GuardianBlenderThe ObserverMelody MakerSoundsFHMThe Sunday Times and a host of others. His books include Love Is The Drug and Playing At Home; he is a critic on the widely acclaimed Rock Icons series and lives near London.

Available from Pallazo Editions

Sex Pistols: I Wanna Be Me

This definitive history of the Sex Pistols includes over 150 colour and b/w photos and is published to coincide with the forthcoming 6-part series, Pistol, created by Danny Boyle, which will be released in 2022 on FX on Hulu in the United States and as a Star Original on Disney+ internationally.

Amidst the chaos that was the Sex Pistols, it’s often forgotten just what a powerful band they were, and what great records they made. The Sex Pistols were no ordinary group.

Their story might be short, and not without its casualties, but their legacy is undoubted; one listen to their ferocious, raw rock and roll will soon tell you that. Without them, popular culture in the last 30+ years would be very, very different. The Pistols didn’t just kick down doors; they trashed the music industry’s house. For a band who (really) only released one album and four incandescent singles – Anarchy in the U.K., God Save the Queen, Pretty Vacant and Holidays in the Sun – they gave birth to a sea of imitators and inspired a DIY aesthetic still alive today. Not bad for a band that ‘couldn’t play’.

Despite claims from New York, the Sex Pistols were the true originators of punk; no one else had their attitude, balls, or honesty – as inspired by anger and poverty, as art and poetry. There was the Sex Pistols and there was the rest. The Sex Pistols ARE punk; the rest are ‘punk rock’.

Dave Simpson writes for the Guardian, Uncut and others, having written for various titles during a 31-year career. His books include The Fallen: Life In And Out Of Britain’s Most Insane Group (about the Fall), a Sunday Times and Observer music book of the year. He lives in Yorkshire.

Available from Pallazo Editions



About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.