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

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  16 reviews
'If you look at all the people involved - Ivo, Tony Wilson, McGee, Geoff Travis, myself - nobody had a clue about running a record company, and that was the best thing about it.' - Daniel Miller, Mute Records

Richard King's How Soon Is Now? is a landmark survey of the record labels that make up the backbone of the independent music industry and the hugely inspirational, ecc
Paperback, 624 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Faber & Faber
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3.98  · 
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 ·  204 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Mark Love
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dany Le Goaix
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Listing fact after fact about who did what, which year they did or defining what indie music is does not make for does not make for an interesting read. I lost track of the number of names dropped in the first chapter. If your looking for a narrative of what was in the water that drove the off the charts creativity in music during this time you will not find it here. There is no reflection of the creativity of this time in music in the writing itself.
Tristan Louth-Robins
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
At nearly 600 pages this is an epic, long and slightly exhausting read. On par with Rob Young’s incredible tome, Electric Eden. The research by King is comprehensive and occasionally fascinating. The structure works especially well for the first half of the book, before things get a bit bogged down by the time early 90s wind around. However, it concludes nicely with pointers to the industry beyond 2005. Highly recommended for anyone interested in a history of DIY/independent music.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A solid retelling of a grand period in British music. Sometimes it's easy to get up in the individual stories and maybe something more should have been written as an overview and summary. As the book ends in 2005 it's only the beginning of the digital revolution and so it feels that something is left unsaid at the end.
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Malcolm Frawley
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Superb from start to finish, this gives a great feel for the industry and the characters involved
Colin Heber-Percy
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Definitive, and inspiring.
Martin Cole
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Packed with cracking anecdotes. A treat.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting history of the independent music industry in the UK
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