Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry

Author:Gareth Murphy

Maybe not epic but certainly comprehensive history of recorded music from the development of wax cylinders right through to downloads. For me, Murphy spent a bit too much time on the very early years of Talking Machine manufacture and the move from cylinders to discs we would recognise today. The story starts to get interesting after WW2 and even more so in the 60s and 70s when the likes of Clive Davis and David Geffen enter the picture as well as Chris Blackwell of Island and Dave Robinson of Stiff. I could have read a lot more about this period and less about Thomas Edison. Surprisingly, Motown was glossed over a bit but overall it was a good, informative read.

Length of Read:Medium

Might appeal to people who enjoyed…

Pete Doggett’s You Never Give Me Your Money

One thing you’ve learned

Indie labels are good at the creative stuff but usually can’t run a business that well.