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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 March 2013
The problem with Clive Davis is that he's not an interesting person. Nor, despite his tiresome efforts to appear otherwise, is he artistic. Nor is he - ever - funny. When he isn't trying to talk up his A&R talents (em, basically Barry Manilow and Whitney Houston?) he's invariably name dropping in the most irritating, long-winded monologue. He's really a lawyer and in fact the best parts of this book are when he describes deals - the only field, in my opinion, where he's in command - convincing. This is a pig of a book. It's badly written and should have been liberally edited. The introduction is a comical turn off. All I could see as I struggled through it, was his ghost writer gritting his teeth and thinking of the money. I also imagined the publisher shaking his head thinking "oh jeez, hopefully his name will sell copies." Clive Davis doesn't engage in talking, he doesn't really appear interested in other people. He lectures. Everything comes back to him and how grateful some celeb was about some badly told incident.

Imagine a musically challenged, boring egotist talking about how important he was to the music business and you have an idea what this book is like. He's so obsessed with himself, his sense of historical perspective is warped. Just one example: he moans that his predecessor Goddard Lieberson dared to say (during the post Clive era in the mid seventies) that he, and not Clive, had first embraced rock music at Columbia. Which historically is true. Seminal Bob Dylan albums like Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde happened on Lieberson's watch, 1965-66. But for some unknown reason, Clive Davis talks like he started counter culture - just because he attended Monterey in 1967 and poached Janis Joplin in 1968 - about two years after the whole hippie scene exploded in Los Angeles. Clive Davis was a successful business man of no cultural significance.
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on 10 March 2013
500+ pages of self inability to put the record labels and artists he was involved with in any industry context. While rambling on about some unheard of artist, he omits any insight as to why ,for example the Beatles,Bowie, Beach Boys, Madonna,Michael Jackson,etc etc were all elsewhere.
A lawyer by training, specialising in artists contracts, with, his words, particular attention to detail, he orders up a $75,000 kitchen remodel(without an estimate??), does not query the bill with the supplier, asks a fellow employee to look into it, -and is surprised when Columbia fires him ,for expense fraud - the bill having been taken care of by them, apparently. Unbeknown to him. Failed to notice that he had not paid it .So unfair . Not his fault . Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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on 23 June 2013
Empty and lifeless. Contains very little information that isn't widely available in the public domain. Relentlessly pushes a single, simple theme: nothing, nobody much happened in the last 40 years of pop music unless CD, with his unexplained genius, matched the right song to the right singer. Text is flat and uninteresting.
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on 18 January 2016
a little ploddy in the writing style (compared to someone like Simon Napier Bell, for instance) - could've maybe picked a better ghost writer, but nevertheless a fascinating insight into decades spent at the top of the industry.
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on 19 July 2016
I just don't understand the negative reviews of this book. Okay some of it is a monotonous reviewing of all the deals he has done but that is only about five per cent of the book. Apart for that it is an honest book about a man with a very interesting life indeed.
If you are interested in music and how it all works this is a must read.
Davis also has some good insights on the mystery of life and some of which I had never seen discussed before.
Don't be put off by the negative reviews this is a really great book.
I read the hardback I got from and have just bought a softback here to read again on an overseas trip. I wouldn't have done that if it was not a really great book. It's up there in the top 20 of business biographies.
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on 5 March 2013
Clive Davis has definitely had an interesting career and lots of that is discussed here.. Interesting anecdotes on Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Taylor Dayne, Aretha Franklin, Diane Warren (songwriter) and others.. But I noticed he makes no mention of his relationship with Lisa Stansfield.. I have heard him in other places praise her as "one of my favorite artists" on his roster.. She sold millions of records (in the U.S. and worldwide), had international #1 hits for a decade and was nominated for two Grammy awards, but seemed to drop off after her second album "Real Love".. What fans really want to know is why her third album "So Natural" was never released in the United States.. Even though it was a hit elsewhere.. Sure it wasn't her strongest but it would have been nice to hear more about the rumors that Clive and Lisa strongly disagreed on appropriate material/direction for the artist.. She was able to make somewhat of a comeback with her self titled 1997 album, but once again her 5th album "Face Up" was not released here.. What gives?? Some info on that would have made the book complete.. Also wish he hadn't glossed over 70's star Phyllis Hyman and their reputed "personality clashes" and "creative differences"..
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on 22 March 2013
I absolutely love this book. The product arrived on time and the content is wonderful.....finding it hard to put this book down. Would recommend to any ardent music lover. It is well written and I cannot find any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Well done.
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on 25 March 2013
What do you expect from a Music Mogul...almost larger than life in the music industry.
A great read..Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 14 October 2013
Wonderful informative book, if you're interested in popular music. Best book to read for a long time! Well worth the money!
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on 21 January 2016
Gr8 Stuff
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