Appetite for Self-destruction

Appetite for Self-destruction

The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age

Book - 2009
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Recounts for the first time the epic story of the precipitous rise and fall of the recording industry over the past three decades, when the success of the CD turned the music business into one of the most glamorous, high-profile industries in the world--and the advent of file sharing brought it to its knees. In a fast-paced account full of larger-than-life personalities, journalist Knopper shows that, after the wealth and excess of the '80s and '90s, Sony, Warner, and the other big players brought about their own downfall through years of denial and bad decisions in the face of dramatic advances in technology. Based on interviews with more than two hundred music industry sources--from Warner Music chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. to renegade Napster creator Shawn Fanning--Knopper is the first to offer such a detailed and sweeping contemporary history of the industry's wild ride.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2009
ISBN: 9781416552154
Branch Call Number: 384 KNO
Characteristics: xvi, 301 p. ; 24 cm


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May 02, 2018

"This industry is like George W. Bush getting elected to a third term," aptly remarked the president of the indie label TVT Records in 2008. 'Appetite For Self-Destruction' chronicles that infamous business from multiple points of view while concentrating on the higher-ups and middle-manager types, the book going through the 1979 to 2009 period with both boom and bust moments illuminated. Author Steve Knopper's prose pulls no punches and calls out multiple individuals for their horrible lack of foresight.

Ironically enough, lower-level executives frequently see the writing on the wall and call for changes such as the widespread return of cheap EPs and singles on CD, yet they get constantly ignored. All sorts of technological innovations from the decline of vinyl records to the proliferation of the MP3 face boneheaded ignorance by the music industry at large. While they end up spending years and years making money hand-over-fist, the companies pursue policies such as aggressive litigation and continued payola that soon haunt them dearly. As a companion to the equally excellent book 'How Music Got Free', which focuses on somewhat different sides of the same subject, Knopper's work fascinatingly details what all went wrong.


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