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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars uired to,
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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.
2 of 2 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 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.
6 of 7 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,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a dangerous book.,
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bang on the button,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Boom and Decay,
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A sparkling read........ now we know why so few musicians and songwriters ever became rich....... plenty of record companies and publishers did....... I recommend this and the other books by Simon Napier-Bell
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did I really know anything about the history of the ...,
Did I really know anything about the history of the music business before reading this book? No. Do I now after reading it? Yes. Can this history be superseded by another writer? I don't think so. Simon Napier-Bell is incredibly erudite and a role model for anyone wanting a life beyond 65. Simon doesn't do retirement. His telling of an art form's history that has impacted upon all of us zings off the page. Everybody you already know about will look differently, and usually in their own words. No space for sentimentalism here yet the human touches are profound - I never thought I'd feel sorry for Madonna. Simon's genius is in the details he extrapolates and expands on - a Big Bang of musical bravado. Rarely do I find myself rereading a page or chapter because there was too much to glean first time around but it's a frequent experience with TRRBDA. With plenty of shock value, a foreword, end word, copious bibliography and more indices than the Stock Exchange, if you're still not convinced this is the tome you need on your coffee table then check out the subscribers list at the back: Simon Cowell, Rupert Everett, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Tim Rice...
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Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay: The dodgy business of popular music by Simon Napier-Bell