COWBOYS AND INDIES is the story of the 'record men' - the mavericks and moguls who have shaped the music industry from the first sound machines of the 1850s through to today's digital streams.
Men like John Hammond, who discovered Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen; Sam Phillips and Berry Gordy, founders of the Sun and Motown labels; Chris Blackwell, who brought Bob Marley and reggae music into the mainstream; Geoff Travis who built Rough Trade and launched The Smiths; or genre-busting producer Rick Rubin, who recorded Run DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash.
Gareth Murphy has drawn on more than 100 interviews with music business legends, as well as extensive archive research, to bring us the behind-the-scenes stories of how music gets made and sold. He explains, too, how the industry undergoes regular seismic changes. We may think the digital revolution is a big deal, but in the 1920s the arrival of radio and the Wall Street Crash wiped out 95 per cent of record sales. But, as we all know, you can't stop the music ... A fascinating account of the way recorded music has evolved, touched people and helped shape popular culture as we know it today. -- Sir George Martin, legendary record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician If this book was a group, I would definitely sign them. It is that good. -- Geoff Travis, founder of Rough Trade A fascinating trawl through music industry history ... thoroughly researched -- Will Hodgkinson * Times * An all encompassing history of not only what might be termed the hardware of popular music from Thomas Edison's cylinders to the MP3 downloads of today, but the machinations, artistic high jinks and public scams that accompanied it -- John Clarke * Independent * Compendious and tantalising ... The research is solid ... His original interviews - with Elektra's Jac Holzman, Def Jam/American impresario and super-producer Rick Rubin, Sire boss Seymour Stein, and Virgin's Simon Draper among many - are candid and insightful. -- Kitty Empire * Observer * Entertaining ... comprehensive ... an illuminating history that throws new light on familiar landmarks ... excellent. -- Graeme Thomson * Mail on Sunday * Enjoyable ... colourful ... Murphy paints lively portraits -- Helen Brown * Telegraph * This lovingly written book ... is a celebration of the indie heroes who shaped the industry while giving groundbreaking artists a platform ... Like the Last Shop Standing of record labels, Cowboys And Indies tells their story * Record Collector Magazine
Cowboys and Indies