Thoroughly researched and engaging, with a spitfire pace as rhythmic as its subject.



Journalist Knopper (MusicHound Swing!: The Essential Album Guide, 1998, etc.) examines the tumultuous free fall of America’s music business.

You didn’t have to be a marketing genius in the 1980s to know that the introduction of digital media would soon throw the record industry onto an entirely new course. The 1982 birth of the compact disc changed all the rules. Rather than embracing this state-of-the-art technology, unprepared music companies evolved slowly and with much resistance. As a result, the pecking order changed and then imploded. Beginning in 1979 with what he terms the “post-disco crash,” Knopper explores how the tables turned in the recording industry as it desperately attempted to keep up with a rapidly changing marketing landscape. The companies finally figured out how to capitalize on and reap renewed profits from the CD in the ’90s. Then the new millennium brought with it an all-new animal, the MP3, throwing the industry a curve that traditionalist star-makers were unprepared for. Entities like Rhapsody, with its music subscription service, and Apple Computer, with the iPod and iStore, altered the basic musical product from shiny discs to purchasable sound bytes. They changed the shape of the market, wresting control and profits from the once-mighty record companies. Today, with YouTube, MySpace and computer recording/mixing programs like ProTools, musicians no longer need corporations to provide studio time and publicity. Industry players scramble to find new means of profitability in a continuing downward spiral. Examining digital downloading, Internet piracy and the Recording Industry Association of America’s battles with Napster, Knopper offers loss-benefit ratios and what-if scenarios. His convincing arguments pinpoint where things went wrong and how the industry could have prevailed with a little foresight.

Thoroughly researched and engaging, with a spitfire pace as rhythmic as its subject.

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4165-5215-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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