Andrew Lauder's Charmed Life and High Times in the Record Business
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Andrew Lauder is one of British record business's most significant and highly influential figures but outside the music industry few people will probably know his name. He's always retained a fan's perspective which, combined with an exceptional knowledge of music, meant he was at ease around musicians and never happier than spending time with them. During the later '60s and throughout the '70s in particular (working at the legendary United Artists), he had a knack of being one step ahead of the next trend. In hindsight it's easy to identify the changing eras in music but underground music, pub rock and punk in Britain, for example, evolved quite seamlessly and it was visionaries like Andrew who, instinctively, saw what was coming and helped bring about those transitions. He was ahead of the game in other ways too; pioneering a more creative way of marketing and promoting records and revolutionising the way catalogue was organised and presented. This is his story.
- Published: Apr 27 2023
- Pages: 384
- 236 x 160mm
- ISBN: 9781474623599
- Richard Williams
Many people who love music - or think they do - aspire to the A&R role. Some are chosen. Very few succeed. Hardly any succeed as significantly and consistently as Andrew Lauder. For 40 years, Andrew was an A&R man on whom those rivals kept the closest of eyes (I know that for certain because for a while I was one of them, and saw how good he was). Without making a fuss, without bothering - unlike so many -- about raising his own public profile, he applied his knowledge and enthusiasm to the business of identifying interesting musicians and helping them to reach an audience.
- Nick Lowe
Oh, so that's what happened...a crisp and more-ish read. Among the many qualities admired by us musicians who worked with Andrew was his modesty and self-effacement. It's remarkable how, in a book which documents his many successes and accomplishments, that lovely voice and manner is still unmistakable.
Lauder was co-founder of the labels Radar, F-Beat, Demon and Silvertone; this came after a decade in United Artists corporate trenches backing such unlikely nags as Can, Hawkwind, Dr Feelgood, and The Stranglers, as well as fading memories like the Groundhogs and Man. Characteristically discreet, his fascinating inside track on what went wrong with the Stones Roses exemplifies the collision of enthusiasm, licenced creativity, sharp practice and turf wars that made the music biz much more than just another office job.
- Record Collector
Warm and detailed, this is a great lid-lifter from a reliable, affable narrator...his enthusiasm and passion for pop is overwhelming.
Happy Trails is full of such quirks of good fortune that it's tempting to describe Andrew Lauder's career in A&R terms of luck, rather than his ability to detect and nourish talent. His good humour only cracks when discussing the contractual wrangles between his label, Silvertone, and the Stone Roses (not his fault - the dodgy contract pre-dated his involvement.)
Happy Trails gives the reader a window into a charmed life that most of us can only dream of.
A must read for fans of the seventies British underground. It was Lauder who created the environment within which Hawkwind could rise from the dishevelled jam band he signed in 1969, to become one of the most inventive acts of the early seventies. Lauder's far-sighted recruitment of Amon Düül II and Can lit the fuse for the 'krautrock' explosion of the early 1970s (a term, incidentally, that he loathed); and Lauder effectively god-parented the pub rock boom a couple of years later.
- Caught By The River
This welcome account (is) a joy to read
- Spin Magazine
Happy Trails is a book for music historians and crate diggers, particularly lovers of the blues from the '60s through to the '00s. Andrew Lauder's tale is a classic one: young and naïve country boy who came to the big city, fell into a random, entry-level but opportune position at the publishing company Southern Music, and went on to make his mark in the industry for half a century. During his tenure at various music companies in the UK Lauder released key albums from Elvis Costello, the Stranglers, Buzzcocks, Hawkwind, Can, Neu! and the Stone Roses.
- The Wire
Lauder is a solid writer, and presents his story with an authentically humble tone that really makes you want to sit down with him for a beer and chat. Can there be a better recommendation than that?