all I hear is words

'All I hear is words' was supposed to be Tricky's autobiography,
but the release never happen (alhthough this website lists it to buy!).
In 2019 finally a biography was released, "Hell is round the corner".
You can buy it as hardcover or paperback. 

Here's the story of 'All I hear is words':
(since most of the websites
are not available anymore, I used the Wayback Machine for links)

    1998 - a mail from the editor    
"Payback Press is an imprint of Canongate Books Ltd, a UK-based book publisher whose list consists of authors such as Chuck D, Gil Scott-Heron, Charles Mingus, Chester Himes, Iceberg Slim, Barry Gifford, Charles Bukowski and Irvine Welsh, to name a few. In the spring of 2000, we are set to publish a book by Tricky,  provisionally entitled ALL I HEAR IS WORDS: A DIARY. This is NOT a straight-forward autobiography. Rather, it is an opportunity for Tricky to move beyond the one-dimensional character he is often portrayed as, especially in the UK press. It consists of his thoughts on many differing subjects; his lyrics and poetry; anecdotes, non-fiction and fictional writing; drawn and  photographed images, etc. I want to also include thoughts and opinions from his fans. The most original, inventive and insightful comments will placed throughout the book at relevant points. It can really be about anything, specific and non-specific and no-one should be scared to criticise. I would be grateful if you could e-mail me on 

With thanks, Colin McLear, Editor, Canongate Books Ltd."

- read more about Payback Press at their web site -


    3. April 2000 - finally news    
from Payback Press:

Tricky has teamed up with Payback Press to publish his autobiography - 'All I Hear Is Words'. A major scoop, this is a book like no other you will ever have seen or read. Tricky has given the Payback crew exclusive access and interviews, and as well as publishing Tricks' own writing, poetry, artwork and lyrics, the book will include an exclusive CD of unreleased  material. From his first appearance on the Payback list in 1998's collection of Black British Poets ('The Fire People'), Tricky has been working on  collecting material for the book. Stay tuned for details of exclusives and competitions. 


    16. April 2000 - more news    


TRICKY has written an autobiography which will be published in November, can reveal. The book is called 'All I Hear Is Words' and will feature writing, poetry, lyrics and artwork written and drawn by Tricky throughout the duration of his musical career. The book will also feature a series of exclusive interviews with the rapper recorded in New York by publishers Payback Press.

In the interviews, Tricky talks about his relationship with and subsequent departure from his old label Island and the time he spent without a record deal at the start of the year. In addition, plans are being drawn up for a free cover-mounted CD to be given away with the book which will feature new and exclusive Tricky tracks.

A spokesperson for Payback told that plans were at an embryonic stage and it was too early to tell what material would be used on the CD. This is not the first time Tricky will have had his work published. He had a poem included in a 1998 collection of black British poetry called 'The Fire People'.

Tricky has recently signed a new record deal with European branch of Californian label Epitaph following his departure last October from Island. He is currently recording new material with a view to releasing a new EP in July followed by a full studio album in the autumn.


    13. May 2000 - release in 2001    
from Payback Press:

It's too easy. Apparently. Interview Tricky and proceed to present him as a one-dimensional cartoon character: a psychotic, drugged-up musical genius. It gives great copy. Add the stories of journalistic intimidation, being a bad father, a background influenced by crime and a family of petty gangsters and relate this man's transportation into a world of supermodels, number one albums and Hollywood films. The  perfect cover story. All I Hear is Words, though, reminds one never to believe the hype. Far from being a simple autobiography, the book allows the expression of many of Tricky's voices, piecing together a remarkable life through music, lyrics, writing and art. All I Hear is Words is published together with an exclusive CD consisting of new and previously unreleased material. 

List Price: £14.99
Online Price: £8.99
Comes with a CD of previously unavailable material

This book is not yet available.
Publish Date: February 2001

Category: Autobiography
Paperback (160 Pages, Photos throughout) Format:
177 x 177 mm
ISBN: 0 86241 940 9 


    3. July 2000 - release in November ?    
According to a German free music magazine (WOM Journal) 'All I Hear Is Words' will be released in November, and not February 2001, as the Payback Press web site still says. On a Berlin radio station (radio eins) the German title was mentioned: 'Ich höre nur Worte'.

    4. September 2000 - release November 30    
Though the Payback Press web site still lists the release date of February 2001, Amazon UK says it will be released on 30th November 2000:

All I Hear Is Words - Tricky 

Our Price: £14.99
Paperback - 160 pages (30 November, 2000) 
Payback Press; ISBN: 0862419409

Not Yet Available: You may still order this title. We will send it to you when it is released by the publisher.

Far from being a simple autobiography, "All I Hear is Words" allows the expression of many of  Tricky's voices, piecing together a remarkable life through music, lyrics, writing and art. The book comes with an accompanying audio CD, consisting of previously unreleased material. 


    6. September 2000 - release September 2001?    
Amazon UK changed their mind and says now that 'All I hear is words' will be released September 2001! Payback Press still has February 2001 as release date.

    15. September 2000 - CD details    
The PR rep from Anti Records Europe (where Tricky's next album will be released) gives some details about the CD that will come with the book on the Apocalypse:Tricky message board, because there were rumours that an album called "Naked and famous" will come out: 

Dear Tricky Fans:

There have been lots of rumors and rumblings on the web about a new Tricky album entitled "Naked and Famous".

Let me set the record straight as I am a PR rep from the record label: The recent track listing that appeared online is a FAKE. If you think/look carefully, all or most of the song titles are references or lyrics to/from other Tricky songs, ie "that's when i learn" from For Real on Juxtapose.

The EP posted on here is as well a fake.

Now, for true information: Tricky is currently recording an album and it is like nothing like he's ever done...surprise, surprise. We do not have a confirmed date, but are aiming for early 2001. In addition, his autobiography will be released around the same time and contain a cd of unreleased and remixed tracks from the newest album. Also, we are hoping to release a live album in the summer of 2001. Tricky plans to tour through the spring and summer.

I hope this clears things up. If not, please email me at


PR Rep.


    25. September 2000 - book details    
According to the German music site Intro 'All I hear is words' will be released in November, but apart from that they reveal some of the content of the book: it will contain his biography, texts, poems, artwork, and also interviews about him leaving Island Records and about the time he spent without a record deal.

    24. February 2001 - no release    
According to Tricky's management the information on the Payback Press web site is incorrect. Unfortunately "All I hear is words" will not be released in the near future, since there was no contract signed with Payback Press....

    25. January 2002 - release in summer?    
Almost one year after the announcement that the book will not be released it can be found at the German Amazon ZShops for 29,95 EUR (A CD with unreleased material is not mentioned). But when I tried to order it, the seller told me that it is not released yet, but will be around summer 2002. Time will tell if this is true or not....

    4. February 2002 - no release    
Now I've got an email from the seller Medium Books that was supposed to sell the book on Amazon ZShops, which says that they've deleted the item from their catalogue since it is not clear when it will be released, probably never: "...aber wir haben den Titel über Tricky leider aus unserem Internet-Programm streichen müssen, da der Veröffentlichungstermin nicht einmal von der Seite des Verlages genau angegeben werden konnte. Wahrscheinlich wird der Titel nicht in absehbarer
Zeit erscheinen, eventuell sogar überhaupt nicht."


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