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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read about business , music and corporate politics
I can really appreciate how Tommy was able to make to the top of Sony without the 'standard' credentials. It doesn't happen often but when you are lucky enough to find a brilliant mentor who sees your gifts, magic can happen. Very interesting history of Sony, Tommy and the transition of the music industry.
Published 3 months ago by Sophia Loren

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Corporate Head Sings His Own Praises
Mottola sings his own praises in this long-winded but lightly-detailed life story that focuses mostly on his corporate work. The book starts out with promise, written in a self-effacing style in which he takes blame for his mistakes and even says he doesn't recall exact conversations (refreshing compared to other autobiographies). But once he gets some power the tone of...
Published 15 months ago by Mediaman


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Corporate Head Sings His Own Praises, May 3, 2013
This review is from: Hitmaker: The Man and His Music (Hardcover)
Mottola sings his own praises in this long-winded but lightly-detailed life story that focuses mostly on his corporate work. The book starts out with promise, written in a self-effacing style in which he takes blame for his mistakes and even says he doesn't recall exact conversations (refreshing compared to other autobiographies). But once he gets some power the tone of the book changes to him over-praising his ability to pick artists and hits. The guy was good, but not as good as he writes himself to be. In focusing on his corporate successes he almost ignores his private life and short-changes readers on inside stories about the stars he worked with.

For some reason the artists that get the most pages in the book are Hall & Oates, who Mottola claims are one of the greatest groups in rock history (of course, because he managed them!). Meanwhile Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and other big names get shortchanged. There are almost no interesting inside stories revealed about the names you'll know while there are a number of minute details about corporate co-workers you've never heard of. Namely, Mottola doesn't dish on the people you want to hear about.

Everything he touched he claims went "straight to number one" or was "one of the biggest selling albums of all time" or that his then-wife released "the single greatest modern Christmas album of all time" (you know--the one he forced her to make against her wishes!). In truth he just put out some great records with some good artists whose stories don't get detailed here. He tip-toes around his marriage to Mariah Carey (who he keeps referring to as appealing to a hip-hop audience) and repeatedly talks about what a bad father he was to his first two kids. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have learned the lesson that the biggest problem he had was with his ego. He admits that many told him he was blind to his failures and weaknesses but he was too impressed with himself to listen to others. And this book is proof he hasn't changed.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tommy: we hardly knew ye, March 20, 2013
By 
Gerald Sack (Bloomfield, CT United States) - See all my reviews
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A little less back patting and a little more detail on how he achieved what he did would have made this a better book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, April 7, 2013
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I thought this was going to be interesting but it is just a fluff piece about a producer who thinks he is number one. Actually this book goes on and on and slow moving. He jumps from his friendship with Hall and Oates to Gloria Estefan briefly touches upon his feelings for a young Mariah. Not as good as I would expect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self-serving and white washing., July 24, 2013
This review is from: Hitmaker: The Man and His Music (Hardcover)
The only reason this book doesn't get 1 star is that there's some worthwhile stuff about his early years, first as a failed recording artists, and then moving up through music publishing and management, especially with his first big act, Hall & Oates.

However, once Tommy becomes the Chairman of Sony Music, it becomes nothing more than a place to settle scores on his terms with him coming out looking like an angel, taking down Howard Stringer, other SONY Japanese execs, telling his side of the Mariah Carey story, and then waxing schmaltzy about his new wife and how truly awesome she is. Throughout this section, we get about 50 examples of Tommy quoting himself in conversations that go like this "I told them that this would be the biggest hit, ever. I know it in my bones. You need to make this the single. I stake my reputation on it." And then he pats himself on the back for being right, and everyone else being a moron. That's fine, autobiographies are supposed to be self-serving. Tommy often ends with his "aw shucks" moments about "and to think, me, a kid from the Bronx..." schtick. Nauseating.

But we don't get what the business was really like - Tommy doesn't seem to yell at anyone, no one drops any f-bombs, no one gets sent any hookers or coke to spin records (Walter Yetnikoff seems to bve the only person Tommy's met who uses drugs), no one cheats anyone out of royalties, and so on. In other words, it's an utterly sanitized "as told to" book that gets more and more annoying as you near the end of it. The fact that the end has a lot of Celine Dion stories doesn't help much either.

And to think I actually read this book because of a positive review in the "New York Review of Books" over the new Clive Davis autobiography!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Empty Calories, March 27, 2014
By 
MD "marc_b1002" (NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hitmaker: The Man and His Music (Hardcover)
Empty Calories

Poor Cal Fussman. He really had his work cut out for him. You know who I'm talking about here right? He is the second name on the cover of this book. Yeah, that's him, the one in significantly smaller font, positioned strategically below Mr. Mattola's name, as if Mr. Mattola is standing on the shoulders of Mr. Shultz's efforts.

