Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: June 2014
Duration: 15 hours 7 minutes
Cowboys and Indies is the definitive record-business bible, chronicling the pioneers who set the stylus on the most important labels and musical discoveries of the last century. The narrative follows all the musical trends and developments from the phonograph to the Internet age as it delves behind the big business of corporate hit machines and the diligent industry of small, curated labels. Drawing from memoirs, archives, and over one hundred exclusive interviews with legends of the record industry—including the founders and CEOs of Virgin, United Artists, Atlantic, and A&M Records—this book reveals the secrets behind the hit-making craft.
Cowboys and Indies focuses on the game changers—the indie founders, talent scouts, legendary A&R men—believers who understood the music business was two distinct parts: first music, then business. An industry insider himself, Gareth Murphy culls numerous behind-the-scenes anecdotes to bring together a clear genealogical map of the record industry’s 130-year international history. Among its revelations, Cowboys and Indies highlights the remarkable similarities between the industry crash of the 1920s and ’30s and the recent CD crash.
Witty and evocative, Cowboys and Indies offers a fresh panoramic view of the cycles and grooves of pop music and is sure to top the charts with music industry classics like Hitmaker and The Mansion on the Hill.
“Record labels, at their best, are invariably driven by the taste, the personality, and the ambition of one man, or woman—this book fascinatingly charts their course, their perversity, their bloody-mindedness. It’s those men, those labels, that found and broke the artists who have created our musical world.”—Martin Mills, founder of the Beggars Group