Omnibus Press

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Omnibus Press
Omnibus Press logo.gif
Parent company Music Sales Group (as of 2006)
Founded1976
Headquarters locationLondon, United Kingdom
DistributionWorldwide
Publication typesBooks
Official website omnibuspress.com

Omnibus Press is the world's largest specialist publisher of music-related books. [1] It publishes around 30 [2] new titles a year to add to a backlist of over 250 titles currently in print.

Contents

History

Omnibus Press was launched in 1976 as a general non-fiction publisher to complement the sheet music published and distributed by its parent company Music Sales Group. [3] The previous year Music Sales had launched a separate company called Book Sales Ltd and the earliest Book Sales catalogue, issued in 1975, included compilations of underground comic strips, art and photography titles and one of the earliest ever books on the then newly discovered art of video.

Music Sales Group is a global music publisher, with headquarters in Berners Street, London. In March 2017, Music Sales Group has acquired disco publisher Bleu Blanc Rouge from Belgian record producer and songwriter Jean Kluger. In April 2018, Music Sales sold its physical and online print divisions, including Musicroom, to Milwaukee-based publisher Hal Leonard for $50 million. Hal Leonard will continue to distribute Music Sales' publishing catalogue worldwide.

After former Melody Maker music journalist Chris Charlesworth joined as Omnibus editor in 1983, [4] it was decided to concentrate exclusively on music books, and among its earliest acquisitions was Rock Family Trees by acclaimed music archivist Pete Frame which remain in print to this day and have been the basis of two BBC TV series. Over the succeeding decades Omnibus has published many best-selling definitive biographies on most of rock's greatest superstars. These include Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance by Johnny Rogan, Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon by Tony Fletcher, Uptight: The Velvet Underground Story by Victor Bockris and Catch A Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White.

<i>Melody Maker</i> historical British weekly pop/rock music newspaper  (1926-2000)

Melody Maker was a British weekly music magazine, one of the world's earliest music weeklies, and—according to its publisher IPC Media—the earliest. It was founded in 1926, largely as a magazine for dance band musicians, by Leicester-born composer, publisher Lawrence Wright; the first editor was Edgar Jackson. In 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.

Chris Charlesworth is a British-based music journalist and author; and, since 1983, managing editor of Omnibus Press. He is particularly noted for his work about, and with, The Who, for whom he has worked as an executive producer.

Peter 'Pete' Frame is an English music journalist and historian of rock music.

Among noted rock and pop writers whose work has been published by Omnibus over the years are Richard Williams, Chris Welch, Peter Dogget, Patrick Humphries, David Sinclair and Everett True (UK) and Dave Marsh, Paul Williams, Nelson George, Jerry Hopkins, David Ritz and Danny Sugerman (US).

Richard Williams is a British music and sports journalist.

Chris Welch is an English music journalist, critic, and author who is best known for his work from the late 1960s as a reporter for Melody Maker, Musicians Only, and Kerrang!. He is the author of over 40 music books.

Everett True British journalist

For the cartoon character, see The Outbursts of Everett True.

Music Sales has published The Beatles’ printed sheet music since the company’s inception, and this close relationship with the world’s most famous pop group is reflected in the large number of high-quality Beatles-related books that Omnibus has published over the years. These include The Beatles: A Diary by Barry Miles, a Beatles insider from the early days, With The Beatles: The Historic Photos of Dezo Hoffman , the most iconic photo book on the band ever published, and The Songwriting Secrets of The Beatles by Dominic Pedlar, the most detailed analytical study of their music. In 2007 Omnibus published Colin Larkin's Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise Edition). At 1,600 pages, this is the abridged version of Larkin’s renowned 10-volume encyclopedia, the most authoritative biographical listing of rock, pop and jazz artists ever published. [5]

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led them to be regarded as the most influential band of all time. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and they experimented with a number of musical styles in later years, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.

Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of music notation that uses modern musical symbols to indicate the pitches (melodies), rhythms or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper, although the access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.

Barry Miles is an English author known for his participation in and writing on the subjects of the 1960s London underground and counterculture. He is the author of numerous books and his work has also regularly appeared in left-wing papers such as The Guardian. In the 1960s, he was co-owner of the Indica Gallery and helped start the independent newspaper International Times.

