Readers of The Word will recall the author from the articles he occasionally wrote for the magazine. Here he takes an in depth look at the complex world of the lucrative afterlife of artists musical estates after their demise, and how death can paradoxically breathe new life into many an artists flagging fortunes. Estates now generate millions of dollars each year, leading to some artists having a more lucrative (and longer) career in death than they had while they were still in the land of the living. Forde looks at some of the biggest musical estates in history – Presley, Jackson, Hendrix and Bowie among others – and forensically examines how they’ve kept the artists names in the forefront of fans minds and their musical legacies alive, ensuring along the way that the all important money keeps on rolling in. There are interviews with lawyers, record company executives and archivists as he examines key questions such as the exploitation of artists archives, what happens when heirs fall out, why not leaving a will is still surprisingly (almost unbelievably) common, and how they cope when scandal hits. He also looks to the future and considers why many estates are now being sold and the burgeoning exploitation of holographic and AI technologies. I found this an absolutely fascinating book, although I would caution that the layman or casual reader could perhaps find all the detail a bit dry and over technical at times. It’s very long and very comprehensive, obviously the product of many hours of painstaking research, but if you want to discover, for example, how Michael Jackson’s estate has earned over two billion dollars in the last ten years and how Elvis still generates around forty million dollars annually then this is definitely the book you’ve been waiting for!
Length of Read:Long
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
The business of the music business.
One thing you’ve learned
Much as I enjoyed this book, the reading experience would have been much improved had it not been published in such torturously small print!