Read How Soon Is Now? The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music (1975-2005) by Richard King Online


'If you look at all the people involved - Ivo, Tony Wilson, McGee, Geoff Travis, myself - nobody had a clue about running a record company, and that was the best thing about it.' - Daniel Miller, Mute RecordsRichard King's How Soon Is Now? is a landmark survey of the record labels that make up the backbone of the independent music industry and the hugely inspirational, ecc'If you look at all the people involved - Ivo, Tony Wilson, McGee, Geoff Travis, myself - nobody had a clue about running a record company, and that was the best thing about it.' - Daniel Miller, Mute RecordsRichard King's How Soon Is Now? is a landmark survey of the record labels that make up the backbone of the independent music industry and the hugely inspirational, eccentric, impulsive and visionary figures who created them.One of the most tangible aftershocks of punk was its urgency to prompt individuals into action. Document your reality: do it yourself. From this, a generation was inspired and, with often zero financial planning or business sense, in bedrooms, garages and sheds, labels such as Factory, Rough Trade, Mute, 4AD, Beggars Banquet, Warp, Creation and Domino began, shifting the musical landscape and trading on an ethos and identity no brand consultant would now dare dream of. Musicians were encouraged to do whatever the hell they wanted and damn the consequences. From humble beginnings, some of our most influential artists were allowed to thrive: Orange Juice, New Order, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Teenage Fanclub, Broadcast, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, and Arctic Monkeys, to name but a handful. This is the story, set to an incredible soundtrack, of the enormous scale of the passions, the size of the egos, and the true extent of the madness of the mavericks who had the vision and bloody-mindedness to turn the music world on its head....

Title : How Soon Is Now? The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music (1975-2005)
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780571243907
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 624 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

How Soon Is Now? The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music (1975-2005) Reviews

  • Mark Love
    2019-03-16 13:20

    I don't think I've ever read a 450+ page book faster.This is a lovingly researched and retold insiders tale of how independent music was produced and distributed from the heady days of punk, through to the Arctic Monkeys. Rightfully centred on Rough Trade, the book tells of the excesses, artistry and bloody-mindedness that characterised making music outside of the majors.Of course the many well-told tales of Factory and Creation are included, and even embellished beyond what I've read dozens of times before, but the book goes much further looking at other influential labels such as Mute, 4AD, Blast First, Fire, etc, the cast of mavericks behind them, and the bands you will have heard of (Depeche Mode, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Spacemen 3) along with those you won't.As someone who is an avid Bill Drummond fan, the many many anecdotes and antics, plus the dedicated chapter on the KLF were extremely interesting, and contained much that was new, and confirmed much that was previously apocryphal. Including the original plans for the infamous Brit Awards performance - much more than just a dead sheep and a machine gun firing blanks, ouch.Richard King works for Domino Records, and so it is fitting that the book concludes with tales of Franz Ferdinand and Artic Monkey's choosing Domino over the majors, although the golden age of independence now seems to be past with the appearance of 'mandies' (majors masquerading as indies), and their associated financial clout. If there is one flaw in the book it is the lack of interest in the independent electronic music labels - there is an excellent chapter on Warp, and some earlier references to Rhythm King, but not a mention of heavyweight independent trailblazers such as Ninja Tunes. And there is no speculation on where 'independent' is heading in the truly independent new era of self-production and digital distribution, but I guess that is covered amply elsewhere.I will not be lending this book to anyone.

  • Neil Dewhurst
    2019-02-28 11:12

    "How Soon is Now?" is an in-depth look at 30 years of independent music. It sticks mostly to the UK scene, but there's a regular sprinkling of US artists, British bands (mostly) failing to crack the US market, and legendary players in the US like Seymour Stein.It's not for the faint-hearted - the tightly woven nature of the indie circuit can make sections covering less familiar musical territory seem somewhat confusing, and occasionally slightly dry as you try to keep up with yet another confusing network of licensing and distribution deals between indies and majors, but across its 600 or so pages there is plenty for anyone with an interest in the music to get stuck into: from Depeche Mode and The Smiths, through KLF, Pixies, Happy Mondays, to The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.Through a sheer lack of business sense (or a finely cultivated appearance of the same), the absence of accounting, the refusal to even have contracts in some cases, the hideous over-spending, spiralling debts and the constant fear of liquidation, it's a minor miracle that some of this music ever made it out of the studio and onto the shelves.The people who, in the end, we have to thank for somehow making it happen, for fighting off the more pernicious practices of the major labels while at the same time making use of the opportunities, not to mention the cold hard cash, that they sometimes offered, are pretty much all in here somewhere, all speaking candidly about the giddy highs and all too common lows of their business, the mistakes and lucky breaks.The end is a bit abrupt, condensing the 21st century into a far briefer section than King affords the late 70s and early 80s but the origins are perhaps more interesting anyway, and set the scene for what's to come. Perhaps, after the exhaustive interviews and quotes from the older guard, the new generation just doesn't have the insights to share.I can't imagine there could be a better, more detailed, account of the subject.