In 2006 Music Sales acquired Sanctuary Books which added a significant number of additional music books to the Omnibus catalogue, as well as a number of sports, travel and novelty & gift books.[ citation needed ]

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Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experimental, or unconventional elements. Art rock aspires to elevate rock from entertainment to an artistic statement, opting for a more experimental and conceptual outlook on music. Influences may be drawn from genres such as experimental rock, avant-garde music, classical music, and jazz.

Publishing process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information

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<i>With the Beatles</i> 1963 studio album by the Beatles

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<i>Maggot Brain</i> 1971 studio album by Funkadelic

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Derek Taylor British music executive

Derek Taylor was an English journalist, writer, publicist and record producer. He is best known for his role as press officer to the Beatles, and was one of several associates to earn the moniker "the Fifth Beatle". Taylor was known for his forward-thinking and extravagant promotional campaigns, exemplified in taglines such as "The Beatles Are Coming" and "Brian Wilson Is a Genius". Before returning to London in 1968 to head the publicity for the Beatles' Apple Corps organisation, he worked as the publicist for California-based bands such as the Byrds, the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. He was equally dedicated to the 1967 Summer of Love ethos and helped stage that year's Monterey Pop Festival.

<i>NME</i> British weekly music journalism magazine

New Musical Express (NME) is a British music journalism website and former magazine that has been published since 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart, in the edition of 14 November 1952. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music newspaper. During the period 1972 to 1976, it was particularly associated with gonzo journalism, then became closely associated with punk rock through the writings of Julie Burchill, Paul Morley and Tony Parsons. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s and 1990s, changing from newsprint in 1998.

Cultural impact of the Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania", but as the group's music grew in sophistication, led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the band were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s.

A bestseller is, usually, a book that is included on a list of top-selling or frequently-borrowed titles, normally based on publishing industry and book trade figures and library circulation statistics; such lists may be published by newspapers, magazines, or book store chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and specialties. An author may also be referred to as a bestseller if their work often appears in this category. Well-known bestseller lists in the U.S. are published by Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Most of these lists track book sales from national and independent bookstores, as well as sales from major internet retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

<i>Mojo</i> (magazine) magazine

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Mick Rock is a British photographer, best known for his iconic shots of rock legends such as Queen, David Bowie, T. Rex, Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Geordie, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Joan Jett, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Crossfade, Thin Lizzy, Mötley Crüe, and Blondie. Often referred to as "The Man Who Shot the Seventies", most of the memorable images of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust were shot by Rock, in his capacity as Bowie's official photographer.

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<i>Apple to the Core</i> book by Peter McCabe

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Chas. H. Hansen Music Corp. was an American music publisher founded by Charles Henry Hansen (1913–1995) in 1952 and incorporated in New York. Its music covered a broad spectrum of genres that included classical, jazz, folk, rock, country, popular, educational — and music text books. For Beatles fans, the firm was widely known for having been the sole U.S. publisher and distributor of Beatles sheet music, beginning 1966. By the 1980s, Hansen Music ventured away from the pop field, focusing on classics and jazz method books. The firm, in 1980, was also operating 7 retail sheet music stores — two in San Francisco, three in Seattle, and two in Las Vegas. The name — Charles Hansen Music & Books, Inc. — became inactive in 1991. Hansen House Music Publishers — a Florida registered fictitious name of Hansen Publications, Inc. — became inactive December 31, 2009. The Hansen House web page is now inactive, listed as being "parked" by the GoDaddy domain registrar. The internet archive at https://web.archive.org has their latest snapshot of this website being active as in September 2013; contact person listed on earlier versions was Ramon Duran. The larger part of the Charles Hansen catalog was acquired by Warner Brothers Publications, then subsequently sold to Alfred Publications. According to Billboard in 1972, Wometco, headed by Mitchell Wolfson, had a pending offer to acquire Hansen, retaining Hansen and his staff.

Peter Doggett is an English music journalist, author and magazine editor. He began his career in music journalism in 1980, when he joined the London-based magazine Record Collector. He subsequently served as the editor there from 1982 to 1999, after which he continued in the role of managing editor. He has also contributed regularly to magazines such as Mojo, Q and GQ.

<i>101 Albums That Changed Popular Music</i>

101 Albums That Changed Popular Music is a musical reference book written by Chris Smith, an American journalist, author and cultural critic. It was published in July 2009 by Oxford University Press. The book tells the history of popular music from the introduction of the long-playing (LP) record in 1948. It focuses on key albums, from the Folkways compilation Anthology of American Folk Music (1952) to the White Stripes' Elephant (2003).

References