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When did the money become more important than the music? Cornyn, a veteran of Warner Bros. Records from its birth in the late 1950s, fondly recalls when it was about the music (and the dames and drunken fun didn't hurt), a time before such terms as "units," "product," "industry" entered the vernacular. He's frank about the people and circumstances that have forever changed the business. Also realistic, he knows changes will continue (which is why he urges readers to turn this into a "living book" by contributing their own observations online). Having spent 34 years with the company in its many incarnations, Cornyn could've chosen the route of raunchy expose, but instead he delivers good gossip with high humor and class. He describes the unknowns who stepped in and rescued Warner during down times, like Bob Newhart with his comedy album in 1962, and later Madonna. Snappy stories of artists itching to break contracts Sinatra did so with "laryngitis," the Sex Pistols with urine, Jackson Browne with tears. But even juicier, as the company history unfolds, are the insider takes on the men (and the occasional women) behind the music, the boardroom brawls, midnight calls, hush-hush deals, and talks with Teamsters. Endearingly, he freeze-frames the grander moments, when someone makes the perfect quip or sings a line just right. This music narrative has all the elements drama, mystery, comedy, a course in business (royalties, payola, severance pay), debauchery (Queen's outrageous party in New Orleans) and history.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A creative executive at Warner Bros. Records for 30 years, Cornyn presents a provocative, witty, and engrossing insider's story of that label and the cutthroat machinations of the record industry. Beginning with the takeover of Warner Bros. Pictures by the despicable Jack Warner, he charts the rise of Warner Records in the late 1950s with Mike Maitland, who first brought success to the label. He then moves to the merger of Warner Bros. Records with Frank Sinatra's Reprise label, its absorption of successful independents Atlantic and Elektra, and the buyout of Warner by Steve Ross of Kinney National, who created Warner Communications. Cornyn continues with Warner's assimilation of Asylum Records, its merger with Time, and its eventual union with Ted Turner's communications empire. Giving little emphasis to the artists except as fleeting commodities, the author graphically reveals the transition of Warner from a fledgling record company dedicated to unearthing the newest music trends to a corporate conglomerate obsessed with greater market share and escalating profits. Fans of record mogul tell-alls will enjoy this. Highly recommended for popular music collections. Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Editorial Reviews
This is a fantastic read! Anyone interested in the music business from the outside looking in will enjoy Stan's insider view. Very entertaining and highly recommended.Published 13 months ago by Mark Kaufman
Lame encyclopedia from the 80s instead... It says I need 14 more words but thats all I have to say lolPublished on December 8, 2012 by Jonathan Snyder
This book is one long ego trip by the author. That's all I have to say.Published on November 6, 2009 by M. Buisman
Stan Cornyn should know all about hustlers. He took the art to a new low, and this book barely scratches the surface. Read morePublished on December 6, 2003 by J. Jaisun
...music and the people who create it, or music executives and the deals they grind out?
If you answered the latter, this book is for you. Read more
Cornyn's role at Warner Brothers Records throughout its incredible rise and fall provided him a bird's-eye view of the construction, and eventually disassembly, of what was at its... Read morePublished on August 17, 2003 by hyperbolium
I expected a book with some inside dirt on the recording industry but this is a sleeper recounting the author's 40 years working in Warner management. Read morePublished on June 12, 2003 by Boraxo
Not only is this a wonderful and ambitious book by Cornyn & Scanlon, but it is also a great tool for young musicians because this book takes the mystery out of the record business. Read morePublished on May 29, 2002 by Sue Few