Black Vinyl White Powder: The Real Story of the British Music Industry

Unbound. Apr. 2023. 576p. ISBN 9781800181656. pap. $18.95. MUSIC
Record producer Napier-Bell (The Business: A History of Popular Music from Sheet Music to Streaming) has been associated with the English popular music scene since 1956. He’s managed rock stars from The Yardbirds through Wham! He spent 14 months successfully negotiating to get Wham! into China for the country’s first mega-group concert, which is detailed in his book I’m Coming To Take You to Lunch. Arguably, no one understands the UK pop music scene better than Napier-Bell; he’s long been a player, and he’s an exceptionally keen observer. This interesting, ofttimes scabrous account of the evolution of British rock/dance music was originally published in the UK in 2001 and is making its U.S. debut with this paperback edition. The pages are rife with accounts of bad guy rock stars acting out, but the book is much more about what drove the industry than its stars’ antics. The book indicates that different drugs fueled different music: LSD, slow and laid back; ecstasy, pulsing but unaggressive; amphetamines, perfect for punk and shock rock with total aggression.
VERDICT Napier-Bell’s racy but shrewd look at the British music scene will fly off library shelves.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing