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How Soon Is Now? The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music (1975-2005)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This is the story of the enormous scale of the passions, the size of the egos and the true extent of the madness of the mavericks who had the vision and bloody-mindedness to make the musical landscape exciting again.
Paperback, 624 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Faber & Faber
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Mark Love
I don't think I've ever read a 450+ page book faster.

This is a lovingly researched and retold insiders tale of how independent music was produced and distributed from the heady days of punk, through to the Arctic Monkeys. Rightfully centred on Rough Trade, the book tells of the excesses, artistry and bloody-mindedness that characterised making music outside of the majors.

Of course the many well-told tales of Factory and Creation are included, and even embellished beyond what I've read dozens of
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Neil Dewhurst
"How Soon is Now?" is an in-depth look at 30 years of independent music. It sticks mostly to the UK scene, but there's a regular sprinkling of US artists, British bands (mostly) failing to crack the US market, and legendary players in the US like Seymour Stein.

It's not for the faint-hearted - the tightly woven nature of the indie circuit can make sections covering less familiar musical territory seem somewhat confusing, and occasionally slightly dry as you try to keep up with yet another confusi
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Nigeyb
If you have any interest in British independent music 1975-2005 (with an emphasis on the 1980s); you feel an affinity with the independent labels of that era (Rough Trade, Factory, Postcard, 4AD etc.); and/or you enjoy well researched and readable books about popular music, then I would say you will find much to enjoy in Richard King's "How Soon Is Now? The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music".

It is also a great companion book to Simon Reynolds' "Rip It Up and Start Again", and it
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Oscar
Very good and detailed summary of the English independent record labels from the late seventies on. Went straight out after finishing this to get the books dealing specifically with 4AD (Facing the Other Way/Martin Aston), Creation (Creation Stories/Alan McGee) and Factory (Shadowplayers/James Nice) respectively. Very inspiring read in other words. Would recommended it (and indeed have done) to anybody with a passing interest in independent music.
Christopher
This book inspires. Turn to any page of any chapter and you are given the key to success over and over again. That secret? Do what you love, do it for yourself and the rest will follow. Win or lose, sink or swim do it for the love of it and you'll find an audience.

The book is great, it drags once the 90s roll in, and bring with them Dance music, but once the Strokes revive guitar rock it becomes a race to finish it. This book coupled with Punk An Oral History and Rip it Up and Start Again are s
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Malcolm Frawley
A completely fascinating behind the scenes look at the English independent music scene in the final quarter of the 20th century. Although we do meet The Smiths & a host of other bands, it is the often very strange people who 'ran' the record companies that are front & centre here. Highly recommended for anyone whose taste in music runs a little deeper than The Voice.
Rich
Really fascinating insight into how independent labels works (or don't) and how they battle to balance their artistic vision with the age old issue of making enough money to put out records. Some great stories and set up nicely for a follow-up book on the new culture of "boutique" or micro-indie-labels that are popping up.
Tom
A very detailed telling of the tale of independent labels in the UK - which rose and rose then were brought down by hubris, and by a lack of management.

Some chancers, some idealists, some visionaries.
Scott Dixon
Superb from start to finish, this gives a great feel for the industry and the characters involved
acb
An interesting history of the independent music industry in the UK
Martin Cole
Packed with cracking anecdotes. A treat.
Colin Heber-Percy
Definitive, and inspiring.
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