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

4.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Blast Books; 1St Edition edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0922233446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922233441
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off:at approx. 10"X10",I wouldn't consider this a coffee table book.But it is the kind of tome where you can dive into the middle and find yourself lost for an hour.Oh,please keep a magnifying glass handy to catch all of the details in the LP covers and labels(not a knock,just an observation-there's that much info).And all in all,this kind of subject should be what the Kindle Fire could really be doing-mixing media:audio,video,text and art-into one package.Will amazon and publishers ever put their head together?
To get the feel of what this book is all about,direct yourself to the interview on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross either at the book's website or at NPR.If you know Terry at all,you will feel the excitement as she can hardly contain herself on a subject weird,wacky and wonderful-a Terry Gross hat trick.That interview could go on forever-its that much fun!If you don't have a credit card awaiting at the end of the hour,this ain't for you.
The subject of Industrial Musicals could have been handled any number of ways.Steve Young & the folks at Blast Books decided to explore this Lost World via audio recordings issued at the time of their performance.The 250 page contain hundreds of LP covers,labels,extra materials-but no audio CD.The website currently has a bunch available at itunes,packaged as three indivual bundles or indivual purchase.A bounty of audio samples are found at the book's website;they can be listened to but not downloaded.One can only hope that the website is maintained forever!In fact,the website is a place worth revisiting if the subject still interests you once you've exhausted what you own.
Tracking down the original recordings not only exploded in the ebay age,but also became expensive partly because Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
He aptly and accurately describes a medium, a business and a cultural phenomenon that few people know existed.

My associates and I staged dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of shows during "the golden age" of corporate theater. Several communications companies, whom we contracted with, sold our productions as parts of "packages" that included week-long seminars, banquets and morale-building mass gatherings. Sometimes we four-walled these presentations in theaters. At other times we improvised theaters in the banquet halls of hotels. Often we'd create a weave of corporate speeches and "acts" in a book show that comedicaly and musically defined a corporate culture or established sales objectives. For us, and for the technical crews that supported us, it was a way of life. Year after year, we were "on the road" with full-blown theatrical events whose only audiences were marketers, salespeople and corporate executives.

Steve: Thanks for "finding" us and telling the world about our work!

Don Klugman
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