Dirty Little Secrets of the Record Business: Why So Much Music You Hear Sucks

Hank Bordowitz, Author . A Capella $25 (330p) ISBN 978-1-55652-643-5

Music journalist Bordowitz (Turning Points in Rock and Roll ) delivers a concise summary of the current state of the record business, with fascinating details delivered in a no-frills style ("The RIAA has compared the practice of downloading songs 'without permission' to shoplifting, but whose permission do the downloaders need?"). Unless you are a Britney Spears fan, Bordowitz presents a fairly convincing argument that current music "sucks" by looking at "how the system that turned music into a commodity ultimately failed, trivializing its product and the user of that product." He presents an inside look at how the music business works, from artist management to production and distribution, as well as current music technology. And a section on "The Messy Suicide of Commercial Radio" is an excellent overview of the change over the last three decades from the free-form radio formats of the 1960s to the homogenized niche corporate radio stations of the '90s and today. In the end, this is an eye-opening look at why, as Bordowitz quotes music mogul David Geffen, "If Joni Mitchell were just starting out today,... she'd have trouble getting radio air play." (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/06/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-56976-389-6
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-56976-391-9
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