Synopses & Reviews
In The Soundtrack of My Life
, music legend Clive Davis recounts an extraordinary five-decade career in the music business, while also telling a remarkable personal story of triumphs, disappointments, and encounters with some of the greatest musical artists of our time, from Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys.
Orphaned and impoverished in his teens, Davis overcame early hardships, earning a full scholarship to New York University and then one to Harvard Law School. As general counsel at Columbia Records, Davis quickly distinguished himself and capitalized on a lucky break to catapult to the presidency of the company. More surprisingly, he was to learn he had “ears,” a rare ability to spot talent and create hit records. Those ears contributed to the fabled success of three companies — Columbia, Arista, and J — where Davis discovered and developed more unique artists than anyone in the history of the music industry.
What began on the grass at the Monterey Pop Festival with the signing of Janis Joplin has evolved into a lifelong passion and calling, spanning the years and genres, including rock, pop, R&B, country, jazz fusion, and hip-hop. Through it all, Davis has discovered a pantheon of all-time greats: Bruce Springsteen; Billy Joel; Aerosmith; Carlos Santana; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Chicago; Earth, Wind and Fire; Barry Manilow; Patti Smith; Whitney Houston; Kenny G.; and Alicia Keys. In addition, he has championed and played a vital part in the careers of Simon and Garfunkel, Miles Davis, the Kinks, the Grateful Dead, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Annie Lennox, Carly Simon, Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, Jennifer Hudson, and Rod Stewart. His is the imprimatur that has helped shape contemporary music and our popular culture for the past forty-five years.
The Soundtrack of My Life is an essential book for anyone interested in the story of popular music, the workings of the music business, the alchemy of hits, and the dramatic life of a brilliant leader... and listener.
In this star-studded autobiography, Clive Davis shares a personal, candid look into his remarkable life and the last fifty years of popular music as only a true insider can.
In the history of popular music, no one looms as large as Clive Davis. His career has spanned more than forty years, and he has discovered, signed, or worked with a staggering array of artists: Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Simon and Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Dionne Warwick, Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and hosted the world’s highest profile parties.
In this fully illustrated, personal account, Davis tells all, from becoming an orphan in high school and getting through college and law school on scholarships, to being falsely accused of embezzlement and starting up his own record company, J Records. His wealth of experience offers valuable insight into the evolution of the music business over the past half-century and into the future.
Told with Davis’s unmatched wit, frankness, and style, The Soundtrack of My Life exposes a trove of never-before-heard stories — some hilarious, others tragic, all revealing — that will captivate and inspire all music lovers.
About the Author
Clive Davis is the Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music. He has worked with innumerable musical stars and media personalities. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he attended New York University and Harvard Law School.
Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where his work has appeared since 1980. He has written for numerable music and entertainment magazines and newspapers. A former on-air correspondent and editorial director at VH1, he has contributed to a myriad of television specials and programs. DeCurtis holds a Ph.D. in American literature from Indiana University and he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and the Gradudate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.