Let legendary rock manager Simon Napier-Bell take you inside the (dodgy) world of popular music – not just a creative industry, but a business that has made people rich beyond their wildest dreams.
He balances seductive anecdotes – pulling back the curtain on the gritty and absurd side of the industry – with an insightful exploration of the relationship between creativity and money.
This book describes the evolution of the industry from 1713 – the year parliament granted writers ownership over what they wrote – to today, when a global, 100 billion pound industry is controlled by just three major players: Sony, Universal and Warner. Inside you will uncover some little-known facts about the industry, including:
How a formula for writing hit songs in the 1900s helped create 50,000 of the best-known songs of all time.
How infighting in the American pre-war music industry shut down traditional radio and created an opening for country music, race records and rock'n'roll.
How Jewish immigrants and black jazz musicians dancing cheek-to-cheek created a template for all popular music that followed.
How rock tours became the biggest, quickest, sleaziest and most profitable ventures the music industry has ever seen.
After reading Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay, you'll never listen to music in the same way again.
"The world’s highest-grade rock’n’roll gossip . . . Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay is a sharp, fast-moving and beautifully written popular history spanning three centuries of wheeling, dealing, horse-trading, cigar-chewing enterprise and skullduggery"
"There’s music and there’s the music business. And there’s the relationship between the two. Simon Napier-Bell pulls no punches. He tells this roller coaster of a story like it is: engaging, amusing, heartbreaking, enraging and appalling with every turn of the page"
"One of the best music books I’ve ever read"
"A fascinating, witty and optimistic music biz history, by one of its legendary insiders . . . An essential text"
"The only history of pop music you’ll ever have to read"