Having managed in the music industry for 10 yrs I've given up on the growing number of books that claim to offer you THE definitive guide to underestanding the business.Many are too general to be a safe guide,never grasping the range of deals on offer, or too US biased to translate into a different setting, others written by laywers who need to get out more and speak english instead of legaleze. Here is a book that is both comprehensive and interesting. Recommended by AIM [the association of independent music],the UK trade body for independent labels it gives a good UK perspective but will put you in good stead should america beckon!
This book delivers a much-needed breath of fresh air to the already stagnated market of music business books. It cuts through the pretentions of a business that tries to keep it's enigmatic nature and details exactly what is needed to survive in what seems a glamourous yet harsh environment. Ann Harrison is undoubtedly someone who knows what she is talking about. As a Music Industry Management student, I find this book indispensible.
I bought this book as I felt it would be much easier than my usual method of self-teaching (i.e. wading through a morass of semi-relevant web pages as recommended by Google etc.), and it has helped a great deal. The book covers most aspects of the legal side to the music business, mainly from the (budding) artist point of view, and, with the aid of some historical cases, gives some good advice with regards to contracts etc. on what to do & look out for, as well as what not to do. The book is easy to digest; jargon is broken down nicely, and the text covers most areas that are of interest. I have given this a 4-star review as the price is "a little on the steep side" (£65 RRP!) - I bought mine second-hand otherwise I'd have steered clear. The book is a great starting point, and much cheaper than having it all explained to you by a lawyer, but further reading is encouraged to give a clearer definition in some areas - it's not a definitive guide, particularly as it was written back in 2000 and therefore it only touches on the subjects of internet-based music purchasing/contracts/legalities, which is where I imagine a lot of people will now be looking for advice. Well-suited to students as a course reference book, although if you can I'd book it out from the library...
This book is the most comprehensive guide to being in the music business. Whether you are an artist or Manager, Lawyer or record company employee this book can answer some of those questions you always wanted to know the answers to. Even though it is written by a lawyer it is simple to read and isn't fluffed up with all the usual buzz words and jargon, just plain and simple English. Of course their is a footnote section for the budding music Lawyers to enjoy but for the rest of us in musicville, it's a handy bible that should be in everybodies briefcase or guitar case.