Weidenfeld & Nicolson is publishing Hit Factories, a book telling the story how the sound of British pop music was shaped by its industrial cities, by writer and researcher Karl Whitney.
Hit Factories will publish with Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback, e-book and audio in May 2019. Subtitled A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of British Pop, it will include elements of travelogue and psychogeography, tracking down the places where music was performed, recorded and sold, the boardrooms where deals were done, and the people, the performers, the businessmen, the songwriters, the producers, the fans, "who made it all happen".
Paul Murphy, editorial director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, bought world rights from Kevin Pocklington at Jenny Brown Associates. He said: "I am thrilled to bring such a talented writer as Karl to the W&N list. Hit Factories will be the first book to look at the indelible relationship between place and pop music across the UK, from Glasgow and Belfast to Manchester and Bristol, and I can’t wait to see what Karl unearths on his travels around the country."
Whitney added: "I thought I had misspent my youth by squandering countless hours listening to records and poring over the music press, but in retrospect I can see that I was actually researching Hit Factories. Pop music is such an intrinsic part of people’s everyday lives, and often so specific to a place and a time – I’m interested in examining that place and that time. Pop’s also an industry, one that took root in British cities during a period of wider industrial decline, and I want to investigate that too. I’m particularly excited to work on Hit Factories with W&N, whose outstanding books I’ve admired for a long time."