Number of page: 368
Publisher: W. W. Norton, 2015
“An utterly satisfying examination of the business of popular music.” —Nathaniel Rich, The Atlantic Over the last two decades a new type of hit song has emerged, one that is almost inescapably catchy. Pop songs have always had a “hook,” but today’s songs bristle with them: a hook every seven seconds is the rule. Painstakingly crafted to tweak the brain’s delight in melody, rhythm, and repetition, these songs are highly processed products. Like snack-food engineers, modern songwriters have discovered the musical “bliss point.” And just like junk food, the bliss point leaves you wanting more. In The Song Machine, longtime New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook tells the story of the massive cultural upheaval that produced these new, super-strength hits. Seabrook takes us into a strange and surprising world, full of unexpected and vivid characters, as he traces the growth of this new approach to hit-making from its obscure origins in early 1990s Sweden to its dominance of today’s Billboard charts. Journeying from New York to Los Angeles, Stockholm to Korea, Seabrook visits specialized teams composing songs in digital labs with new “track-and-hook” techniques. The stories of artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rihanna, as well as expert songsmiths like Max Martin, Stargate, Ester Dean, and Dr. Luke, The Song Machine shows what life is like in an industry that has been catastrophically disrupted—spurring innovation, competition, intense greed, and seductive new products. Going beyond music to discuss money, business, marketing, and technology, The Song Machine explores what the new hits may be doing to our brains and listening habits, especially as services like Spotify and Apple Music use streaming data to gather music into new genres invented by algorithms based on listener behavior. Fascinating, revelatory, and original, The Song Machine will change the way you listen to music.
kOdwBgAAQBAJThe Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory
LibraryThing Review The best part of this book might be the song lists in Spotify that the author has created. Do not miss listening to the music!.
LibraryThing Review I’m not into pop music at all, and really could care less about the latest Rihanna or Britney Spears hits. Yet somehow this book was oddly compelling. It takes an in-depth look into the entire process
- Amanda Mastrull
The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory New Yorker staff writer Seabrook (Nobrow) presents an engaging narrative of modern pop music, documenting the highs and lows of the industry, its artists, and how hits become hits. With a focus on the
- Jane Doe
THE SONG MACHINE: Inside the Hit Factory New Yorker staff writer Seabrook (Flash of Genius: And Other True Stories of Invention, 2008, etc.) examines the seismic shifts in the music industry. There are plenty of good books that have shown
The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs that Sell: How to Create Hits in Today’s Music Industry
The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs that Sell unveils the secrets to climbing the charts and reaching success in today s ultracompetitive music industry Eric Beall supplies his firsthand knowledge of today s record business as well as interviews with successful writers producers and executives from the worlds of pop hip hop country adult contemporary and R B The result a proven approach to constructing songs that open doors create careers and communicate to listeners around the world Key areas explored include How does a song become a hit What makes a song a single Is there a formula for creating a hit Fun and practical exercises provide opportunities to hone skills and expose specific talents helping songwriters combine their unique voices to the demands of the commercial marketplace Filled with fresh ideas that will spark beginners and veterans alike this book will lead the way toward the industry s ultimate challenge the creation of that chart topping hit song From the Trade Paperback edition
America’s Songs III: Rock!: Rock!
America s Songs III Rock picks up in 1953 where America s Songs II left off describing the artistic and cultural impact of the rock n roll era on America s songs and songwriters recording artists and bands music publishers and record labels and the all important consuming audience The Introduction presents the background story discussing the 1945 1952 period and focusing on the key songs from the genres of jump blues rhythm n blues country music bluegrass and folk that combined to form rock n roll From there the author selects a handful of songs from each subsequent year up through 2015 listed chronologically and organized by decade As with its two preceding companions America s Songs III highlights the most important songs of each year with separate entries More than 300 songs are analyzed in terms of importance both musically and historically and weighted by how they defined an era an artist a genre or an underground movement Written by known rock historian and former ASCAP award winner Bruce Pollock America s Songs III Rock relays the stories behind America s musical history
Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age
For the first time Appetite for Self Destruction recounts the epic story of the precipitous rise and fall of the recording industry over the past three decades when the incredible success of the CD turned the music business into one of the most glamorous high profile industries in the world and the advent of file sharing brought it to its knees In a comprehensive fast paced account full of larger than life personalities Rolling Stone contributing editor Steve Knopper shows that after the incredible wealth and excess of the 80s and 90s Sony Warner and the other big players brought about their own downfall through years of denial and bad decisions in the face of dramatic advances in technology Big Music has been asleep at the wheel ever since Napster revolutionized the way music was distributed in the 1990s Now because powerful people like Doug Morris and Tommy Mottola failed to recognize the incredible potential of file sharing technology the labels are in danger of becoming completely obsolete Knopper who has been writing about the industry for more than ten years has unparalleled access to those intimately involved in the music world s highs and lows Based on interviews with more than two hundred music industry sources from Warner Music chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr to renegade Napster creator Shawn Fanning Knopper is the first to offer such a detailed and sweeping contemporary history of the industry s wild ride through the past three decades From the birth of the compact disc through the explosion of CD sales in the 80s and 90s the emergence of Napster and the secret talks that led to iTunes to the current collapse of the industry as CD sales plummet Knopper takes us inside the boardrooms recording studios private estates garage computer labs company jets corporate infighting and secret deals of the big names and behind the scenes players who made it all happen With unforgettable portraits of the music world s mighty and formerly mighty detailed accounts of both brilliant and stupid ideas brought to fruition or left on the cutting room floor the dish on backroom schemes negotiations and brawls and several previously unreported stories Appetite for Self Destruction is a riveting informative and highly entertaining read It offers a broad perspective on the current state of Big Music how it got into these dire straits and where it s going from here and a cautionary tale for the digital age
The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood
During the heyday of the studio system spanning the 1930s 40s and 50s virtually all the American motion picture industry s money power and prestige came from a single activity selling tickets at the box office Today the movie business is just a small highly visible outpost in a media universe controlled by six corporations Sony Time Warner NBC Universal Viacom Disney and NewsCorporation These conglomerates view films as part of an immense synergistic vertically integrated money making industry In The Big Picture acclaimed writer Edward Jay Epstein gives an unprecedented sweeping and thoroughly entertaining account of the real magic behind moviemaking how the studios make their money Epstein shows how in Hollywood the only art that matters is the art of the deal major films turn huge profits not from the movies themselves but through myriad other enterprises such as video game spin offs fast food tie ins soundtracks and even theme park rides The studios may compete with one another for stars publicity box office receipts and Oscars their corporate parents however make fortunes from cooperation and collusion with one another in less glamorous markets such as cable home video and pay TV But money is only part of the Hollywood story the social and political milieus power prestige and status tell the rest Alongside remarkable financial revelations The Big Picture is filled with eye opening true Hollywood insider stories We learn how the promise of free cowboy boots for a producer delayed a major movie s shooting schedule why stars never perform their own stunts despite what the supermarket tabloids claim how movies intentionally shape political sensibilities both in America and abroad and why fifteen year olds dictate the kind of low grade fare that has flooded screens across the country Epstein also offers incisive profiles of the pioneers including Louis B Mayer who helped build Hollywood and introduces us to the visionaries Walt Disney Akio Morita Rupert Murdoch Steve Ross Sumner Redstone David Sarnoff power brokers who by dint of innovation and deception created and control the media that mold our lives If you are interested in Hollywood today and the complex and fascinating way it has evolved in order to survive you haven t seen the big picture until you ve read The Big Picture From the Hardcover edition