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The Soundtrack of My Life Paperback – 5 Nov 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 586 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (5 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476714797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476714790
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 487,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The book shows why Davis holds a rarefied status in the music world -- an executive almost as famous as his performers."

"The Midas Touch. Until now, no one has written a book that reveals as much about the industry as Mr. Davis' book does. It is hard to imagine a better survey of popular music during its 50 year commercial peak than this one."--The Wall Street Journal

"The pages of "The Soundtrack of My Life" are filled with fantastic scenes and revelations."--The Los Angeles Times

"Who put the bomp, Barry Mann asked in his 1961 single, in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Mr. Mann wanted to shake that person's hand. For much of the 1960's, 70's, 80's 90's and 00's, a pretty good answer to that existential question was Clive Davis. As the head of Columbia Records and then Arista, the label he founded, Mr. Davis had a knack for introducing good singers to good material. The results tended to be explosive, as if he were dropping packages of Mentos into two-liter bottles of Diet Coke."--The New York Times

"There are so many incredible stories; this book is literally a walk through musical history."--Ryan Seacrest

The Midas Touch. Until now, no one has written a book that reveals as much about the industry as Mr. Davis book does. It is hard to imagine a better survey of popular music during its 50 year commercial peak than this one. --The Wall Street Journal"

His enormous success comes from luck and a phenomenal gift for recognizing, nurturing and selling talent. His drive helped make him one of the most visionary music men. In his memoir, "The Soundtrack of My Life," the man who guided stars from Springsteen to Houston shares the secrets of his success. --People"

Who put the bomp, Barry Mann asked in his 1961 single, in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Mr. Mann wanted to shake that person s hand. For much of the 1960 s, 70 s, 80 s 90 s and 00 s, a pretty good answer to that existential question was Clive Davis. As the head of Columbia Records and then Arista, the label he founded, Mr. Davis had a knack for introducing good singers to good material. The results tended to be explosive, as if he were dropping packages of Mentos into two-liter bottles of Diet Coke. --The New York Times"

There are so many incredible stories; this book is literally a walk through musical history. --Ryan Seacrest"

"The pages of The Soundtrack of My Life are filled with fantastic scenes and revelations."--The Los Angeles Times

"His enormous success comes from luck and a phenomenal gift for recognizing, nurturing and selling talent. His drive helped make him one of the most visionary music men. In his memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life, the man who guided stars from Springsteen to Houston shares the secrets of his success."--People

About the Author

Clive Davis is the Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music. He has worked with innumerable musical stars and media personalities. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he attended New York University and Harvard Law School.

Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where his work has appeared since 1980. He has written for numerable music and entertainment magazines and newspapers. A former on-air correspondent and editorial director at VH1, he has contributed to a myriad of television specials and programs. DeCurtis holds a Ph.D. in American literature from Indiana University and he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and the Gradudate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is great book, the memoirs of a man who's become one of the symbols of modern music, great music taste, an incredible ear for talent, and a vision to develop it. Very informative, and fun to read. It's second hand, but in very good condition, a former item of the Brooklyn public library :) What a great way to have this book be read and enjoyed again. Packaging was good, delivery took a while, but I'm pleased with the service and the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The problem with Clive Davis is that he's not an interesting person. Nor, despite his tiresome efforts to appear otherwise, is he artistic. Nor is he - ever - funny. When he isn't trying to talk up his A&R talents (em, basically Barry Manilow and Whitney Houston?) he's invariably name dropping in the most irritating, long-winded monologue. He's really a lawyer and in fact the best parts of this book are when he describes deals - the only field, in my opinion, where he's in command - convincing. This is a pig of a book. It's badly written and should have been liberally edited. The introduction is a comical turn off. All I could see as I struggled through it, was his ghost writer gritting his teeth and thinking of the money. I also imagined the publisher shaking his head thinking "oh jeez, hopefully his name will sell copies." Clive Davis doesn't engage in talking, he doesn't really appear interested in other people. He lectures. Everything comes back to him and how grateful some celeb was about some badly told incident.

Imagine a musically challenged, boring egotist talking about how important he was to the music business and you have an idea what this book is like. He's so obsessed with himself, his sense of historical perspective is warped. Just one example: he moans that his predecessor Goddard Lieberson dared to say (during the post Clive era in the mid seventies) that he, and not Clive, had first embraced rock music at Columbia. Which historically is true. Seminal Bob Dylan albums like Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde happened on Lieberson's watch, 1965-66. But for some unknown reason, Clive Davis talks like he started counter culture - just because he attended Monterey in 1967 and poached Janis Joplin in 1968 - about two years after the whole hippie scene exploded in Los Angeles. Clive Davis was a successful business man of no cultural significance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
500+ pages of self congratulations....total inability to put the record labels and artists he was involved with in any industry context. While rambling on about some unheard of artist, he omits any insight as to why ,for example the Beatles,Bowie, Beach Boys, Madonna,Michael Jackson,etc etc were all elsewhere.
A lawyer by training, specialising in artists contracts, with, his words, particular attention to detail, he orders up a $75,000 kitchen remodel(without an estimate??), does not query the bill with the supplier, asks a fellow employee to look into it, -and is surprised when Columbia fires him ,for expense fraud - the bill having been taken care of by them, apparently. Unbeknown to him. Failed to notice that he had not paid it .So unfair . Not his fault . Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Empty and lifeless. Contains very little information that isn't widely available in the public domain. Relentlessly pushes a single, simple theme: nothing, nobody much happened in the last 40 years of pop music unless CD, with his unexplained genius, matched the right song to the right singer. Text is flat and uninteresting.
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Format: Paperback
I just don't understand the negative reviews of this book. Okay some of it is a monotonous reviewing of all the deals he has done but that is only about five per cent of the book. Apart for that it is an honest book about a man with a very interesting life indeed.
If you are interested in music and how it all works this is a must read.
Davis also has some good insights on the mystery of life and some of which I had never seen discussed before.
Don't be put off by the negative reviews this is a really great book.
I read the hardback I got from Amazon.com and have just bought a softback here to read again on an overseas trip. I wouldn't have done that if it was not a really great book. It's up there in the top 20 of business biographies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a little ploddy in the writing style (compared to someone like Simon Napier Bell, for instance) - could've maybe picked a better ghost writer, but nevertheless a fascinating insight into decades spent at the top of the industry.
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