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Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals Hardcover – October 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Blast Books; First Edition edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0922233446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922233441
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 9.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A wildly entertaining, gorgeous tribute to a world we never knew existed. Anyone interested in American history, music, or culture should buy this book by the fistful." —Dave Letterman

"The world of industrial musicals is magical, weird, and funny. Mssrs. Young and Murphy escort you into that world with panache and not nearly enough guilt. Like Steve, I amassed a collection of these records—souvenirs of the days when corporations were rich enough to care about the morale of their employees—and like him, I thought I was ‘the only one.’ Now these idiots have spent serious time and energy producing a freaking book on the subject. Humor them. Buy this book and let it change your life." —Harry Shearer

"As a veteran of many an industrial, I can attest that Everything’s Coming Up Profits is accurate as well as fascinating and hysterical. If I had friends, I’d tell them about it." —Martin Short

"All Singing! All Dancing! All Selling! This delightful history reveals the corny glories of corporate America’s fling with motivational musicals, and its vintage graphics are like a peek at an alternate world where the hit songs were about Ford tractors." —James Lileks, author The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"Young and Murphy map us to a nether-universe Brill Building located at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Tin Pan Alley. The songcraft is stupefyingly absurd, but thanks to this book a lot of product music has outlived the products." —Irwin Chusid, WFMU Radio, author Songs in the Key of Z

About the Author

Steve Young is a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. He has also written for The Simpsons. Sport Murphy is a writer, artist, and musician who has released albums on the Kill Rock Stars label.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Everything's Coming Up Profits is hip in all the right ways, with a tasteful and fun angle.
Al X
In fact, the more that I learned about industrial musicals from Mr. Young and Mr. Murphy, the more I wanted to know.
Jim Westfall
Still, this book sits proud in my collection and I'm more than pleased to have purchased it.
Rob G.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jim Westfall on November 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If someone had told me a year ago that they were compiling a massive, in-depth encyclopedia of a book, packed with gorgeous photos and graphics, complete with brilliant narratives, astute analyses, and poignant observations designed to examine the historical impact of my all-time favorite industrial musicals, I would have looked that person right in the eye and asked, "What the heck is an industrial musical?"

Because up until a few months ago, I had never even heard of this fascinating genre of music, much less the creative industrial applications to which that music had been so ingeniously put to use for decades in the production of musical shows meant to be performed for industrial audiences only, many of them pressed onto vinyl for all posterity. However, thanks to this beautiful new book, I'm now a much wiser man. What's more, as a result of having read and studied Steve Young and Sport Murphy's definitive work on the subject, "Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals." I now actually do have some favorite industrial musicals.

As for the content of the book, itself, you'll just have to trust me when I tell you that, once you start reading this book and begin to familiarize yourself with the esoteric genre of industrial musicals, you will literally wish you had known about this subject years ago. I confess that I went into this book not knowing what to expect. In fact, I further confess that I was not only completely prepared for the possibility of not only disliking this subject, but I assumed that it would be an easy target to bash, a subject that would easily lend itself to ridicule and jokes.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Al X on October 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It doesn't get much cooler than this book. This slick retro text is a fantastic dive into the obscure little cultural niche of industrial musicals. Each page is engaging, both in imagery and content. The opinion pieces, stories, interviews, lyrics, and artwork weave together to form a unique and surprisingly interesting end result. You never dreamed reading about industrial musicals could be so damn fun.

Everything's Coming Up Profits is hip in all the right ways, with a tasteful and fun angle. This isn't a mean-spirited or mocking book by any means. The authors keep it classy and demonstrate a real respect for those involved with these productions while somehow never failing to point out the inevitable silliness contained within.

You owe it to the guests in your home to have this book at arm's reach. Like flies to bright lights, it's impossible for people to avoid wanting to pick it up and page through it. Definitely pleased with the purchase.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By daveaton on October 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A colleague of mine used to be an actress and one day at happy hour she brought up the subject of "Industrials," musicals written for corporations about their products. I thought she was messing with us (she's kind of out of her mind). I couldn't believe that such things existed, and when she started singing a sample tune, I was sure she was full of it. Her continued insistence that they were real led me to the internet, which then led me to this book.

Holy ****! Read this book, and also treat yourself to a visit to the accompanying website where you can listen to some tracks from these musicals. They'd be hilarious as sketches on a comedy show, they're doubly so because they're real! The writing in the book is engaging, the illustrations are amazing, and the whole package together is most definitely the funniest non-fiction work I've read in years. Buy it, NOW!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Don Logay on October 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who has spent many an all-nighter writing these zany industrial shows - and then taking them on the road for corporate meetings of all size - I can say (with some authority) that "Everything's Coming Up Profits" is a wonderful trip back in time to the 1960s, 70s and 80s when companies put on custom-created productions featuring singers, dancers and actors performing incredibly entertaining songs and comedy skits about stuff you would never think could be so darned lovable and/or clever.

These corporate live shows (some good, some bad, some absolutely terrific) were performed only once - or perhaps maybe a few times as "road shows" in multiple cities - and then they were forever lost to the ages. Fortunately, a small number were also thoughtfully recorded and pressed into 33-1/3 or 45 RPM records that were given to attendees as souvenirs.

Authors Steve Young and Sport Murphy have sought out an amazing number of these rare recordings - acquired one by one over a couple of decades - and put them together with interviews, insights and beautiful illustrations that skillfully and artfully re-create this little known era of industrial show-biz.

It's all about stuff you would never think could be so darned lovable and/or clever... and they bring it all back to enjoy once again.

If you were there, you'll love it - if you weren't, it'll make you wish you were.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Years ago I had an actor friend who told me he had a new gig. When I asked if I could come see the show, he laughed and said, "It's an Industrial." Despite being on the fringe of the theatre world, I hadn't known up to that point what that was. This book is a well researched paen to those shows, written about productsand performed for companies. The authors have unearthed hundreds of these rarities, including dozens of illustrations thst must have taken years to collect. Written in a pithy, witty, style, this book makes ypu wish you could have seen these products of a bygone era. Highly recommended.
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