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Pop Music - Technology and Creativity: Trevor Horn and the Digital Revolution

Author: Timothy Warner

Publication date: 2003

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Ashgate Publishing

"This highly original and accessible book draws on the author's personal experience as a musician, producer and teacher of popular music to discuss the ways in which audio technology and musical creativity in pop music are inextricably bound together. This relationship, the book argues, is exemplified by the work of Trevor Horn, who is widely acknowledged as the most important, innovative and successful British pop record producer of the early 1980s.

In the first part of the book, Timothy Warner presents a definition of pop as distinct from rock music, and goes on to consider the ways technological developments, such as the transition from analogue to digital, transform working practices and, as a result, impact on the creative process of producing pop. Part two analyses seven influential recordings produced by Trevor Horn between 1979 and 1985: 'Video Killed the Radio Star' (The Buggles), 'Buffalo Gals' (Malcolm McClaren),'Owner of a Lonely Heart' (Yes), 'Relax' (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), 'Slave to the Rhythm' (Grace Jones), and albums by The Art of Noise and Propaganda. These records reveal how the creative use of technology in the modern pop recording studio has informed Horn's work, a theme that is then explored in an extensive interview with Horn himself."

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