About the Book

Appetite for Self-Destruction

Appetite for Self-Destruction

The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age
December 2009
Trade Paperback · 320 Pages
$17.95 U.S. · €12.99 E.U.
ISBN 9781593762698
Soft Skull Press


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For the first time, Appetite for Self-Destruction recounts the epic story of the precipitous rise and fall of the modern recording industry, from an author who has been writing about it for more than ten years. With unparalleled access to those intimately involved in the music world’s highs and lows—including Warner Music chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr., renegade Napster creator Shawn Fanning, and more than 200 others—Steve 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, the explosion of CD sales, and the emergence of MP3-sharing websites 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. Just as the incredible success of the CD turned the music business into one of the most glamorous, high-profile industries in the world, the advent of file sharing brought it to its knees, and Knopper saw it all.

About the Author

Steve Knopper is a Rolling Stone contributing editor who has covered the music business since 2002. A freelancer since January 1996, he has written for publications such as Wired, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, and Details. He also has written and edited four previous books, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Band. He lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and daughter.