Cowboys and Indies Hardcover – 10 Jul 2014
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A must-read for any music lover.--Parade.com, 20 of the Summer's Best Books. A fascinating account of the way recorded music has evolved, touched people and helped shape popular culture as we know it today.--Sir George Martin, legendary record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician. Record labels, at their best, are invariably driven by the taste, the personality, and the ambition of one man, or woman - this book fascinatingly charts their course, their perversity, their bloody mindedness. It's those men, those labels, that found and broke the artists who have created our musical world. --Martin Mills, founder of Beggar's Group Just when you thought the record label beast was dead and buried, along comes Gareth Murphy with a tour de force that makes you almost want to dance with that devil again. Through COWBOYS AND INDIES, new artists will get a sense of history that will enlighten their success and lessen the pain of being ripped off! --Andrew Loog Oldham, Rolling Stones producer, Immediate Records founder. Murphy captures the ever-changing nature of the record industry as it ebbs and flows with trends, technology and time... He lets the record execs, producers, and talent scouts tell their own stories, giving this work a personal feel and providing music lovers with first-hand accounts of how many great artists were discovered, what it is like when labels fight over bands, and the perilous nature of being too big or too small... Through setting out to document the lineage of the record industry, which he's done, Murphy has as well created a history of popular music told from the inside out to give music fans and historians a new and dynamic perspective of this oft-covered topic. Publishers Weekly Gareth Murphy's Cowboys and Indies The Epic History of the Record Industry comes just as billed...this is a rich and rewarding tale, a survey course on the history of rec --Various
The definitive history of the music industry --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This takes us from the founding fathers of the recording industry, through Edwardian times and into the roaring Twenties. If we imagine that the music industry is now threatened by the internet and downloading, we soon learn what any lovers of history of always aware of in great historical events – this is nothing new. Indeed, the 1920’s saw the recording industry spiralling into depression with the advent of radio and it never really recovered throughout the inter-war years.
Of course, after the second world war, we enter a new era and the 1950’s saw the advent of rock and roll. Before long we are thrown into an unfolding story of great music – Sun Records, Motown, Phil Spector, The Beatles and more… Much of this part of the book was known to me and, in a book which attempts to cover so much, you can obviously just touch on all of these figures. Still, anybody who is anybody, is covered here – from major record labels, to indie labels, from record producers to managers to artists. This also, as I said at the beginning of this review, looks at the future of recorded music and gives a good overview of its history. I found the whole book interesting; particularly those early years – and fascinating characters – which I knew little about. A good read for all music fans.
Some reviewers have commented on this or that label or band not being mentioned, but this was a huge industry and this book charts a course through it that gives a good picture of a pretty big cross section of it.
This is a hugely entertaining and informative book for anyone with even a passing interest in the record business, from its beginnings, through its golden age, and on to its era of excess and decline.
If you're looking for an in depth and critical analysis of popular culture - look elsewhere. If you're looking for something to tickle your fancy then this really is the book for you.
Go get it!
He deals well with the tension which has always existed between the majors and the indies. Ultimately, the successful indies of the 70 and 80s - A&M, Island, Chrysalis, Mute - did not have the financial clout to compete in the States in the days of payola. The chapter dealing with the rise and fall of Casablanca is a gem.
The one indie giant from that era who continues to this day is Martin Mills, founder of the Beggars Group. He has read the market changes better than the rest. As one former colleague said "If you were to be washed up on a desert island, the man you would want in charge of the rations is Martin Mills".
Gareth Murphy has written a fascinating book which has been researched with diligence but written with the lightest of touches. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A comprehensive historical account, detailing the rise and fall of both major and indie labels, and the record men that ran them. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
An awesome read for anyone interested in music and the business.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Got this for my husband as it is a comprehensive history of the music business. He loved it but strictly for music nerds!Published 12 months ago by maeve kennedy
Was enjoying this until I realised I was in the 80's and there had been no mention of key DIY labels such as Dischord Records and SST (amongst many others) which took a complete... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mr Foll
A brilliant perspective on the history of music that leads to a new understanding of it. It encourages you to make links that you otherwise would not necessarily make and helps... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Joanna Carr
I am not happy with this purchase what so ever. For the price of it you are under the impression that it is new for one thing, as it also does mention that the book was preowned. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Corey Plant
Good read. A book about music that includes the musicians but is not all about the musicians. it interstingly and helpfully describes the history of and development of recorded... Read morePublished 15 months ago by bluemoon
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