Customer Reviews


27 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating, exhaustive, clear-eyed, rivetting.

I have recently finished reading Simon Napier-Bell's marvelous romp through the evolution of the music business, how business shaped the choices we make, and those choices the business.. and society. He reveals the undercurrents which formed the industry - such as (for example) the monopolization of the music...
Published 9 months ago by I. S. Warburton

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Ok
Generally interesting, spoilt by some factual errors when he mentions areas that he was not directly involved in.
Published 7 months ago by Glynne22


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
By 
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay (Hardcover)
Fascinating, exhaustive, clear-eyed, rivetting.

I have recently finished reading Simon Napier-Bell's marvelous romp through the evolution of the music business, how business shaped the choices we make, and those choices the business.. and society. He reveals the undercurrents which formed the industry - such as (for example) the monopolization of the music publishing world from the get-go by jews and how they were not interested in the sexual orientation or colour of who produced the goods for them, thus creating an industry far more tolerant and inclusive than any other.. and thus taste and role models are allowed to form. Significant social evolution under the patronage of simple avarice. Wonderful! (like the man himself :p) Buy it and be clear eyed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a dangerous book., 20 Aug. 2014
By 
M. B. Lloyd-Elliott (London England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay (Hardcover)
The music moguls will hate this book. Simon N-B tells it straight, as always. We have all been shafted for years, and secretly we've all known it and gone along with the stiffing because we love the music more than we hate the industry that robs us. Here is the book that shames the card sharps who have exploited the musicians and the punters with equal disdain and tenacity since the early days of recording music. Simon takes the reader on a fascinating, informative, amusing and deeply revealing magical mystery tour of the whole damn shebang that is the making, production and selling of music. I found his final chapter on where we are now and where we are heading particularly riveting. The global corporations that control the music business are sleepwalking into extinction and Simon explains why. The future is electric and digital and now. Simon is one of the great living experts in the world of music. His joyful enthusiasm for all things witty and quirky and hilarious spills into every section of the book and while it is not as laugh-out-loud funny as his two autobiographical books, it is still full of his infectious genius and unbeatable charm. A must read for anyone interested in the world of music making in the Twenty First century.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars uired to, 5 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay (Hardcover)
This is a seriously great book and really should be required reading for anyone and everyone who wants to know a little about the 'The Soundtrack To Their Life'

In a world where pluggery is king maybe I should stress this is a genuine review !
As a music business contemporary of SNB although our paths , business or social very rarely crossed, It seems guess my knowledge of 'the business' from the 60's onwards is about the same as his and most of those mentioned are well known to me.

Actually also starting in the sixties I became business partners with some well established Swedes (publishers/record company owners) and through them was lucky enough to meet, and sometimes work with many of those mentioned in the earlier-pre 60's - sections of the book.
So I know enough to recommend it unreservedly.

As with SNB's earlier books the style is easy and very readable. There's a huge amount of history and background in here and so on occasions it careers on a bit relentlessly.... but invariably that's setting the scene or providing the background to a another significantly happy step in the industry of human happiness.

I do take issue with his very clear statement that the first club DJ's were in NY in '64/'65 -Sybils and the Sanctuary....Terry Noel and Francis Grasso.
Come on Simon, lets go back to very early sixties. What about the Twisted Wheel, Millionaire and many more in Manchester, Sheffield, London or Club Voom Voom in St Tropez or Johns in Rome.

Just around the corner from De Hems pub in Macclesfield Street just off London 's Shaftsbury Avenue where the entire music industry (and various Kray brothers) would liquid lunch daily there were shops selling twin decks as far back as 1962.
You should know- I met you there once with Marc Bolan. (Not that I expect you recall that part!)

But hey-- that's a small gripe. I have read at least ten books a year for the past twenty years or so about our industry -I've even been in some of them...nearly all are either US biased or locally European.
THIS BOOK IS A WELL RESEARCHED AND BRILLIANT REPORT OF THE WHOLE PERIOD -- AND SETS OUT THE DEVELOPING INDUSTRY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC IN A PARTICULARLY PERCEIVING WAY.

Like Simon I have also lived in Thailand for the past few years...with work required to re-search and write this excellent book , the comprehensive bibliography etc. I realize now why I have never bumped into him on Bangkok High Street.
I've met most of the rest of the industry there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Napier-Bell does it again - a rollicking ride through the venality and corruption of music publishing, 16 Dec. 2014
By 
Robert Potter "mojowire" (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay (Hardcover)
Superb witty acerbic history of music publishing - the bit of the industry which - up to now, anyway - has made the money. Starting waaay back, when the route to big money was flogging the sheet music, Mr N-B explores the various tricks employed to make your song sell, including bribing famous artistes to sing it; and the various tricks of the publishers to keep the money, including buying songs outright from impoverished and innocent composers, or demanding a share of the rights even when they couldn't write a note themselves. Al Jolson was credited as co-composer of hundreds of songs, despite not being able to write a note; and I remember a Dolly Parton interview in which she said she would have loved Elvis to sing I Will Always Love You (he wanted to), but she would not sign away 30% of the publishing, which was the so-called "Elvis tax" charged on every song he recorded. And, of course, the '60s were particularly renowned for the slaughter of the innocents as the Beatles, the Stones, and many others got ripped off in publishing deals because they and their managers had no idea how things worked.

