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It's One For The Money

Clinton Heylin

8 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Music industry

A cross between Hollywood Babylon and The Hitmen, II'S ONE FOR THE MONEY rips the lid off Pop's own Pandora box and explicates just what it is that makes the world of sound go round - song publishing.

Song publishing is the one constant in the carousel of recorded music now spanning the past century, and has been the way that song-credits and publishing revenue have caused ructions and recriminations, and inspired writers by making them poor and lawyers rich.

Whether it be Procul Harum going to court to decide who really wrote 'Whiter Shade of Pale' or the Moody Blues wanting their fair share of 'Nights of White Satin', when the song-credits get divvied up, a parting of the ways citing 'musical differences' is almost inevitable.

So here are some choice examples of poplore held up to the light, some familiar to music fans others not, designed to prove that Dylan knew of what he wrote when he suggested, 'Money doesn't talk, it swears'.
Between them, they provide the unvarnished story of popular song from the days jukeboxes and radio replaced wax cylinders and piano rolls to the era of digital downloads, legal and illegal...

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Praise for It's One For The Money

  • Essential reading for anyone who loves popular music and wants to know the real, complex story of how the music evolved; from the blues to rock, including fascinating, history-revising accounts of who really wrote what. It's One for the Money is packed with invaluable revelations on virtually every page.

  • After reading Clinton Heylin's century-wide study of musical theft and influence, it's impossible to distinguish the criminals from the saints. His compelling narrative questions the very notions of authenticity and originality in popular music, and overturns many of the myths on which its history has been built.

  • With customary precision and a fine eye for detail, Heylin lifts the lid off the dustbin of Pop.

  • Heylin digs deep into the recesses of musical history to prove there is (almost) nothing new under the musical sun. An impressive work of research and wry commentary on the song-publishing racket.

  • A fascinating story of sometimes blatant theft and the power struggles for "credit" that have been a part of the music "industry" since voices were first raised in song. Heylin examines the highways and byways by which one song is transformed into another across more than a century of popular music, and how infighting over "who wrote what" would have enormous impact on the lifespan of many bands and on the track listings of some of our most revered albums in a bid for a piece of the economic windfall that is publishing royalties.

  • A terrific guide to the evolution of the popular song - Spectator

  • [A] meticulous study of music publishing, plagiarism and song ownership - Sunday Times

  • Fascinating stuff, intensively researched and utterly intriguing - Mojo

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Clinton Heylin

Clinton Heylin is the most distinguished writer on Bob Dylan in the world.

He is the author of Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades - take two and Bob Dylan Day by Day. He has also written on all aspects of popular culture, including The Act You've Known For All These Years: A Year in the Life of Sgt. Pepper and Friends, Despite the System: Orson Welles versus the Hollywood Studios and Babylon's Burning: From Punk to Grunge.

He lives in Somerset.

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