Book Review: “Selling Sounds–The Commercial Revolution in American Music”

Selling Sounds bookjacket

The Wall Street Journal recently published a review of a new book examinig the American music industry. Check out their review article entitled “Music and Money: From Tin Pan Alley to RCA Victor: shaping musical taste, profiting from it.” And if you read the book or have an opinion to share, please add to the comment section for this post.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: “Selling Sounds–The Commercial Revolution in American Music””

  1. Matt Howe Says:

    This looks like an interesting book. (And I love the cover, with the RCA dog falling over!)

    I follow this topic online and have read many fascinating articles about what’s happening in the music business and what the future holds.

    One article I wrote suggested that the age of the “album” is dying and it’s all going to be about songs (singles) now. Also, that CDs will go away and people will have songs stored on hard drives.

    Another informed blogger I read has interesting comments on the “disposableness” of the MP3 download. He asks readers: How many of you have downloaded a song and NEVER LISTENED TO IT AGAIN? Whereas, in the “old days”, our LPs and CDs were played multiple times.

    Also, I have noted how my listening habits have changed. For the last 2-3 years I have not even owned a stereo! I play my CDs on the computer, or I listen to MP3s on my iPod!! I just bought a stereo for Christmas, but have to admit I still don’t listen to CDs on it that often.

    I miss the days of LPs, with the BIG cover art and the liner notes that pulled out. The sound quality was always weird because of pops and scratches. But then CDs came along and everything got SMALLER.

    The last piece of the music business puzzle that does not make any sense to me is MUSIC QUALITY. It seems like, with MP3s, everything’s gone backwards. We moved from LPs to CDs and sound quality because digital and better. But, with MP3s, sound quality gets squashed and *very* “digitized”. It seems that young[er] music fans do not care about “audiofile” music or top-quality sound. The promise of SACDs and surround-sound CDs has not materialized. Instead, music is download as these small MP3 files and the horns and high notes get squashed and sounds digital.

    VERY interesting topic …I could go on, LOL.

  2. Chris Cochran Says:

    Funny, Matt, I hadn’t even noticed the dog falling off. Thanks for your comment on the post. Maybe if you read the book you can write a short review?


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