The book is a fascinating tale of the rise of publishing companies in England and the US, their various interconnections, the multitude of tricks they employed to promote themselves and dish their rivals, the creation of the rival ASCAP and BMI companies to capitalise on royalty payments for broadcasts, with the arrival of records and radio, and the ill-treatment of those who actually made the music on which it all depended. If you have any interest in the development of popular music, you should read it.

And it is very very readable, as Mr N-B's books always are: though packed with information, it is no dry weighty tome, but is a jolly rollicking read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Now it all makes sense..(?), 20 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay: The dodgy business of popular music (Kindle Edition)
Intrepid undertaking, to trace all the way back to how it all started. This makes the earlier chapters of the book especially fascinating, shining a torch on the 'made-up-as-it-went-along' lifespan of what became known as the music business. Shysters and chancers abound from day one, with inconvenient events like world wars accidentally re-shaping the whole thing time and again, breathing new life into it. Also interesting to take a shot at rationalising what happened in the last couple of decades with the essential collapse of this former gigantic industry. Of course the story's not over yet, but you can enlighten those around you now in a way you never possibly could have before. Even my dad found it interesting! And you MUST read the author's first book, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, one of the first and best insider exposes written, to this day. Hilarious. Would love to meet Mr Napier Bell one of these days.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bang on the button, 16 Aug. 2014
By 
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay: The dodgy business of popular music (Kindle Edition)
Simon really knows his stuff - I worked for a major record company in the 90s - but a lot of history before 1900 was new to me.

Everyone interested in the music business should buy this well written, entertaining and enlightening book.

Wish Simon would come and take me to lunch.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A HISTORY OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS THAT IS AS RACY AS A JACKIE COLLINS SHAGFEST, 14 May 2014
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay (Hardcover)
Simon Napier-Bell is a Sixties legend. He wrote hits for Dusty Springfield, managed The Yardbirds, Marc Bolan, Japan, Wham!, and made an international superstar of George Michael. His books 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me', 'Black Vinyl, White Powder' and 'I'm Coming To Take You To Lunch' are rock-classic required reading for anyone interested in music. His latest, 'Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay', will be published by Unbound in June. I stayed up all night to finish my uncorrected proof copy, and I've gotta say ... 
Remarkable. Couldn't put it down. Simon traces the music industry right back to the early 1700s, which you might think, 'boring', but couldn't be more wrong. He does it with such cheek and irreverence that even the turgid business stuff is fascinating in all its crude contortion and dishonesty. I mean, Al Jolson, who'da thought. The book explores the birth of music publishing and copyright, charts the rise of ASCAP and PRS, introduces the earliest rock stars - such as Eva Tanguay in 1910, an even wilder performer than Britain's music hall darling Marie Lloyd, and Janis Joplin's original inspiration, surely - and explains the effect on popular music of two world wars, Payola, Beatlemania and delicious scandal in all its irresistible forms. In short, it defends the inherent 'greed, corruption, self-interest and fun' that have made the music industry tick since day dot, but does it in Simon-speak, leaving you spent and panting for a sequel. He manages to make what might easily be mistaken for a text-book history of the business into a read as racy as a Jackie Collins shagfest.
Simon, unbelievably, has just turned 75. Retire? Not on your Nellie. He's still racing around the globe from his home in Thailand, lecturing and writing and producing extravaganzas like 'Raiding The Rock Vault' in Vegas, and showing absolutely no sign of slowing down. One might go as far as to call him a human microcosm of the record industry and its inhabitants of the last fifty years. Just as Gertrude Stein presided over her salon in Paris in the 1920s, Simon now presides over his. All the world is his stage, he's a one-man hotspot, I've booked my table and I'm raising a glass as we speak. Order now, this book is set to be the talk of the town, and you don't want to look like an idiot for not having read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Another valuable tome by the music biz's greatest inside reporter., 16 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay: The dodgy business of popular music (Kindle Edition)
Incredibly detailed and courageous attempt to unravel the history of how the music business came to be, beginning at year dot. A whirlwind of activity with publishers, manufacturers, performers, etc constantly jockeying for position in the ever-burgeoning goldmine of music sales. Business by its nature is difficult to make exciting on the page, but as a document it's brilliantly researched and fills in pretty much all the gaps in your and my knowledge. It almost starts to make sense! If you haven't already, read his other books as well. They're a scream.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Ok, 1 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay: The dodgy business of popular music (Kindle Edition)
Generally interesting, spoilt by some factual errors when he mentions areas that he was not directly involved in.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative., 25 Sept. 2014
By 
Suze "Susie" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay (Hardcover)
The author is a real character.
And I like his writing style.
This book explains music publishing and how hit records have been made and sold from years back when gramophones were invented up to the present day.
A very informative and enjoyable history of modern music.
I have enjoyed it so much that I have ordered this authors other books on the music industry.
he makes history fun.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews