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Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI
 
 

Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI [Kindle Edition]

Brian Southall , Glen Matlock
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A fascinating insider's account of the notorious three months that turned the British music industry on its head.

Here is the story of how the Sex Pistols shocked and shamed EMI—the UK's most revered and profitable record company—and ended up £40,000 the richer thanks to manager Malcolm McLaren's cunning business strategy.

Author Brian Southall is the former EMI PR executive who was there during the whole infamous Sex Pistols/EMI affair. For the first time, he now tells the whole story, from EMI's signing of the Pistols in September 1967, through the notorious incident on Thames Television's Today programme, to the band's extreme behavior at London's Heathrow airport that resulted in EMI severing their 90-day-old contract.

About the Author

After 10 years as a journalist, including working for Melody Maker and Disc, Brian Southall joined A&M Records between 1973 and 2003 and worked for EMI Records as a consultant to Warner Music International, HMV Group and the British Phonographic Industry. He has written books including the History of Abbey Road Studios, The A-Z of Record Labels and the Story of the Brit Awards.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (11 Nov 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002WJM5V4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #477,176 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pistols 4 letter reply to EMI 3 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't want to add any more to the long & thorough review that's gone before mine, however, I will say...
I have been a Pistols fan since I was 12 years old, & am now 34. This book, more than any other, really hammers home how much real outrage & disgust the Sex Pistols provoked when they burst onto the scene in 1976. Of course, the Filth & The Fury alludes to this outrage, but doesn't elaborate. EMI were under tremendous pressure from the media, their own staff, and politically to drop the band from the very first moment they signed them.
The feeding frenzy & the lies that were perpetrated by the national media at the time were outrageous. Sex Pistols 90 Days At EMI is an essential read for any fan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A great read with interesting facts and uknown reactions to the bands 90 odd days signed to EMI Records. It does concentrate on this time so dont expect a full history.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Martin Percival VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Brian Southall is an EMI insider. A PR Exec during the Pistols 91 day reign at EMI from October 1976 to January 1977, there can be few people better placed to write such a warts and all, methodically researched and insightful account into the politics and machinations that caused the Pistols to be signed in the first place only to be then unceremoniously dumped off the label barely 3 months later.

Recent years have seen a slew of books being produced on punk and especially the Sex Pistols. With only a few notable exceptions most are poorly researched and written with few new facts or insights - generally they just recycle the same old quotes and supposed facts. Southall has clearly gone back to the source material, much of it previously unpublished, and most importantly used his connections from his time at EMI to write a brief but fascinating guide to the bands time at the label. He also does a good job of putting the whole episode into the perspective of the era.

The music industry in the mid 1970s was a very different business from today with EMI records forming a significant but by no means dominant part of a long established, traditional, global conglomerate with fingers in many pies ranging from Arms to Hotels to Medical Devices. They even owned 50% of Thames Television - the London based station that broadcast live the infamous "Today" show with Bill Grundy and the band on 1st December 1976. It's these background facts that help the reader to understand why the label did what it did after coming under enormous pressure from senior executives in the post Bill Grundy show media fueled circus that wrecked the Anarchy tour and effectively short circuited the chances of the band having a long recording career with EMI.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Mistake Imaginable....the inner workings of a global company in 1976/77 8 Sep 2007
By Martin Percival - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Brian Southall is an EMI insider. A PR Exec during the Pistols 91 day reign at EMI from October 1976 to January 1977, there can be few people better placed to write such a warts and all, methodically researched and insightful account into the politics and machinations that caused the Pistols to be signed in the first place to then being unceremoniously dumped off the label barely 3 months later.

Recent years have seen a slew of books being produced on punk and especially the Sex Pistols. With only a few notable exceptions most are poorly researched and written with few new facts or insights - generally they just recycle the same old quotes and supposed facts. Southall has clearly gone back to the source material, much of it previously unpublished, and most importantly used his connections from his time at EMI to write a brief but fascinating guide to the bands time at EMI. He also does a good job of putting the whole episode into perspective.

The music industry in the mid 70s was a very different animal from today with EMI records forming a significant but by no means dominant part of a long established, traditional global conglomerate with fingers in many pies ranging from Arms to Hotels to Medical Devices. They even owned 50% of Thames television - the London based station that broadcast live the infamous "Today" show with Bill Grundy and the band. It's these background facts that help the reader to understand why the label did what it did after coming under enormous pressure from senior executives in the post Bill Grundy tv show media fueled circus that wrecked the Anarchy tour and effectively short circuited the chances of the band having a long recording career with EMI.

The book includes some excellent quotes from a fans including those later to be successful artistes themselves including Steve Strange, Siouxsie, Boy George and Marc Almond as well as others who became successful in very different fields like Jimmy Nail (actor) and Stuart Pearce (footballer).

The story develops on a day by day chronological basis capturing the initial euphoria of the band, their management and the label's A&R team upon signing, through to recording the Anarchy single and the very chancey circumstances of the band effectively substituting for their labelmates Queen on the "Today" show. This resulted in a brief but memorable drink fueled (presenter as well as band and fans) live tv interview that gave the band more newspaper coverage than they could have dreamed of over night but which ultimately brought about their untimely demise.

The final circumstances of the termination of the contract make fascinating reading 30 years on. An early morning call to an Amsterdam hotel room where the band played the night before with the announcement to the label's tour rep and Malcolm McLaren that EMI were ending the contract with a press release to be issued later that morning, despite nothing having been signed or agreed on regarding the terms of the split. 30 years later it seems, by current day standards, incredible that this could happen without a team of lawyers negotiating long and hard over the terms of the break up but it was, in so so many ways, another time and era.

The book concludes with the views at the time of the EMI staff who worked with the band as well as their views now with the benefit of over 30 years hindsight on the break up. The A&R team especially were worried that no new bands would want to sign with EMI (a worry that turned out to be needless) with the major ironies being both the Rich Kids (Glen Matlck's post Pistols band) signing to EMI later in 1977 and in 1980 Malcolm McLaren's new protegies Bow Wow Wow also appearing on the label.

For anyone interested in the music industry of the 1970s and/or the story of the Sex Pistols this book is an absolute must read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sex Pistol review 15 Nov 2010
By chris bee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got what I expected with this book, but not much more. All the tales of outrage at this group's antics. A bit of music industry behind the scenes stuff. But it didn't really go anywhere if that makes any sense. In fact it got a little monotonous. The author was a pr at EMI at the time. I'm wondering if he really was privvy to a lot of what was going on or maybe just didn't remember it well enough to write it in a book. I didn't finish it with my head full of thought provoking anecdotes. It was a bit one dimensional.

But if you are interested in the subject - the Pistols and behind the scene of the music business then it's worth the read.
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