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Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story Paperback – 30 Oct 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Soundcheck Books (30 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957570066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957570061
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.9 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Comprises fresh interviews with the main acts, excellent levels of research and conveys the sheer absurdity of this mad label s brilliance.' - Q Magazine

'A passionate and detailed book that s simply a must-read. Stunning.' (10/10) - Vive Le Rock

'Stiff aficionados will appreciate this.' - --Classic Pop

'Coming into being just as Pub Rock was giving way to the rumblings of Punk, Stiff operated more or less as a guerilla outfit, being capable of signing an act on a whim...Be Stiff is a fabulous account of heady times and a perfect Christmas present for gentlemen of a certain age.' - The Herald

'Richard Balls has fond memories of his first encounter with the musical maverick spirit of Stiff Records...Thirty-three years later the cousin of Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor and Labour MP for Morley and Outwood, has published a history of the label he became such a fan of in his teens.' - --The Yorkshire Post

'The story of inspirational independent Stiff Records has been Malcolm Wyatt's music book of 2014.He spoke to author Richard Balls about this legendarily chaotic yet influential label.' - The Lancashire Evening Post

Be Stiff was featured in a Newstalk interview by Tom Dunne with Ken Sweeney, who writes for the Irish Sun (5 January 2015)

'Richard Balls' new book Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story is half great because it serves as a series of biographies outlining the early careers of such significant artists and half great because it s so fun to read about all the outrageousness of and surrounding Stiff.' -Psychobabble

"It s an instructive music-industry story told insightfully by the author, who digs deep and often with the help of former label staff and music acts, some of whom don t hold back in biting the hand that once fed them." - --The Irish Times

About the Author

Richard Balls was a news journalist for 20 years and now works in communications. At 14 years old, he went to his first gig - Madness supported by The Belle Stars - an event that sparked a lifelong love of Stiff Records. His acclaimed first book, Sex & Drugs & Rock N Roll: The Life Of Ian Dury, was published in 2000 by Omnibus Press. He spent three years researching and writing Be Stiff, interviewing more than 50 people along the way. Richard lives in Norwich with his wife Anne, daughters Katherine and Jessie, two cats and a dog.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A great read about a ludicrous record label. Everyone growing up in the late 1970s/early 1980s will be aware of Stiff records and this book beautifully charts the rise and rapid fall of the label. Well written with lots of great original material - with the biggest surprise being Shane MacGowan's lucid recall of events. Highly recommended for fans of the label.
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A well researched book, and a great read. If you love British music you should read this book. Stiff is legendary and those driving the label introduced some truly legendary artists into the mainstream and gave many an opportunity they would never had without them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant account of an amazing record company that broke all the rules in the music business.
Found this hard to put down - great read if you are a fan of the likes of Ian Dury, Elvis Costello etc
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Format: Paperback
As the other reviewers point out: the research is top notch, the writing likewise. So, with bonuses such as cool writing and research, on the bedding of the story such as Stiff Records, the book is a really worthwhile excursion.

There was quite a few bands I was unfamiliar with, but glad to find out about. It's a really cool book and well worth checking out.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic read about a truly disruptive and exciting record label. It's well researched and you can just tell by reading it how much the author enjoyed putting this book together.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic overview of an iconic label.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book history insight
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely thorough
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