A highly successful record executive does not a good author make, unless your sole purpose is to showcase how wonderfully talented you are, and boy does this book fit that purpose. So in that context, you may deem this a success after all. As if by small chance the title does not give you that impression, be sure to open the book and delve further.

Mr. Mattola never passes up an opportunity to tell you how "hands on" he was, and how all his stars loved him so [with the exception of John Mellencamp]. But don't take his word for it. Interspersed throughout the book are accolades from the various celebrities he has dealt with over the years. Can you imagine Mr. Mattola going hat in hand asking for praise? It is not as if any of them were going to say, "Sure Tommy, but I have some bad stuff to say about you". Fat chance, his ego would not allow it.

Instead you get broad strokes on how Mr. Matolla did this, decided that, had the vision, etc. etc. etc. No humility, scant acknowledgement of his failures and what he learned from them. There is no denying that from a business perspective, all the Mr. Matolla accomplished is phenomenal, and he was smart enough to recognize that he needed to bring in talented executives to cover areas that he had no expertise in. But wait! Isnt' that yet another sign of his genius!

Do you sense a pattern here?

This book in many ways reminds me of another highly talented and successful businessman who fell through that same trap door, Jack Welch. His first book received much criticism for his bloviating about all his accomplishments, while failing to produce any unique insights or advice on how to attain the same level of success.

While this book's intent [I assume] was not written with the same purpose, it would have been refreshing for Mr. Matolla to describe in better detail the mechanisms that allowed him to achieve that level of success. How he dealt with the fragile egos of his talent, the fallouts and damage control, how he brought out the best in them, how circumvented the barricades his executives put on him. Oh, but I forget, he is in the entertainment business and he has to walk the line carefully, avoiding hurting any feelings. Sometimes the truth does hurt Tommy - but that's show business, or, the business of show business.

If you really still want to put yourself through this exercise, please consider checking this book out from the library instead, and put your money for better use. For all the chest beating that occurs throughout this book, I can only imagine the constant sound of chest thumping one hears in the background while listening to the audio book version of this terrible book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what an ego maniac, December 31, 2013
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This review is from: Hitmaker: The Man and His Music (Hardcover)
although i read the entire book and it was a quick read, i found myself disliking him more and more with every turn of the page. He comes off as a complete ego-maniac and would have you believe that he, single handedly, made so many artists popular, when in reality he is nothing more than a broker. Not to mention he was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple!! He is neither a musician or producer, even though he thinks he is…he's a deal maker, and like all deal makers loves to brag about his importance. If you must, rent this from the library so as not to send royalties his way…unless you want to help build his 5th castle to live in, of which you'll hear about the others he's built in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Details Please, August 3, 2013
This review is from: Hitmaker: The Man and His Music (Hardcover)
I work in the music industry and love rock and roll memoirs, so I was very much looking forward to reading this book. It started out great, with Mottola telling about his beginnings as a performer, including some comical moments and the self-awareness that he just wasn't meant to be a superstar musician.
There are also some great stories about his early days working with artists such as Hall & Oates and John Mellencamp.
As the 80's draw to a close and Mottola becomes very powerful and successful, the book speeds up and a lot of details are left out. At this point he stops detailing his relationships and simply begins name-dropping and bragging about all his accomplishments. The lightly self-deprecating humor used early in the book is gone as he takes credit for discovering superstar after superstar.
A lot of people will read this book to find out about his marriage to Mariah Carey. Mottola must know this is the curiosity that sells the book, but there's not much detail about their relationship at all. He doesn't give a clue as to why he fell for her, or how they made it work as long as they did. He does give plenty of detail about his current wife, which is very sweet of him but not the kind of thing people want to read about.
Overall, it's a mixed review. His stories about the rise & fall of the record industry are interesting, and I got the impression that he's probably narcissistic but also quite likable. Just don't expect too much detail about the things you really wanted to know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read about business , music and corporate politics, May 2, 2014
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I can really appreciate how Tommy was able to make to the top of Sony without the 'standard' credentials. It doesn't happen often but when you are lucky enough to find a brilliant mentor who sees your gifts, magic can happen. Very interesting history of Sony, Tommy and the transition of the music industry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Pop Music Lovers, April 18, 2014
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This is a good read for people who know about the music business and are aware of the music personalities. I read it because I know Tommy Mottola's family.
Evelyn B.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, April 16, 2014
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However, you get the sense that he's leaving things out and tidying up his image. It did provide a good summary of his work at Sony records, and I found it more engaging than Clive's latest biography. But, I'm not sure if most of what he says is true
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Hitmaker: The Man and His Music
Hitmaker: The Man and His Music by Cal Fussman (Hardcover - January 29, 2013)
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