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Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age Paperback – 1 Jun 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition
Paperback, 1 Jun 2009
£1,553.89 £0.01
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Product details

  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (1 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847371361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847371362
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"[A] stark accounting of the mistakes major record labels have made since the end of the LP era and the arrival of digital music.... A wide-angled, morally complicated view of the current state of the music business.... [Knopper] suggests that with even a little foresight, record companies could have adapted to the Internet's brutish and quizzical new realities and thrived.... He paints a devastating picture of the industry's fumbling, corruption, greed and bad faith over the decades." -- "The New York Times" "The music industry is toast, my friends. And congrats to "Rolling Stone" vet Steve Knopper, whose fantastic new book" Appetite for Self-Destruction" explains why"-- "The Village Voice" .,."Laced with anecdote, buttressed by detailed accounts of the most flagrant record-industry transgressions, "Appetite" (its title nicked from that of the Guns N' Roses debut disc) is an enthralling read, equal parts anger and regret. Knopper's writing is sharp, his approach sharper..."-- "The Boston Globe" "[Knopper has a] nose for the story's human element.... The best parts of the book, such as Knopper's analysis of the late-'90s teen-pop bubble (and how it ultimately burst), move with the style and drama of a great legal thriller -- think "Michael Clayton" with headphones....This is gripping stuff. Crank it up."-- "Time Out New York" "Knopper, a" Rolling Stone" music business writer, thoughtfully reports on the record racket's slow, painful march into financial ruin and irrelevance, starting with the near-catastrophic sales slump that began in 1979 after the demise of disco. Though the labels persevered, they finally lost control of their product when they chose to ignore the possibilities of the Internet.... Knopper piles on examples of incompetence, making a convincing case that the industry's collapse is a drawn-out suicide." -- "Los Angeles Times"


In an engaging, fast-paced, up-close-and-personal narrative, Appetite for Self-Destruction recounts the music industry's wild 30-year ride through the digital age. Based on interviews with over 200 music industry sources-from Warner Music chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. to renegade Napster creator Shawn Fanning-as well as assiduous research in legal documents, unpublished memoirs, Billboard reports, and so on, Steve Knopper, a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, offers a contemporary history of big music that is more comprehensive and entertaining than any other book out there. From the birth of the compact disk, through the explosion of CD sales in the 80s and 90s, the emergence of Napster, and the secret talks that led to ITunes, to the current collapse of the industry as CD sales plummet, Knopper takes us inside the board rooms, recording studios, private estates, garage computer labs, company jets, corporate infighting, and secret deals of the big names and behind-the-scenes players who made it all happen.

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