What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business, Third Edition: The Complete Guide for Musicians, Songwriters, Producers, Managers, Industry Executives, Attorneys, Investors and Accountants – Peter M. Thrall (Watson-Guptill)
When it comes to this book, the impossibly long title should tell you all you need to know. Even though the history of the music business is littered with victim after victim of their own stupidity; artists who were not business savvy enough to look out for their own best interests and ripped off, had their money or their art or both stolen by shysters, even to this day we still see cases where bad deals continue to happen.
When I used to host a radio interview program that featured up and coming baby bands, as they were dubbed by record labels, or unsigned aspiring bands and artists, I was astounded by how little time most of them spent taking care of their career. I spent countless hours both on and off air offering guidance and suggestions on how to go about pursuing a contract or signing a publishing deal or dealing with agents and attorneys, which by in large fell on deaf ears. It got to the point where one band was so upset by my cajoling that they released an indie EP which featured a song entitled F@&K You Jeff Johns…We Hope You Rot in Hell. I wasn’t offended, in fact I still have a copy…not sure where the band ended up, although I know it wasn’t on the charts.
So with all of the changes that have occurred in the music business and the disappearance of record labels, the advent of online streaming and music downloads has anything gotten easier? Oh hell no! The business of music has become multitudes more difficult and the need for artists to not only be aware and self-serving when it comes to business is that much greater. Enter Peter Thrall and his book, What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business, Third Edition: The Complete Guide for Musicians, Songwriters, Producers, Managers, Industry Executives, Attorneys, Investors and Accountants.
Thrall’s book is the encyclopedia of music business knowledge and it needs to be not only on the shelf of every aspiring artist and music industry wannabe, it needs to be dogged eared, highlighted, Post it noted and generally looking like it’s been dropped kicked around the block…six times.
This is the go to primer to learn all of the ins and outs of the business of music. It truly strips things down to an easy to understand, problem solving and avoiding masterpiece. This is a nuts and bolts how to guide through every step of the artistic process, from both perspectives. This one needs to be carried along in the road, into the studio, down to the gig and back again, because it is just that vital to your success. Again…take a look at the title, then ask yourself, “am I ready to deal with all of these folks and what they bring to the table.” I can surmise that the answer for most people is simple; NO.