From our CD collections to iPods bursting with MP3s to the hallowed vinyl of DJs, recordings are the most common way we experience music. "Perfecting Sound Forever" tells the story of recorded music, introducing us to the innovators, musicians and producers who have affected the way we hear our favourite songs, from Thomas Edison to Phil Spector. Exploring the balance that recordings strike between the real and the represented, Greg Milner asks the questions which have divided sound recorders for the past century: should a recording document reality as faithfully as possible, or should it improve upon or somehow transcend the music it records? What does the perfect record sound like? The answers he uncovers will change the way we think about music.
'[A] breathless, surprisingly thrilling rollercoaster ride through the history of recorded music - a-tour-de-force of fascinating anecdotes, lucidly expounded science, witty asides, stylistic verve, and page after page of 'gosh, I never knew that' facts' Mail on Sunday 'Greg Milner tells the story of recorded music with novelistic verve, ferocious attention to detail, and a soulful ambivalence about our quest for sonic perfection. He shows how great recordings come about not through advances in technology, but through a love of the art, and that same love is the motor of his prose' Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise 'This engrossing book is a history of recording technology and an examination of the high-fidelity fallacy - This is an interesting, largely untold history of the medium, not the message, and simultaneously, a history of human credulity. Perfecting Sound Forever is an unashamedly anoraky book. As an unashamed anorak, that's high praise' Literary Review "Greg Milner's work dispels much of the mystique of recording, but its true worth lies in its articulate, thoughtful raising of questions concerning philosophy and aesthetics - Perfecting Sound Forever is a marvellous story told with passion and genuine, original insight' Sunday Herald 'Milner's appreciation of music is wide and deep - [his] passionate love of music resonates throughout, and he provides illuminating answers to questions that are poorly understood. The blurb claims that Perfecting Sound Forever "will change the way we think about music" and, when the din dies down, you find that it has' Guardian