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Russell C. Brennan

Music Business Bastards

When the original version of this book was released No.1 hit artists like Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Adam Ant, Bill Drummond (KLF) and others plus legendary Factory Records label boss (the late) Tony Wilson said the book was essential reading for any artist serious about getting on in the music industry.
Even the first band that read and followed the book, ‘Soho’, got a top 3 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. («Hippy Chick»).
Fast forward to 2013 and the music industry has changed beyond all recognition, so a new version of this book was much needed.
Information about how to stand out from the crowd, how to do things on a shoestring budget and compete with the major companies and what rip offs lie in wait still stands up today. It also features the shock revelation that musicians are now being ripped off on two sides that will really open your eyes.
The music business has not lost its guile, because the new 360 deals are sending shivers down many an artist's spine, but it’s the Internet that is the new shark on the scene. The web is ideally named because it captures its unsuspecting pray.
All is revealed in this new book, as well as a look at how the music industry got in such a state. The book reaches a chilling conclusion, but also gives an alternative way for things to go, making it a thought provoking read.
So, what makes this book more authentic than others? The author has worked on all sides of the industry having initially been a successful record shop manager and international D.J. He then progressed to running his own influential record label and publishing company which started new music trends and genres and is still in business 20 years on.
He wrote an influential fanzine now housed in the V&A. He has produced 250 tracks released worldwide and is included on one website listing of ‘The top 20 most innovative record producers of all time’.
He is an established photographer and 15 of his photos will feature in a London exhibition this year ‘The most iconic rock photography of the last six decades’.
He has been in a number of bands, written about 50 songs that have been commercially released. He has also been advisor to The BBC and DR. Martens, amongst others. He was also early to embrace the Internet in 1991.
So in essence there is no substitute for first hand experience.
It may be the case that others want to go down the same route and just experience things first hand, but as Confucius once said, «If you want to know what’s up the road ahead, ask the man coming back down it.»
A smart person would do that because knowledge is the key to doing well in any business, it also helps you not to get ripped off.
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December Books UK
Stan Hayward
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