Top positive review
The full story of the sad demise of a British icon
26 February 2019
Eamonn Forde has put together a thorough and highly readable account of the fall and fall of the most famous name in the British music industry, EMI. Most of the major players in the story spoke to the author, not least Guy Hands, and this will likely stand as the official record of what happened.
As someone who was there at the time of the events of this book it brought back many memories and more than the occasional traumatic flashback to what was a highly turbulent few years. In the end, as with any complex story, there isn't a simple roll call of heroes and villains (although a few do spring to mind for the latter category). Mistakes, arrogance, hubris, terrible ideas - yes plenty of those, but in the end just a feeling of a sad waste and a series of really poor choices. Sure the record industry was going through a terrible time, and yes the financial crash happened at the worst possible moment for Terra Firma and their financing of the deal, but when you have a label with The Beatles, Queen, Coldplay, Robbie Williams and more as they did at the time of purchase, well that's really not that bad a hand is it?