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How Soon is Now?: The Madmen and Mavericks who made Independent Music 1975-2005
 
 

How Soon is Now?: The Madmen and Mavericks who made Independent Music 1975-2005 [Kindle Edition]

Richard King
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £17.99
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Review

'An exhaustive chronicle of the labels that drove independent music for 30 years, Richard King's prodigiously researched book includes everything one could wish to know about the mayhem, rebellion and anti-corporate idealism of indie culture. While there are colourful anecdotes about artists of variable talent the Smiths, New Order, Sonic Youth, the Jazz Defektors it's the eccentrics, misfits and sociopaths operating behind the scenes who take centre stage... It certainly shatters the 'us versus them' illusion of the indie scene as one big happy family, as grievances fester, drug-assisted mistakes pile up and disillusionment takes its toll. ... Both an inspiration and a cautionary tale.' -- Kathy Sweeney, Observer

'How Soon Is Now? traces a confident line from indie's first stirrings in the mid-'70s though to Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, the subculture's last million-seller under the original analogue rules in 2005. Author Richard King is a insider; he's worked at Domino Records for 15 years ... this lends his fluent and intuitively organised chronicle a cool authority, and places us right there in the shopfloor.' --Andrew Collins, Word magazine

'Most people with even a vague interest in leftfield modern music will be familiar with the careers of The Smiths, New Order and Sonic Youth. But Richard King's exhaustively researched labour of love, How Soon is Now?, offers a history that runs parallel to the works of these totemic acts, ushering forward the dreamers and chancers who took advantage of the fissures opened up by punk to create a new paradigm for the production and distribution of music. Their story is long overdue ... this is a funny, lively and inspiring history.' -- Phil Harrison, Time Out

'Less of an overview of the era than a meticulously researched encyclopaedia of the assorted businesses, both famous and forgotten, that helped to create independent music. ... King successfully captures the chaos that underpinned the independent sector.... How Soon is Now? is as much about the financial mis-management, rampant egos and petty rivalry that was the independent experiment as its many triumphs. ... Any young entrepreneur looking to get a foothold in the music business would be wise to consult this book before taking the plunge.' --Fiona Sturges, Independent

'This remarkable and hugely enjoyable history of the British independent music scene over the past 30 years reveals a much more diverse, influential and successful picture... Richard King does an amazing job of portraying the ramshackle yet exhilarating vibe of the times. The label staff and bosses were just as into the excesses of rock n roll as the bands, and the amount of drugs consumed within these pages is mind-boggling, something else which probably didn t help those precarious balance sheets. King has extracted interviews from all the major players and orchestrated a shambolic and chaotic world into a coherent and compelling historical narrative. If only all music books were this good.' --Doug Johnstone, Scotsman

'King, co-editor of the music journal Loops, gets illuminating interviews from many of the main players, from Travis to McGee to the Smiths Johnny Marr. His tone is balanced, his prose penetrating, his coverage comprehensive.' -- Ed Potton, The Times

'King, a senior staffer at Domino Records, has pieced together a forensic, lurid history that speeds along like a 1980s Alan McGee with a banknote up his nose.' --Doug Johnstone, Scotsman

'King's history of the British independent music business is beautifully researched, and unafraid to display a deep love of its subject on every page. Backroom labels such as Factory, 4AD and Rough Trade explode into global businesses as their signings - the Cocteau Twins, New Order and the Smiths - become troubled, troublesome and unwitting stars. Exhaustive and reflective, this is the definitive work on one of Briain's great artistic booms.' --Rob Fitzpatrick, Sunday Times, 'Pop Book of the Year'

'This remarkable and hugely enjoyable history of the British independent music scene over the past 30 years reveals a much more diverse, influential and successful picture... Richard King does an amazing job of portraying the ramshackle yet exhilarating vibe of the times. The label staff and bosses were just as into the excesses of rock n roll as the bands, and the amount of drugs consumed within these pages is mind-boggling, something else which probably didn t help those precarious balance sheets. King has extracted interviews from all the major players and orchestrated a shambolic and chaotic world into a coherent and compelling historical narrative. If only all music books were this good.' --Doug Johnstone, Scotsman

