Appetite for Self-Destruction

  • by Steve Knopper
  • Narrated by Dan John Miller
  • 11 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For the first time, Appetite for Self-Destruction recounts the 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.Based on interviews with more than 200 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Awesome Book

This is an awesome book about the music business, where it's been, and where it's going. A lot of deep dark secrets are revealed here in how the corporatization of rock 'n roll corrupted the music, ripped off the performers, cheated the fans, and battled the technology that threatened corporate profiteering. Robert Johnson may have made a deal with the devil at the crossroads, but our favorite musicians and singers didn't do much better with the record label companies. Those who were lucky enough to be "signed" found themselves in a corporate profit machine, manufacturing music as a product. First it was 45s and LPs. Then came CDs. We consumers made those corporate devils rich. But this is changing as we speak. So before you buy another CD, get this book. If you're a musician, composer, or performer, this book is a must read for your future.
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- Todd

This will cure any lingering sympathy for RIAA

This book details the events and highlights the colorful characters who shaped the music industry since the disco era. They were tech dinosaurs and Luddites and protectors of their obscene multimillion dollar salaries. The death of the major labels was foretold, Napster and file sharing were inevitable. We all knew we were paying $16 for a CD that cost pennies to make, and only a tiny fraction of that went to the artist. Plus the top-down focus on big hits from agents to labels to big box stores and even radio stations limited our choices.

The writing style is a little strange. It's almost like a column in Spin or Rolling Stone where the author injects his own opinions instead of always quoting others. The familiarity was a little jarring but I got used to it.
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- chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-06-2009
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio