Leaving the Building: The Lucrative Afterlife of Music Estates

By Dr Eamonn Forde

When a musician dies, it is rarely the end of their story.

While death can propel megastars to even further success, artists overlooked in their lifetime might also find a new type of fame. But a badly timed move or the wrong deal can see the artist die all over again. Colonel Tom Parker, the former carnival huckster, understood this high-wire act implicitly and the posthumous career of Elvis Presley has provided a template for everyone else.

Estates have two jobs: keeping the artist’s name alive and ensuring they continue to make money. These can sometimes be compatible goals, but often they spark a tension that is unique in the music business.

Drawing on interviews with those running music estates as well as music lawyers, record company executives and archivists, Leaving the Building reveals how the music industry is constantly striving to perfect the business of death.

Publication Date: 19.08.21
ISBN: 9781913172107
Extent: 512 pages
Format: Hardback

£20.00 GBP