Book Description

A landmark survey of independent music; the record labels and the inspirational, eccentric and visionary figures who created them.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2528 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (3 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007D0WYR2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #155,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read; not just a music book. 24 May 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a well written, accessible and rich narrative of the birth of the independent music via labels such as 4AD, Mute etc. Even though I was not aware of some of the earlier names and bands cited in the earlier chapters, HSIN built into a comprehensive and cohesive description of the foundation of independent music. It also manages to capture the courageous spirit which enabled such bands and labels to flourish and because of this it is likely to interest readers from a variety of fields. A music book with a broad appeal, and arguably a timely reminder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this will become the standard work... 9 May 2012
By Alex W
Format:Paperback
... on the UK's indie labels in my opinion. The sheer wealth and quality of the interviews on their own should see to that. It's not a grand analytical overview, rather it's a wonderful narrative history: well-paced, super-informed, occasionally gossipy - but in a good way. Sort of like a Peter Buskind book, but about indie record labels, not indie filmmakers. Warning: will make you want to start a record label.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobodys Scared................ 3 Oct 2012
By T. Satchwell VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed this dip into the "indie" world...the author covers quite a lot of historical ground in nice chunks of chapters.
Some of the stories/info I probably knew from reading stuff like...Document And Eyewitness: An Intimate History of Rough Trade: The Rough Trade Story
Rough Trade: Labels Unlimited

andThe Creation Records Story: My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize
Alan McGee and the Story of Creation Records: The Ecstasy Romance Cannot Last
So ..I think this is a good introduction/taster for enthusiasts to reach for further reading. I particularly like the attention to 4AD...a label which were for me anyway...high profile...maybe because I worked in a record shop ..and got to see those fantastic covers...but were in fact really "Anti Record Biz".

Some great stuff about all the madmen...scary drugs stories...but covers some great labels and acts Heavenly, Domino Mute etc as well as your rough trades and creation...so Smiths..Manics...Primal Scream...Arctic Monkeys
So now I want to track down some more stuff about beggars banquet and 4ad..and I guess Mute would all be interesting reads

Highly recommended if you are a fan of Non mainstream music from late 70's until now..I guess..I never really liked the term "Indie"...it just got misused and abused as a genre type, rather than the true spirit of independence from the BIG record companies.
Well researched and a broad range of interviews.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 17 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
if you enjoyed Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up, you'll find this the perfect counterpart - telling the fascinating story of the characters and business behind the scenes of one of the richest periods of UK creative industry.

Digestible, cohesive, exhaustive, funny; I'm sure this would be an enjoyable read even for someone only familiar with the acts (everyone will have one record or two from this book), and not the machinations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Reading for the discerning music fan 5 April 2012
Format:Paperback
A lucid & erudite survey into the nutters & lunatics who were instrumental in
creating what we now call, for better or for worse, 'indie'.

Chock full of great anecdotes & stories my favourite being behind the scenes of the KLF's infamous Brits performance.

Kudos for shining a light on the lesser know names instrumental to the scene including Mick Houghton & Liz Naylor.

A rollicking read from start to finish. Top Notch Reading for the discerning music fan.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is A Really Great Book 5 April 2012
By Bdroop
Format:Paperback
This is a pretty definitive read. It sits well alongside extremely well regarded books that have covered similar ground( Simon Reynolds - Rip It Up comes to mind )yet expands the stories deeper and further. It unearths new perspectives successfully on how the independent music scene has evolved across the 30 year period he chooses to cover. I grew up on artists like the Smiths, Joy Division and labels like 4AD, Factory, Mute and Rough Trade. The author has managed to talk to people from within all the labels in a really entertaining way. There's some great stories and some great insights behind the success of bands like the Arctic Monkeys that help explain some of the reasons behind their emergence into the public conciousness. It's a big page turner, highly, highly recommended.
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