  • Nigeyb
    2019-03-21 10:02

    If you have any interest in British independent music 1975-2005 (with an emphasis on the 1980s); you feel an affinity with the independent labels of that era (Rough Trade, Factory, Postcard, 4AD etc.); and/or you enjoy well researched and readable books about popular music, then I would say you will find much to enjoy in Richard King's "How Soon Is Now? The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music". It is also a great companion book to Simon Reynolds' "Rip It Up and Start Again", and it is equally entertaining and informative.As with all good books about music, it inspired me to go away and explore or revisit some of the key tracks from the era. For example, I'd completely forgotten about Colourbox despite loving their music when it was released - thirty years on they still sound wonderful. I was also very interested to read how a massive hit single effectively stopped their career in its tracks.Looking back from the detached perspective of 2013, the indie labels of the 1980s, and the personalities that were associated with them, seem even more magical and remarkable. It was a remarkable era for popular music and this book is a compelling reminder of a glorious and important musical era. The book concludes in 2005 when, in a reverse of the rest of the music industry, many modern independent labels are prospering relative to the major labels. That said, if this book proves one thing, it's that it is very difficult to run a small and successful independent record label - and always has been.

  • Christopher
    2019-03-21 08:23

    This book inspires. Turn to any page of any chapter and you are given the key to success over and over again. That secret? Do what you love, do it for yourself and the rest will follow. Win or lose, sink or swim do it for the love of it and you'll find an audience. The book is great, it drags once the 90s roll in, and bring with them Dance music, but once the Strokes revive guitar rock it becomes a race to finish it. This book coupled with Punk An Oral History and Rip it Up and Start Again are some of the best books about the best music scenes.

  • Oscar
    2019-03-19 12:11

    Very good and detailed summary of the English independent record labels from the late seventies on. Went straight out after finishing this to get the books dealing specifically with 4AD (Facing the Other Way/Martin Aston), Creation (Creation Stories/Alan McGee) and Factory (Shadowplayers/James Nice) respectively. Very inspiring read in other words. Would recommended it (and indeed have done) to anybody with a passing interest in independent music.

  • Paul
    2019-03-04 11:22

    A solid retelling of a grand period in British music. Sometimes it's easy to get up in the individual stories and maybe something more should have been written as an overview and summary. As the book ends in 2005 it's only the beginning of the digital revolution and so it feels that something is left unsaid at the end.

  • Rich
    2019-03-15 06:14

    Really fascinating insight into how independent labels works (or don't) and how they battle to balance their artistic vision with the age old issue of making enough money to put out records. Some great stories and set up nicely for a follow-up book on the new culture of "boutique" or micro-indie-labels that are popping up.

  • Malcolm Frawley
    2019-03-07 11:17

    A completely fascinating behind the scenes look at the English independent music scene in the final quarter of the 20th century. Although we do meet The Smiths & a host of other bands, it is the often very strange people who 'ran' the record companies that are front & centre here. Highly recommended for anyone whose taste in music runs a little deeper than The Voice.

  • Tom
    2019-02-21 05:22

    A very detailed telling of the tale of independent labels in the UK - which rose and rose then were brought down by hubris, and by a lack of management. Some chancers, some idealists, some visionaries.

  • Scott Dixon
    2019-02-27 06:15

    Superb from start to finish, this gives a great feel for the industry and the characters involved

  • Colin Heber-Percy
    2019-02-18 09:15

    Definitive, and inspiring.

  • Martin Cole
    2019-03-08 09:20

    Packed with cracking anecdotes. A treat.

  • acb
    2019-02-22 13:01

    An interesting history of the independent music industry in the UK