It’s not often I write about music. I don’t why as I wrote Hunting for Crows which, if you’ve read it, you’ll know it’s about a rock band.
A new book, The Final Days of EMI: Selling The Pig by Eamon Ford, charts, as its title suggests, the fall of one of Britain’s most famous record labels, EMI. Home to such illustrious names as the Beatles, Queen, David Bowie and Coldplay, EMI didn’t adapt well to the changing world of the record business, mainly the sharp fall-off in CD sales in favour of downloads. As a result, they suffered huge losses and were taken over by Terra Firma. TF is an equity fund and as this book shows, they had little idea about how a record label works or how to run it.
Record companies, like book publishers, are only as good as their often precocious talent. None more so, than feted pop stars who viewed the TF takeover as the march of the suits, and they left the floundering EMI in droves, often after protracted legal wrangling over contracts. In the end, the company was broken up, the recording music operations being taken over by Universal Music, and the publishing side by Sony Music Publishing.
You can read a review of the book on the Guardian website here. If you want to buy a copy, click on the book link above and it will take you to Amazon.co.uk. It’s currently on Pre-Order, but you won’t have long to wait – it’s being published in Kindle format one week from today, 21st February 2019.